Every year in September, Victorians are glued to their TV sets to watch the AFL Finals series. While most of the focus is on what’s happening on the field, occasionally an off-field incident occurs to take some of the focus away and this year one of those incidents was an alleged failed drug test by a player on the eve of the finals.
While the drug test is being investigated as a positive for a performance enhancing drug because it occurred on a match day, it’s being reported that the substance detected was cocaine. Should we be surprised that an AFL player would test positive for an illicit drug on a match day? Perhaps, but when you consider the issue that illicit drugs are in our community – in Victoria and Australia – we probably shouldn’t be surprised.
Illicit drugs in our Victoria
There is plenty of research that shows that drugs in Victoria are an issue, on roadsides, in our workplaces and in our communities:
- Roadside drug testing in Melbourne and Victoria catches around one in 10 people tested. While this seems like a high proportion, and it is, it’s worth highlighting that Victoria Police only test someone if they believe they could be under the influence of a drug.
- More important than failed drug tests is the number of people who are dying on Victoria’s roads with drugs in their system. According to the Transport Accident Commission, in the last five years approximately 41% of all drivers and motorcyclists killed who were tested, had drugs in their system. Cannabis and stimulants were the most common substances detected.
- Incredibly, one in four Victorians who use drugs admit to driving under the influence of recreational drugs.
- Cannabis is Australia’s most used illicit drug, with 10.4% of Australians aged 14 years and over having used cannabis in 2016 and 34.8% of Australians having tried the drug at least once in their life. Other commonly used drugs include cocaine (2.5% of Australians have used in the last 12 months), ecstasy (2.2%) amphetamines (1.4%) and ICE (1.4%).
- 2% of Australians have confessed to coming to work under the influence of drugs.
Conducting drug testings in your Victoria workplace
If an AFL footballer allegedly takes cocaine and drug users admit to driving under the influence of drugs, you can bet that in any reasonably large workplace, there will be one or more people who will occasionally go to work under the influence of drugs.
What can you do about it in your Victorian workplace?
First thing to do it to ensure you have a robust and detailed drugs and alcohol policy and management plan in place. Then, educate your employees about the dangers of drugs and conduct a program of regular random drug tests to ensure compliance with your policy.
Integrity Sampling in Victoria can help you with all this and more. Phone us on 1300 SALIVA for a no-obligation discussion on your specific requirements.
An alleged positive drug test has derailed the career of a Victorian AFL footballer, but what has this got to do with your Victorian workplace? Credit Takver. Modifications made. https://www.flickr.com/photos/takver/37041981104/