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‘Drug-use rises among servicemen’
KUWAIT CITY, July 17: Investigations are still underway into two incidents of the killing of a soldier by a colleague in an army camp in Mubarakiya, and the suicide of a person “in military uniform in a private shooting range” in order to determine the circumstances and motives behind these incidents.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking source revealed that the number of drug users among employees of some sectors within the army has reached about 2,000 during the period from 2016 until now. He indicated that they include about 130 officers, some of whom were treated and have fully recovered from drug addiction, while others were dismissed from service. The source explained that the dismissal followed the noncompliance of these officers with the treatment programs, especially after receiving three consecutive warnings from the authorities concerned with the addiction treatment file.
After the incident of the soldier being killed by his colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled issued immediate instructions to form a control room to count the number of soldiers who still pose a danger within the institution, intensify investigations, conduct drug checks on a regular basis, and do a background check on the new applicants for admission to military colleges, institutes and courses prior to their registration.
Sheikh Talal did not hesitate in ensuring support for the medical teams that follow up the treatment of addiction cases and detect abusers. There are decisions and deterrent measures that are currently being studied in preparation for the start of work with the aim of immunizing the employees of the armed forces against this scourge, and addressing all those who cover up cases of abuse between some officers and individuals. The modest financial and medical capabilities needed to treat and rehabilitate addicts require reconsideration and cooperation from all concerned parties to limit the numbers that can be treated before they escalate.
This file has become a major concern for the minister and the ministry’s leaders. The minister, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense following the incident of the killing of a soldier by a colleague, had announced that he had issued his orders and instructions to conduct a comprehensive review of the security and health procedures followed in all army units and camps.
The minister said, “If there is any failure to implement the orders and instructions, the person responsible for them will be held accountable because the safety of the army’s employees is the first priority”. He affirmed that he is following up all procedures directly and round the clock with the Military Security Department and other concerned authorities in the Ministry of Interior, as well as the latest findings of the investigation regarding the details and motives of the incident. By Salem Al-Wawan Al-Seyassah Staff