Australian troops stationed in Afghanistan are getting addicted to cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs which are "as cheap as chips" in that country.
According to News.com.au, hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen have tested positive to a string of illegal drugs since troops were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Soldiers (are) going over there, from NSW, healthy and normal, and coming back with all kinds of addictions. I do know the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is very concerned about the problem," Young Diggers Australia president John Jarrett said.
"We're seeing cocaine and marijuana as the major ones, but there's heroin around and all sorts of other drugs. Cocaine is the biggest problem though, because it's as cheap as chips," he added.
The ADF personnel are also using marijuana and cocaine illicitly to medicate themselves for psychological problems developed overseas.
Jarrett said it was likely the soldiers were sourcing the drugs from foreign troops, particularly American forces, who serve alongside them in joint-operations fighting the Taliban.
According o new Freedom of Information figures, between 2004 and 2009, 351 soldiers, airmen and sailors have been given their marching orders for testing positive to drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, steroids, opiates or marijuana.
In that time, 653 positive readings were identified out of a total 42,784 tests carried out.
This year, 73 positive drug tests were recorded from January to August.
Of all the barracks, NSW fared worst, with Sydney's HMAS Kuttabul recording 90 positive drug readings the highest recorded at any barracks or training facility in Australia.
Cannabis was the most common drug found during urine tests, followed by ecstasy.