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Dhaka Tribune

Fresh dope test rules on the cards

The Department of Narcotics Control has already made a draft of "Dope test rules 2021" and the draft is in the Law Ministry for vetting

Update : 22 Apr 2021, 02:49 PM

The government is mulling the imposition of mandatory dope tests before recruitment in all types of government, semi-government, autonomous and private jobs as well as before the admission in universities.

The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) has already made a draft of "Dope test rules 2021" regarding the matter and the draft is in the Law Ministry for vetting. 

After the final approval from the Secretary Committee on Administrative Development, the rules will be published in the form of gazette, several top level sources of the department said. 

In fact, they said, the decision was made at the fifth meeting of the cabinet committee on law and order, chaired by Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq, at the secretariat in February.

While talking to Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday, the minister said: "We have decided to make dope tests mandatory during recruitments in the public service. Students will also face similar tests during admission in universities.

"A dope test result will be required soon like the medical report. Now the Home Ministry is taking proper actions to implement it," he added.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said they already directed the narcotics department to make proper rules and guidelines regarding the dope test.

DNC Chief Consultant Dr Syed Emamul Hossain said they submitted the draft rules in light of the Narcotics Control Act 2018 (Amended 2020). 

Sources at the narcotics department said in the existing law there is no detailed provision regarding the dope test, and that is why a fresh rule is on the cards.

The draft rules will explain in detail the negative and positive definitions of dope test reports, sample collection methods, sample types, laboratory, and manpower issues.

The proposed draft rule said the "positive" report means the presence of the drug in the human body by testing biological samples.

It also proposed that a person designated under the Narcotics Control Act will be able to conduct a dope test at the DNC's own laboratory.

Who will be tested?

According to the draft rules, dope tests will be done for recruitment in government, semi-government, autonomous, local government, and non-governmental organizations.

In addition, even if it is suspected that someone has used drugs while at work, the individual can be subjected to the test.

● Dope tests will be mandatory before job recruitment, university admission and issuance of driving and firearms licences

● Heroin, yaba, cannabis, alcohol addiction will be tested

● Individuals who will test positive will face punishment and be labelled as drug addicts

Dope tests can be done in case of issuance and renewal of driving licences.

Students have to undergo the dope tests during the university admission and later on if it is required. 

The tests will also be required even for workers who intend to go abroad, and for issuing and renewing firearms licences as well.

Apart from these, the authorities concerned can decide to widen the sphere of dope testing if it is necessary according to the draft rules.

Evaluation of dope test results

The draft further stated that if the result is positive, the individual concerned can be declared as a drug addict.

Besides, if the report of an officer/employee working in government, semi-government and autonomous organizations comes positive, disciplinary action will be taken.

In that case, the officer/employee accused of drug use will be punished as per the government employee code of conduct.

Sample collection

According to the draft rules, if there is a need for a dope test, the authorities concerned have to apply through the prescribed form.

Samples will be collected from suspected person's urine, blood, sweat, nails, and saliva from mouth, and other parts of the human body.

Residues of the samples should be stored for at least six months after use in the test.

Which drugs will be tested?

Dope tests will determine addiction to a variety of drugs such as opioids (heroin, morphine, codeine), methamphetamine (yaba), cannabinoids (marijuana, cannabis, marijuana, hashish) and benzodiazepines (diazepam, clonazepam, midazolam).

Besides, the test will also determine addiction to alcohol (ethyl alcohol).  

In the dope test application, the sample giver has to provide 19 types of information including name and father's name.

The draft proposed setting up a nine-member advisory committee led by the home minister.

The committee will also include home secretary, inspector general of police, and directors general of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and health department.

There will be a separate technical committee, headed by the DNC director general, to decide on dope test procedures, laboratory standards, and test method criteria.

The draft rules said one or more specialized dope testing laboratories can be set up under the Department of Narcotics Control. 

The department will recruit the necessary manpower, including examiners, for the purpose.

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