2% of Egypt’s state employees test positive for drugs – ministry

Two percent of Egypt’s state employees who underwent drug tests in several Egyptian governorates tested positive after a new campaign to combat drug use was launched six months ago, the Social Solidarity Ministry said.

The Egyptian government has imposed new measures mandating drug tests for state employees at ministries, state companies and local authorities, with possible firings for those who test positive.

Around 2,000 employees have tested positive, making up two percent of the total number of people tested to date, the social solidarity ministry, which runs the campaign, said in a statement on Tuesday. The campaign found that the most commonly used drugs were cannabis and Tramadol, a post-surgery painkiller.

The figure is down from eight percent when the campaign was first launched. Those whose test positive face legal measures that could amount to suspension from work.

The move to impose stiffer penalties for drug use by state employees, estimated at over five millions, came after a railway employee involved in a deadly train station fire in February tested positive for narcotics.

A draft law regulating the matter has been passed by the government and is pending final approval from parliament.

An anti-drug fund affiliated with the social solidarity ministry offers free-of-charge, confidential treatment for drug users.

The ministry says around 15,000 employees have voluntarily reached out to the fund for treatment since March.

The campaign has expanded to include school bus drivers and truck drivers, the ministry said.

Source: Ahram Online