FILE - Methoxetamine powder - Wikimedia Commons/GreenZeb FILE - Methoxetamine powder - Wikimedia Commons/GreenZeb

Public workers abusing drugs can ask for treatment without penalty: cabinet

Thu, Mar. 14, 2019
CAIRO - 14 March 2019: Nader Saad, Cabinet's spokesman,said drug abusers working in the administrative departments of the state have the chance to go for treatment in the state's specialized centers, adding that they will be treated confidentially and at the state's expense.

In an interview with Wael al-Ebrashi and Kholoud Zahran, Saad affirmed that these abusers still have the chance to ask for treatment without facing any penalties before a criminalizing law is enacted, adding that Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli proposed that drug abusers and addicts receive equal punishment in the planned law.

He said that state employees and railway workers will face termination in case they tested positive for drugs, adding that those who reject to take drug tests will face penalties that may reach termination.

Also, the Egyptian Ministry of Al-Awqaf (religious endowments) said it will not accept to employ anyone or to renew contracts of employees until they submit an official drug test that proves they do not abuse drugs.

The Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund is intensifying campaigns aimed at extracting blood samples from public employees to determine whether they abuse drugs or not. Below is more information on the initiative.

Public institutions and agencies have to provide the fund with their employees' numbers, and locations.

An official at each entity will be in charge of communication with the fund.

In the past two months, samples were taken from 8,282 public employees at eight ministries.

Tests revealed that 250 public employees abuse drugs.

Employees who are found to be drug abusers will be referred to the Administrative Prosecution Authority.

Hassan Shallal, deputy head of Egypt's State Council and chairman of the legislation department, decided to form a committee to review an amendment of personal affairs' regulations of the Egyptian Railways Authority.

According to the amendment, an employee faces termination in case it is proven that he abuses drugs, Abdel Razek Mahran, head of the technical office of the legislation department said.

The amendments were submitted to the State Council for review in accordance with the legal principles and will be sent to the government for approval.

Amr Osman, assistant minister of social solidarity and head of the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction, said earlier that the fund has tested 5,000 employees working in railways for drugs, and explained that some of them have tested positive. Refusing to give an exact number, Osman said that the railway authority will later announce the figures.

The driver of the train locomotive that killed 20 people in February in Cairo's Ramses Railway Station after crashing into the platform was a drug addict, according to deputy head of the Parliament's Transportation Committee Mohamed Zain.
 
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