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Forget tea leaves, the government is using wastewater to conduct drug testing in Tasmania!

Forget tea leaves, wastewater is better for drug testing in Tasmania!

As we regularly remind readers of our blogs, if your Tasmanian workplace is safety-focussed then conducting drug testing is a must, and a key piece of evidence is the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, being conducted by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

The program sees drug testing conducted on wastewater at a large number of sites around Australia, covering over 50% of the population. For the most recent report, released recently, five wastewater sites were drug tested in Tasmania. Three were capital city sites and two regional.

The seventh report revealed that Tasmania has the highest average capital city consumption of MDMA, oxycodone, fentanyl and cannabis nationally. Not very impressive, we’re sure you’ll agree. The data also shows Tasmania has the second highest average capital city and regional consumption of nicotine, the second highest average capital city consumption of alcohol and the second highest average regional consumption of cannabis in the country.

What does this all mean for business owners in Tasmania? Well, clearly there are plenty of people who enjoy taking drugs, both illegal and legal. And while that’s little concern for you in people’s private time, if they turn up to your safety-focussed workplace still under the influence of an illegal drug it certainly is your concern.

Workplace drug testing in Tasmania, as part of a broader drug and alcohol management plan, is therefore a must. It will help keep the focus on safety, remind people of the need to turn up to work in a good condition and help detect those that are willing to take a risk.

If you’d like information about drug testing in Tasmania, contact Integrity Sampling or view our Tasmania website page.

Drug testing of wastewater in Tasmania provides valuable insight

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Phelan APM said the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program gives valuable insight into the trends and emerging issues of drug consumption across Australia and can identify new sources of threat.

“The Australian community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels and the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is providing an important, unified and consistent guiding tool for developing holistic drug responses,” Mr Phelan said.

“We are only now starting to realise the full benefits of the ongoing program.”

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program found that, compared to August 2018, of the substances tested in December 2018 in Tasmania:

  • average methylamphetamine consumption increased in both capital city and regional sites
  • average cocaine consumption remained relatively stable in capital city sites and decreased in regional sites
  • average MDMA consumption increased in capital city sites and decreased in regional sites
  • average MDA consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites
  • average oxycodone consumption increased in capital city sites and decreased in regional sites
  • average fentanyl consumption increased in capital city and decreased in regional sites
  • average heroin consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites
  • average cannabis consumption decreased in both capital city and regional sites

IMAGE CAPTION:

Forget tea leaves, the government is using wastewater to conduct drug testing in Tasmania! Credit Paul Downey https://bit.ly/2G6xp83

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Michael

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Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Thomastown and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs.You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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