More than 600 recruits did drugs last year

Nearly 700 conscripts tested positive on drugs last year, the defence ministry has announced.The ministry – which is headed by Social Democrat (SPÖ) Norbert Darabos – was pressed to reveal the figure after the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) filed a request in the federal parliament. The opposition party was informed yesterday (Thurs) that blood checks showed that 687 recruits consumed illegal substances like cocaine and cannabis shortly before starting their military service or after having started the conscription. Around 25,000 Austrian men aged 18 and 19 join the army for the six-month period each year.The BZÖ called on army officials to show more effort in fighting the abuse of drugs, while the ministry pointed out it has been holding various awareness lectures and prevention campaigns.