Random drug testing at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC-Saint-Jean) have turned up promising results indicating that a vast majority of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members at both schools do not use drugs.
“The results of these drug tests are largely favourable, indicating that our Canadian Armed Forces Drug Control Program and related initiatives are working. However, there is still work to do, as any use of prohibited drugs in the Canadian Armed Forces is unacceptable,” stated MGen. Wayne Eyre, Deputy Commander, Military Personnel.
The blind drug tests were conducted in October 2016 on students and staff members of the RMCs as part of the CAF Drug Control Program. They were tested for a variety of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, amphetamine and fentanyl.
“The CAF has a zero tolerance policy with respect to prohibited drug use. Blind Testing is part of the continuing process to evaluate the prevalence of drug use in the CAF. The results help to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAF Drug Control Program, as well as guide education and intervention efforts,” stated a Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces press release.
Out of 1211 RMCC members tested, 27 participants, or 2.2 percent, tested positive for one or more of the tested substances. Of these, marijuana was the most prevalent substance used with 19 members, or 1.6 percent, testing positive.
Of the 226 RMC Saint-Jean students and staff tested, three participants, or 1.3 percent, tested positive for one or more substance. It is unclear which substance.
These results appear to be lower than the results of the test conducted at other units within the CAF or Canadian population. However, the press release states, this could be due to the difference in sampling methodology.
“We are charged with the successful development and education of the officers of tomorrow, a responsibility that we take very seriously. We have some of the best and brightest attending our Military Colleges every year, and we want to ensure the safest environment for them,” said BGen. Steve Whelan, Commander, Military Personnel.