Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Stoned and on the Job; Synthetics Rife in Resources

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Stoned and on the Job; Synthetics Rife in Resources

Article excerpt

OWEN JAQUES

APN Newsdesk

MINING, oil and gas workers are being caught with synthetic drugs in their system, with a detection firm finding they were almost three times more likely than in any other sector.

The creeping popularity of synthetic cannabis in particular has prompted Crime Stoppers Queensland to launch its New Synthetic Drugs: Real Damage campaign.

The Drug Detection Agency recorded at least 420 "non-negative" results as it tested 12,760 workers throughout 2013.

The resources industry's compulsory and random drug testing may have scared off plenty from considering using drugs.

However, prior to synthetic cannabis being made illegal and tests developed, it may have proved a temptation to those in the sector who felt they could avoid detection.

Crime Stoppers Queensland chief Trevor O'Hara said transport, mining and construction industries were helping to make workplace drug testing more common.

"Just as Queenslanders would expect someone like a truck driver, miner or construction worker to have a zero blood alcohol level whilst at work, they also quite rightly expect those people not to be under the influence of drugs," he said. …

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