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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Drugs and alcohol trends

Drugs and alcohol trends
Article Type:
Publication Date:
New Zealand

Methamphetamine use among workers in high-risk industries appears to be declining, judging by statistics released by a commercial drug and alcohol testing company.

The New Zealand Drug Detection Agency says it conducted 68,561 on-site tests for drugs (not alcohol) in 2012, of which 6.4% tested non-negative. Of these approximately 4388 non-negative tests, methamphetamine was found in 6%, down from 9.1% of non-negative tests in 2011 and 16.2% in 2010.

Also in apparent decline is benzodiazepine usage, with only 1% of non-negative tests from this source in 2012, down from 1.2% in 2011 and 2% in 2010.

Cannabis continues to hold steady as the drug of choice, registering 71% of non-negative tests in 2012 compared with 68.5% in 2011 and 70.3% in 2010.

The other major drug class detected is opiates (including codeine), making up 18% of non-negative tests in 2012 compared with 15.9% in 2011 and 16.2% in 2010.

The company also conducted 39,369 workplace breath tests for alcohol, resulting in a tiny 0.4% testing positive - the same strike rate as for 2011.

In related news, the Dominion Post reports that Wellington City Council has terminated the employment of 10 people since it introduced random drug testing in 2008. Each person was working in a safety-sensitive role involving machinery, or was in a role in which they interacted with the public. Nine of the 10 workers failed an initial drug test after being randomly selected, while the other worker was tested for reasonable cause.

In each case a disciplinary process was followed, including a drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme. "As a result of a further failed test, their employment was terminated," council spokesperson Richard MacLean told the newspaper.

People Mentioned:
Richard MacLean
Organisations Mentioned:
NZDDA; Wellington City Council
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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