A total of 30 Royal regiment of Scotland personnel failed drug tests in the first 10 months of 2019 while 50 tested positive for drugs in 2018.

The table below shows the number of soldiers serving with the battalions which make up the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who have failed Compulsory Drug Tests and the outcomes:

Table notes:

  • Please note that these figures are single service estimates and are not official statistics produced by Defence Statistics.
  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • “– “denotes zero or rounded to zero.
  • The number of personnel that have not been discharged will reflect that some individuals may not yet have been processed through the discharge or retention process.

Data released by the Ministry of Defence under Freedom of Information laws claims that the drugs included cocaine, cannabis and steroids.

“The substances tested positive for at CDT were Cocaine, Cannabis, MDA, MDMA and Trenbolone.”

The ranks of the soldiers who tested positive for these substances were Private, Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant.

According to the Ministry of Defence response:

“The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks as it is incompatible with military service and operational effectiveness. Soldiers caught taking drugs can expect to be discharged. The Ministry of Defence uses Compulsory Drug Testing which seeks to reinforce the message that drug use is unacceptable in Service personnel.”

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drugs were used as a way of a quick discharge when i served in the 90,s if the drug test was done on a monday you were gone by thursday…

BV Buster

We need to take into consideration that the Royal Regiment of Scotland is a big old unit, 4 full strength battalions with a number of reserve units, so 10 a year per battalion is still bad but less dramatic.



Andy wrote:
drugs were used as a way of a quick discharge when i served in the 90,s

How things have changed,it used to be getting caught with a girl in the block that saw you kicked out.


Never got caught lol


Yeah, and they’re the stupid ones that didn’t take the COs big hint that the CDT team were coming in next week. If the battalion head shed never leaked that there will be a CDT then we would have zero soldiers left. The culture is utterly rampant with drugs.

Andy P

Can’t speak for the army but certainly in the navy I was surprised how many guys were doing coke.


The Navy’s latest haul of crystal meth should keep the ships company happy for a while then!

Andy P

I hear its very ‘morish’.

andy reeves

wherever a ship goes it should be preassessed for the availability of substances, and provisions made for monitoring the use of such while ashore can be acted on including oral swabs, breath analylising, machines, although expensive, would give a psycological effect when coming off shore to be greeted by the gangway watchkeeper saying ‘hang on there, i want you to give a sample, before you go any further modern swab chemiclaes will turn a specific colour and indentify the actual substance, should the fool had’ tested the goods before returning back on board. extensions to commanding officers options and severityof… Read more »


It doesn’t matter if you don’t do anything the week before CDT turn up. If they get an indication of a positive they can ask for a hair sample. The indicators stay in your hair for 6+ months

Andy P

I’ve maybe got it wrong (it happens….) but I was under the impression that one of the attractions of coke was that it was out of the system so much quicker and that it was cannabis that stays in the system for months including hair.


We had a couple of clowns on board who did coke whilst on leave. They got caught by CDT and a positive indication was given . Then they started the “its a false positive ” argument with a civvy lawyer. So, second sample tested, same result and the CDT team requested a hair sample. It was then end of argument and they where gone in weeks few. The drug may leave your system but your hair retains traces for many months afterwards.

andy reeves

cannabis residue can linger for 28 days prisoners know that and tailor abuse to avoid detection.

andy reeves

no it doesn’t class ‘a drugs clear the WHOLE BODY in a week, it is class b drugs like cannabis that stays in the body for longer


Our Army, the British Army or any Army come to that is just a reflection of the people they defend. Scotland in particular but the UK in general is in the grip of a drugs crisis. It is no surprise that this has happened. It isn’t just an Army problem – it is a problem that the whole UK must face. Teacher’s, doctors, nurses, etc.. don’t undergo random drugs tests – if they did I bet there would be similar outrage.

Andy P

Totally agree with you Rob, its never been my thing, I like to rock it ‘old skool’ and stick to the bevvy but I’ve known people from all walks of life who were fond of the ‘recreational’ drugs, they weren’t jibbering idiots or low lifes, normal professional people. Its something the Forces are going to have to look at in the future I think, if people can’t get their preferred ‘buzz on’ then it could have an impact on recruitment.


On the basis of getting through life without resort to recreational drugs, then dear old Winston would have failed around 11 am every morning.

andy reeves

bring back the tot. that would change their tastes for the more seductive substances, might improve recruitment

Mr Bell

As an NHS clinician I can definitely confirm there are thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physios, health care assistants that recreationally use category A drugs fairly regularly. Just as well no testing as the NHS in England alone is short of around 100,000 qualified personnel.
The key thing is that of those thousands recreationally using category A drugs it is only a small handful that raise suspicion about their fitness to practice.


Just to make this a little clearer, a number of people found guilty of taking drugs in the Military have been found to have taken (Inadvertently) banned substances in their weight training supplements. There have even been cases of people testing positive after taking supplements the army has promoted as clean on their ok to use check sheet. Not for a moment am I saying that drug use can be excused but having listened and spoken to the guys who tour Military bases giving the much more detailed drug lectures, they do highlight sport supplements https://www.informed-sport.com/armed-forces-education Funny enough, at my… Read more »


Perhaps he thought you were referring to an East Enders character!


I’m afraid you have the better of me here, as I have never watched the program


You lucky so and so! It is a ‘shed load’ of misery, from beginning to end. And the sets (stupendously expensive), are a major drain on the license fee.


Awful tripe – mind you the soaps are all like that now.


Crack is whack. lol


Don’t forget steroids! We had quite a few lads kicked out over taking various forms of steroids! Some quite dubious and unclear in their “civvy” legality. Any mind altering substance taken into the body, while in uniform should be banned, yes……but alcohol is ignored! Good job really, but if we are honest alcohol is the biggest issue in the military! In the quantities that is encouraged and accepted, it can be quite shocking when you step back and take stock.


Alcohol is not banned but you do get breathalysed before going on watch and it is a legal requirement to not have drunk at least 8 ( maybe 12?) hrs before handling a weapon.

At sea very few people drink anymore unless it is a stand down. Most people have secondary responsibilities for Damage Control and Fire Fighting or SAR. From experience the WO and CPO mess turning up to a serious main machinery space flood that happened during a cheese and wine evening in the mid Atlantic, is literally a sobering experience.


Its an indictment on society that Armed Forces new joiners do not get tested by CDT for something like the first 6 months. If they did then they wouldn’t have any new joiners left!

The CDT programme and the Drug awareness lectures do work. In 34 years I can count on 2 hands the number of people discharged for drugs that I have worked with and all of them where Divisional “problem children” to begin with


whatever maximum punishment is available then it should be taken, a zero tolerance policy, has been successful in the u.k prisons where inmates are punished by a local magistrate being brought to the jail for an ad ad hoc court where addition time of up to 2 years can be added to the offenders sentence.


So hard to find good help these days…..