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11 Oct, 2013 14:30

Civil servant samples: Russian MP urges drug tests for public employees

Illegal drugs present such a great threat to society that regular tests must be made obligatory for all public servants, a senior Russian MP has said as the State Duma discussed the law on illegal drugs tests for various groups of citizens.
Civil servant samples: Russian MP urges drug tests for public employees

“As a prevention measure we suggest to introduce tests for illegal drugs use for persons who, due to their professional activities, have to deal with citizens’ security. I am talking about the police, the military servicemen and those who work in passenger and cargo transportation,” the head of the State Duma Committee for Security and Countering Corruption, Irina Yarovaya, said at the lower house session on Friday.

The MPs were discussing the draft law on compulsory drug tests for various groups of citizens and according to the document the people of above mentioned professions will first be tested when they are hired and after that the tests will be annual.

The bill also suggests introducing tests for illegal drug use for those seeking to get a driving license or a gun permit.

“Today, all that is required is a written confirmation that the person seeking a permit or a position is not registered with the local drug dispensary. But the real situation is that the number of illegal drug users is several times more than the number of those who are registered with dispensaries and this is perfectly reasonable as the illegal drug use is usually hidden and registration happens only when addiction is at a heavy stage,” Yarovaya told the chamber.

Yarovaya added that in her personal opinion all public servants must undergo illegal drug tests.

Starting January 2014, Russia will introduce testing for illegal drugs for schoolchildren and university students. The tests will be voluntary and consisting of two stages – a questioning by a psychologist and actual medical examination and tests. For children under 15, consent must be given by parents. The results of all tests will be strictly confidential.

It should be noted that the early draft of the questioning sheet published by the Health Ministry has already sparked controversy – many reporters and bloggers noted that some questions on particular illegal drugs and the means of their use could serve as instructions and push the children towards addiction.