Fidesz backs drug tests for teens, and maybe some adults

Analysis

Hungary’s governing party Fidesz is backing a proposal to introduce mandatory annual drug tests for children between the ages of 12-18, and perhaps also journalists and politicians, Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported.

Antal Rogán, parliamentary fraction leader of Fidesz, said that the original proposal, from the mayor of Budapest's District 8, would be modified to say that only the child’s parents would be informed about the results of the test. Concerning politicians and journalists, Rogán said that it is “an issue of legal rights” and said that Gergely Gulyás would lead the relevant consultations with the Ministry of Justice to determine whether people in those professions should also be required to take drug tests.

Toxicologist Dr. Gábor Zacher told news service Hír24 that “fast examination methods” can show the agents of 4-6% of drugs in the Hungarian black market, however there is a special device that could deliver more reliable results, he said. He added that the device costs approximately HUF 100 million and Hungary currently owns three. One examination using the device costs HUF 60,000-80,000 according to the toxicologist. Zacher adds that the examination would cost the government an annual HUF 50 bln, and suggested that money could be used more wisely.

In European countries, people can be required to take drug tests only in well-founded situations. In some countries, an employer can send the job seeker for a drug test before employing him/her, but cannot be informed about the details of the results, only whether the test came back as positive or negative.

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