Synthetic drug usage rampant on gas, coal worksites

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 last year.

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.

A QGC spokesman said the company regularly tested its workers for all types of drugs, including synthetic types.

"To work on shift, QGC's employees and contractors are required to pass regular scheduled and random tests," the spokesman said.



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