# 2013-044 - Drug, Release - Compulsory, Release - Medical
F&R Date: 2014–04–14
The grievor was released under item 5(f) to the Table to article 15.01 of the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O) for illicit drug use. The grievor sought to have his release item amended to an item 3(b), medical release, arguing that his substance abuse was actually a substance use dependence issue and was service related as a consequence of his diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
An Administrative Review was initiated by the Director Military Careers Administration (DMCA) and the Director of Medical Policy (D Med Pol) was consulted. In their response, the D Med Pol stated that the timing of the escalation of drug use by the grievor suggested an interrelationship between his PTSD and substance use issues. Notwithstanding, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) took the position that the grievor had violated the QR&O, Chapter 20, the Canadian Forces Drug Control Program (CFDCP), disregarding the known interrelationship of his substance use issues and PTSD. In doing so, the CAF concluded that the grievor's actions were wholly and chiefly within his control and that, therefore, there was no link between his PTSD and his substance use.
The Initial Authority (IA) denied the grievance, stating that the release under item 5(f) best reflected the reason for the grievor's release. The IA acknowledged the grievor's PTSD diagnosis but noted that a cause-and-effect relationship between his medical condition and his illicit drug use was not found.
The Committee learned that, despite testing positive for illicit drug use, the grievor was not referred for medical treatment, but rather was permitted to deploy. And that, within months of his return from deployment, he was diagnosed with PTSD and Substance Use Disorder.
The Committee applied the CFDCP policy to the grievor's circumstances and found that the DMCA had failed to follow the regulation and policy processes in their handling of the first detected drug use by the grievor, and that that failure led to a series of unfortunate events.
The Committee ultimately found that the grievor's release under item 5(f) was not reasonable. The grievor had two medically diagnosed conditions and had been assigned three permanent Medical Employment Limitations, all of which breached the Universality of Service principle.
Accordingly, the Committee found that a medical release under item 3(b) would be most appropriate, and recommended to the Chief of the Defence Staff that the grievance be upheld and that the grievor's item of release be amended from 5(f) to 3(b).
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Date: 2014–07–29
The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be upheld, and that the grievor's release item be amended from 5 (f) to 3 (b).
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