18:32 GMT29 September 2020
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The use of illicit drugs within the UK army has increased, leading to the dismissal of hundreds of soldiers and reservists every year, The Guardian has revealed on Monday, citing a report obtained from the Ministry of Defence.

    The paper, that claimed to have obtained the data under the Freedom of Information laws, said that the number of army personnel that were dismissed last year after failing the mandatory drug tests amounted to 660, nearly a battalion.

    In 2018 and 2017, the sackings amounted to 630 and 580, respectively, while up to mid-July this year, the number stood at 270, it added.

    According to the newspaper, cocaine is the most detected drug in the mandatory routine test conducted by the army, followed by cannabis and ecstasy, although ketamine, steroids and benzodiazepines have also been found in the urine samples requested from soldiers.

    The paper, that claimed there are currently 79,620 people in the regular army and 29,980 reserves, said many soldiers take illicit drugs on purpose in order to be discharged from the army, although it also cited an unnamed former soldier who claimed many of them "take drugs to manage the particular stresses of life in the army."

    Army, drugs, United Kingdom
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