There is plenty of attention on the drug ICE around Australia and for good reason. But it’s certainly not the only drug detected by workplace drug testing in Queensland and Australia, and it’s still far from the most popular illegal drug used.
That dubious honour goes to cannabis, a drug that has become so commonplace that it seems most of us have tried it. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe for people who’ve recently used cannabis to drive or go to work. Which is one of the reasons why drug testing for Queensland businesses, as part an overall drug and alcohol management plan, is a vital part of any workplace safety program.
Cannabis is popular
Just how popular and widespread is cannabis use?
According to a 2014 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study, 34.8% of Australians aged 14 and over have tried cannabis at least once. In addition, the study found that 10.2% of us had used cannabis in the previous year.
Meanwhile, the corresponding figures for methamphetamines and amphetamines, include ICE, was a significantly lower 2.1% and 7% respectively. While it can be argued that drugs such as ICE are more dangerous, in terms of popularity cannabis beats ICE hands down.
Cannabis side effects
One of the reasons that cannabis doesn’t get as much attention as ICE is that while ICE is a stimulant, and can lead people to become aggressive and violent, cannabis is a depressant. It slows down the messages travelling between people’s brains and their bodies, which can leave people feeling relaxed.
While most of us could use more relaxation, cannabis is not the way to do it. For a start, there is no safe level of drug use and any time you take a drug there is some risk involved. Also, the side effects don’t stop with relaxation. Other side affects of cannabis use can include:
• Blurred vision
• Slow reflexes
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Mild anxiety and paranoia
• Increased heart rate
Clearly, these side effects have no place in our workplaces, particularly workplace places such as factories, mines, warehouses and transportation, or roles that are safety critical.
Implement drug testing in your Queensland workplace
To safeguard your Queensland workplace from the impact of cannabis and other drugs, implementing drug testing Queensland makes sense.
Integrity Sampling has more than 30 locations throughout Australia and 6 in Queensland. In Queensland, we conduct drug testing and other drug and alcohol services in Brisbane and surrounds, as well as the regional Queensland locations of Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Winton.