Peace Corps Manual Defines Current Drug Policy

 

 

MS 204 Volunteer Conduct

Effective Date: December 1, 2017
Responsible Office: Safety and Security (OSS); Counseling and Outreach Unit (OHS/COU)Supersedes: 09/08/17; 02/09/17; 06/25/15; 10/31/14; 7/10/14; 8/19/11; 06/28/11; 03/18/11; 5/20/05; 11/26/03; 2/04/93; 5/04/83; MS 237, 4/30/73

(Note:  I have copied the following section on drug use.  The link is to the entire section on T/V conduct.)

“3.5 Drug Use
3.5.1 General Policy

Except as described in section 3.5.2 below regarding Voluntary Self-Referral, a V/T found to be involved with drugs in a manner not authorized by the Peace Corps for medical purposes, in any way in any country, will be administratively separated immediately pursuant to section 3.5.4. The Peace Corps enforces this strict policy not only because the cultivation, manufacture, and traffic in and use of drugs, including marijuana, is illegal in most countries; but also because drug involvement by V/Ts in any country could seriously jeopardize the entire Peace Corps program, as well as the safety and health of the V/Ts. Individuals separated in connection with involvement with drugs (whether via administrative separation, resignation in lieu of administrative separation, or medical separation) will not be considered for a transfer to another program or reinstatement regardless of the quality of their service.

3.5.2 Voluntary Self-Referral

A V/T may request help from Peace Corps staff on the basis that his/her involvement with drugs is associated with an illness (such as a substance use disorder as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that requires treatment. A V/T who makes such a request prior to the Peace Corps (including the Office of Inspector General) receiving information indicating that the V/T may be in violation of the section 3.5.1 General Policy will not be

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immediately administratively separated for drug use. Instead, a V/T who requests help under these circumstances will be referred to the PCMO and Office of Health Services for assessment. The PCMO/OHS must inform the Country Director about whether or not the assessment resulted in a recommendation for medical evacuation to the United States of America. A V/T who is medically evacuated will not return to service. If the V/T is not medically evacuated or medically separated, the V/T will be referred back to the Country Director for administrative separation in accordance with Manual Section 284. In addition, if a V/T for whom medical treatment is recommended subsequently does not comply with recommended treatment, the OHS will notify the Country Director, who will initiate administrative separation procedures. (See MS 294Confidentiality of Volunteer Information; MS 294 Confidentiality of Volunteer InformationGuidance section 4.1.3(e).)

3.5.3 Notice to Director

Because of the potentially serious social, political, and legal impact of such incidents, every case of V/T drug involvement shall be brought immediately to the personal attention of the Peace Corps Director and the appropriate Regional Director.

3.5.4 Administrative Separation for Involvement with Drugs

  1. (a)  Except as provided for in 3.5.2, if a V/T admits drug use to a Country Director or staff of the Office of Inspector General, in a manner not authorized by the Peace Corps for medical purposes, in any way in any country, the V/T will be administratively separated immediately as follows: the CD must inform the V/T orally or in writing that the V/T is being administratively separated and has the option to resign in lieu of administrative separation within 24 hours of being so informed. The decision to inform the V/T orally or in writing is in the CD’s discretion. If the CD chooses to inform the V/T orally, the CDshould follow up with a written notification to the V/T of such decision and the option for the V/T to resign in lieu of administrative separation, and that if the V/T does not resign within 24 hours, the CD shall administratively separate the V/T from service. See MS 284, Attachment I. When the V/T is administratively separated or resigns in lieu of administrative separation, the CD shall notify VRS of such action and provide a copy of the written notification in accordance with the instructions described in MS 284, Attachment H.
  2. (b)  In any other cases where a V/T is found to be involved with drugs in a manner not authorized by the Peace Corps for medical purposes, but does not admit drug use, in any way in any country, under 3.5.1, the V/T will be administratively separated in accordance with the procedures set forth in MS 284, 4.1.

3.5.5 Unconfirmed Allegations or Rumors

Although a V/T may not be formally charged with violating drug laws, some host countries’ attitudes toward involvement with drugs are so negative that mere rumors of such involvement, though unproven, may affect the credibility of the individual V/T or the Peace Corps program. In cases where an unsubstantiated allegation is made that a V/T is involved with drugs while

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serving in the host country, and the Country Director determines that the knowledge of the allegation is sufficiently widespread to jeopardize the credibility of the V/T or the program, the Country Director may discontinue the service of the V/T as interrupted service (MS 284.5). When documenting such cases, the Country Director shall avoid statements which indicate an opinion has been formed regarding the validity of the allegations.”

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  • 3.5.5 Unconfirmed Allegations or Rumors

    T/V means Trainee/Volunteer and is used throughout the Manual. Also, this policy supersedes earlier policies way back to 4/30/73.

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    3.5.5 Unconfirmed Allegations or Rumors

    Although a V/T may not be formally charged with violating drug laws, some host countries’ attitudes toward involvement with drugs are so negative that mere rumors of such involvement, though unproven, may affect the credibility of the individual V/T or the Peace Corps program. In cases where an unsubstantiated allegation is made that a V/T is involved with drugs while

    Peace Corps | MS 204 Volunteer Conduct Page 4
    serving in the host country, and the Country Director determines that the knowledge of the allegation is sufficiently widespread to jeopardize the credibility of the V/T or the program, the Country Director may discontinue the service of the V/T as interrupted service (MS 284.5). When documenting such cases, the Country Director shall avoid statements which indicate an opinion has been formed regarding the validity of the allegations.”

  • The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps reports investigation reports are not made public.

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