Brit Soldiers On Hard Drugs

By Abrad · May 22, 2006 · ·
  1. Abrad
    Monday, May 22, 2006 -

    An average of 10 British soldiers per week are being caught using Class A drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, according to a report published in a BBC News story, based on government study figures from the Ministry of Defense.

    According to the report, nearly 1,000 Brits were nabbed during random drug testing last year, and experts are calling it "a clear sign of troops suffering plummeting morale and mounting pressure." The number of soldiers using these "hard drugs" has escalated since the beginning of the war, and in 2005 was about double the tally for 2003.

    As for Class C substances, which include marijuana, although the numbers have also risen, they are now well below the heroin-abuse levels. The British military's policy of compulsory expulsion for drug abuse is now creating an even tighter personnel crunch on troop allotments. The BBC story cited "at least 14 young recruits" who had been caught taking drugs more than once, but were still on the lines in Iraq. - ST

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  1. Abrad
    Revealed: hard drug culture among soldiers

    TEN British soldiers a week are caught taking Class A drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, shocking new figures obtained by Scotland on Sunday reveal.

    The number of busts for hard drugs within the British army has doubled in two years and now easily exceeds positive tests for cannabis.
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    Almost 1,000 soldiers were caught by random drug tests last year, in what some experts claim is a clear sign of troops suffering plummeting morale and mounting pressure.

    Figures released by the Ministry of Defence show that 520 soldiers tested positive for Class A drugs in 2005, massively up on the 350 recorded the previous year and double the 260 caught in 2003.

    Over the same two-year period, the number of soldiers testing positive for Class C drugs, such as cannabis, has risen from 340 to 460.

    The rising toll of positive drug tests - 980 in 2005 - is pushing the army's policy of compulsory expulsion to the limit. The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are already causing considerable strain on British forces, and the MoD cannot afford to dismiss so many soldiers for taking illegal drugs.

    Defence minister Tom Watson claims those who test positive "are almost always discharged", although the army has an Early Intervention Programme (EIP) designed to re-educate offenders.

    But this newspaper has established that at least 14 young recruits have been caught taking drugs again after going through EIP schemes designed to keep them in the service.

    New Defence Secretary Des Browne is now under intense pressure to bring the drug abuse problem under control.

    "This is a reflection of a general problem within society," shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said. "But the rise is so steep the secretary of state needs to investigate immediately, and I will be urging him to do so next week.

    "We need to find out whether there is anything within the culture of the military behind this disturbing rise."

    Watson maintained that the army had a "robust" anti-drugs policy, based on "prevention, detection and disciplinary or administrative action".

    He said: "This triple approach aims to reduce drug-taking in the army as far as is possible, in order to maintain the integrity of the force.

    "Compulsory drug testing is a part of this approach, by providing an active deterrent to drug-taking. The army tests 85% of the force annually for all controlled drugs and those caught are almost always discharged."

    Two years ago, Scotland on Sunday revealed that Scottish infantry regiments had the worst record for drug abuse in the British army, and were four times more likely to fail tests for heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances than the military average.

    All the units with the worst records traditionally recruited from inner-city areas, including Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool.

    The latest figures show that, across all the army regiments in the country over the past five years, the tests found that 2,010 had taken Class A drugs, 2,340 Class C, and 230 Class B substances. Of the 89,000 tests in 2005, one in 87 proved positive.

    The worst offenders were the Royal Logistic Corps, which recorded 380 drug-test failures during the five-year period, 70 of them in 2005. Members of the Royal Artillery failed 325 tests altogether. Forty of the failures were reservists with the Territorial Army.

    The renewed evidence of high rates of drug-taking in the services comes amid long-running concerns that the stresses of warfare are turning many young recruits towards illegal substances. American defence chiefs have reported historically high rates of suicide among personnel who have fought in Iraq, and studies have suggested many returning troops have severe problems with stress and substance abuse.

    Clive Fairweather, a former SAS colonel and appeals co-ordinator for the Combat Stress charity, which treats ex-service personnel for psychological and addiction problems, said: "The idea that some people are taking drugs because of the pressures of service is a possibility, but alcohol has been the main crutch for many years.

    "When people are under pressure they are taught by the army to self-medicate, and that used to come in the form of alcohol. Maybe more people are turning to drugs now.

    "I'm sensing, from those leaving nowadays, an increase in the use of serious drugs like heroin, and that bothers me."

    Under the military's strict disciplinary code, any person found to have taken drugs faces immediate discharge.

