I saw this letter in today's Times. I wonder how many CDT failures this could account for?


Concerns over drug testing at work
From Dr Peter V. Taberner

Sir, The report of the inquiry into drug testing at work (details, June 29) should be of considerable concern to those employees who use any over-the-counter cough or cold remedies containing dextromethorphan or codeine. These opioid drugs will give a positive result in a routine screening test for opiates, as will the morphine or loperamide found in several popular anti-diarrhoeal preparations. The latter drug does not even enter the brain and is therefore incapable of producing behavioural impairment.

The basic drug-screening tests will give a simple all-or-none response. It requires a far more sophisticated (and expensive) analytical system to identify specific drugs and, more importantly, to quantify how much is present.

As a forensic pharmacologist I believe that in order to prove impairment due to drink or drugs you need evidence both of impairment and also the presence of a drug at a level sufficient to cause that impairment. Improved analytical techniques can now detect drugs at levels well below those necessary to produce any significant effect. In the case of alcohol we have a statutory legal limit (80mg per 100ml in the blood) that is known to cause impairment and a thoroughly validated analytical procedure to enforce it, but until defined limits for non-prescription and legal opiates are established it might be wise to avoid the poppy-seed bread roll in the works canteen.

Yours faithfully,
52 Zetland Road, Bristol BS6 7AA.
June 29.,,59-1166231,00.html


So far as I understand HM Forces uses fairly comprehensive drug testing equipment, none of this cheap stuff that civvie companies are using.

Also you have to "...declare any medication that you've been taking in the last 30 days prescribed or otherwise..."

Not understanding the civvie drugs testing systems I can't really comment on that side of things but I don't think members of HM Forces have anything to really worry about because of the rules about declaring medication.
Been done 6 times even in some very remote and operational areas. If you have taken prescription drugs within 30 days you are asked to declare it. I can back up the comment that you are asked this. The only peolple who should be scared of CDT and clutching at technacalities are those who are guilty.


Agree entirely. if you want to dispute a CDT result on the grounds that you had taken some dodgy cough mixture, then of course you can always offer up a hair sample for testing.....that way we can see JUST how long you have been taking the Night Nurse!!

As has been rightly been said above the only people to worry about CDT are the guilty ones.
Kel said:
I'm going wrong someplace, 4 times in 2 years!
Shite, you must have been in the same place as me. I was done 5 times in 2 years. I think the CDT team just fancied a week or two in the sun!! JOLLY anyone??
I have heard some hilarious excuses when the piss comes back hot here are a few:

I had a really strong Curry the night before
I was on a bender the night before and therefore the Alcohol ,must have contributed
I was at a party with friends and somepeople may have been smoking dope.
I was using purely for medicinal purposes

anyone get some more?
Best excuse has to go to Lad in The Airborne Gunners(aye right) Caught taking a very strong drug? Put in front of CO he says my chick takes it not me but last night she gave me a BJ after ingesting stuff it must have got into my taddger that way???

1. The stuff is used to numb things?

2. He therefore would have felt nothing?

3. How the fu*k would it get up there?

Sent out for analysis and testing by the lab you could hear the laughter for miles around, needless to say guilty as sin.

been tested in camps i'm only visiting, staying at as well as in the departure lounge of brize!

i have been made to 'willy watch' or man the water point at many a CDT event and they clearly ask if you have taken any form of medication in the past 30 days. if the the testie does not whish to state what he has been taking due to a personal matter (treetment for the clap) than he can state 'look in my med docs'. the testing to my knowledge can then look at what has been declared and can take that into account.

excuses are all fine when cought but i've known people who have been caught out who have been sent to colly fro 28 days then let to go to a posting of their choice as long as they have had counciling, they have not even had any delay placed upon promotion.

i feel this is wrong and as we are told in our ITD package all personal caught are UFAS, this re-hab package will not deter usage or may increase usage in order to gat a prefered posting.

CDT is a very good method of preventing scum from being able to serve and should be increased ten fold but thare i feel should be no slack attitude for any reason in allowing people who have been cought to remain in service. call me harsh but we all know the rules about drugs when we join and every year after.
I hear what you're saying worm and I agree up to a point. Surely there are always exceptions to any rule and we can all make mistakes.

I'm pretty sure that for a soldier to be 'let off' they have to be young, a Pte and of otherwise good character. Surely one error in judgement does not a bad'un make.

After all we put young soldiers in difficult positions with very little support and/or guidance. For instance medical trainees in Brum stay on a civie campus with dealers selling out of thier car boots, attend a civie uni with students from all backgrounds with only basic training to tell them how a soldier behaves. Not surprisingly some of them may slip now and again!

Duty of care has to come into it somewhere along the line. If we put teenagers into a situation they are not equiped to deal with, give them loads of pocket money and very few responsibilities we can hardly expect to produce responsible adults, can we?
Watched a thing on the box the other night about the drug kits that the US mil uses (which I assume are roughly the same as ours)

The two volunteers proved that eating poppy seed buns within 24 hours of taking the drug test caused a positive result for opiates 8O

Apparently, there have already been lawsuits in the states, both from military and civvies where discipliniary action has been taken after a positive test.

Hows that for an excuse? It was the bread guvnor :D
Ive been tested 3 times in about the last 4-5 years. They caught someone for cannabis use the first time, and came back again about 12 months after. Caught another one for the same the next time, and came back agin this April just gone- caught 3 more. No results yet cos its gone to hair tests, but like a lot of people I'm starting to think it ain't so random anymore. Once they catch one in your unit, they KNOW there's gonna be a couple of his mates doing it. No sympathy for them, but is becoming a witch hunt. Apparently they got someone in our HQ sqn and have turned up there again.

I'm sick of weeing in the bottle! Us girls have the gears but not the fine tuning....!
have been through the process many times now...on both sides of the table......I have no sympathy for guilty b'stards ...but there is always the chance that your particular 'Village' may mis-interperate the appeal using hair samples before any action is taken can only be the fairset way. 8)
Surely one error in judgement does not a bad'un make.
i know where your comming from FLLnurse but how do you know if it is the first time or that they will not get a bad flash back and possiably end up killing their mate?

For instance medical trainees in Brum stay on a civie campus with dealers selling out of thier car boots, attend a civie uni with students from all backgrounds with only basic training to tell them how a soldier behaves. Not surprisingly some of them may slip now and again!
i believe that all the trainees have been moved into defence bought housing to remove them from the drug scene but any one in a medical environment should be more than aware of the dangers posed from drug taking as well as the stance that the military has about it.

in the end if you fail a drugs test you shoud be kicked out especially if your in a medical trade.

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