|A report looking at drug use says marijuana and cocaine use in some army units increased slightly last year. (CBC)|
Marijuana remains the drug of choice for members of the Canadian army, based on the Force's latest blind drug testing report that also found cocaine is gaining popularity among some members.
The report, done between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, found the overall drug consumption rate has been relatively stable since 2010 but suggested young, non-commissioned members were more prone to do drugs.
The findings, contained in a 42-page report obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, included testing for 11 controlled substances at 26 Armed Forces units across the country. There were 4,198 participants from most ranks and age groups.
The testing found that 279 urine specimens — or 6.6 per cent — tested positive for at least one drug, with pot detected in 5.3 per cent of all of the samples. That's up from the 4.2 per cent in 2012 and 4.8 per cent the year before that.
Positive test results for marijuana came from 19 units, with the bulk from 3 Royal Canadian Regiment and 2 Service Battalion in Petawawa, Ont.
The report says nine units had cocaine-positive samples, with the most again from members in 3 Royal Canadian Regiment in Petawawa. Results showed 44 samples overall had traces of cocaine, up from the 29 positive samples the previous year, making it one of the higher rates since the testing started in 2007.
While the numbers were considered low, members of the psychosocial health dynamics team who wrote the report said there was a higher likelihood that members tested positive for cocaine in 2013 than in 2009.
"There was a significant difference for the proportion of cocaine-positive samples, such that 2013 blind drug testing participants were significantly more likely to test positive for cocaine than those tested in 2009," the report states.
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