Resource sector's use of synthetic drugs three times higher

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.

Because there is so little information of what is included in synthetic drugs, they can remain in the system for days after use.

TDDA training and compliance manager Alan Morris said people could take something on a Friday then test positive on the following Monday.

"Many of these users are still suffering some of the effects of the drug long after being taken, it's a real concern," Mr Morris said.

Crime Stoppers is urging those who know about the sale or consumption of synthetic drugs to report anonymously by phoning 1800 333 000 or visiting www.stopthedamage.com.au



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