    But the MoD is now planning to expand its drug rehabilitation programmes for those service personnel who escape the ultimate sanction.
  2. Abrad
    Abuse of drugs soars in Yorkshire regiments
    Huge rise in positive tests among soldiers
    Simon McGee
    Political Editor

    DRUG abuse in Yorkshire's infantry regiments has soared with more soldiers testing positive for illicit substances last year than in the previous five put together.
    The Yorkshire Post can reveal 60 infantrymen belonging to the Green Howards, Prince of Wales' Own and Duke of Wellington's regiments were caught out by compulsory drug tests in 2005, compared with 55 between 2000 and 2004.
    Most who tested positive are understood to have been kicked out of the Army as a result.
    But the worrying trend is not limited to the county's three regiments – the figures revealed in a parliamentary question showed 1,020 army personnel tested positive for drugs last year, while the use of Class A drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, peaked at 520 cases.
    This was double the number of soldiers detected in 2003, the year of the Iraq War, and up 170 on 2004, when the difficulties of trying to win the peace were at their worst in the violence-stricken country.
    Across all the Army regiments in the country in the past six years, the tests found that 2,010 had taken Class A drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, 2,340 had taken Class C, such as cannabis, and 230 had taken Class B substances, such as amphetamines.
    Ministers were last night facing calls for an urgent probe into whether operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan were directly responsible for soldiers turning to drugs to cope with combat stress.
    The figures also reveal the corps that runs infantry training centres – like the controversial Catterick and Deepcut bases, the subject of extensive allegations surrounding bullying and suspicious deaths – is among the units with the highest detected drug use. Its record of 60 cases last year is only topped by the much larger Royal Logistics Corps, Royal Artillery and Corps of Royal Engineers.
    Yorkshire's regiments, although not among the worse across the entire Army, ranked badly alongside other infantry regiment. In 2005, only the Light Infantry and Royal Welch
    Fusiliers regiments had more cases than the Prince of Wales' Own, which had 25 positive results.
    Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox said last night that an inquiry was needed to find out what is going on.
    "This is a reflection of a general problem within society, but the rise is so steep that the Secretary of State needs to investigate immediately and I will be urging him to do so," he said. "We need to find out whether there is anything within the culture of the military behind this disturbing rise."
    Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill stressed the need for the heads of the new Yorkshire Regiment, which officially forms up from the existing three Yorkshire regiments next month, to make dealing with this problem "a priority".
    "These are indeed
    very worrying figures
    and no doubt the Army will have to hold an inquiry to come up with ways of dealing with it and finding out why it's happening:
    whether it's increasing combat stress because of Iraq and Afghanistan or a drug culture beginning to emerge," he said.
    "Considering all the organisations and practical issues that Yorkshire's armed forces will face with the upcoming merger, the top brass will have to make sure they don't take their eye off the ball when it comes to dealing with this drug problem."
    Compulsory drug testing in the armed forces has led to about 4,000 personnel being discharged in the past five years. Most were from the Army, which tests 85 per cent of its force each year and saw 3,375 dismissals, but the Navy also lost 265 personnel and the Royal Air Force 114.
    Major Roger Chapman, curator of the Green Howards Museum in Richmond, served with the regiment for 16 years. He claimed the rise in drug-taking within the Green Howards, which has seen duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia and Northern Ireland since 2000, was largely caused by a soldier caught dealing at the regiment's Chepstow barracks.
    Major Chapman added: "The soldiers in question have gone before the commanding officer, and he has taken the decision to remove them from the ranks of the regiment. This tough stance needs to be taken to show that this should not be happening."
  3. HippieD9
    Gee, it can't have anything to do with them being shot at because of a mess they didn't even make, could it?
  4. bewilderment
    This doesn't surprise me in the least. The government is notorious for synthesizing drugs for use in warfare that keeps the soldiers alert and their morale elevated. Many of these drugs are made illegal later. Besides the government encouraging their drug-use, I've heard tales that soldiers in Vietnam used many illicit drugs trying to stay sane. I also know veterans who are still hooked on various illegal substances. I don't blame them, if I was seeing all that violence and friends of mine were falling like flies and I knew I could go at anytime, you'd best believe I'd be ingesting hard drugs at an alarming rate. I also imagine that heroin (or opiates in general) do a great job in helping the pain sustained in battle. And, of course, amphetamines would be next to essential.
  5. Lunar Loops
    Yes, this is all very much like that story of the treatment of those young Israelis who had succumbed to the lure of the evil drugs whilst travelling around India and Asia and subsequently needed treatment for their horrendous addiction. Of course their mental state had nothing to do with the fact that they'd just spent several formative years of their adult life forced to take part in a bloody and dirty war with the Palestinians. Oh no.....war is good.....discipline is good...war on drugs is good.....taking drugs is thinking is bad......having a mind of your own is a the lotto of life with our glorious bingo masters.....
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