Effective drug and alcohol testing relies on an understanding of scientific disciplines and principles including human physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, analytical chemistry (and its associated instrumentation), immunology and others. In addition to satisfying Australian and international standards, testing regimes must also take into account efforts by those taking drugs to try...
Methamphetamine (meth, ICE) is a drug of the amphetamine-type stimulants class that acts primarily by stimulating the excitatory pathways of the central and peripheral nervous system. Users can show overconfidence, poor judgement, anxiety, irritability, aggression and other undesirable outcomes.
Australia is currently facing a significant opioid epidemic, with a staggering amount of GPs (4,800) under significant pressure to prescribing opioids for pain management without adequate support from other medical specialists.
The standard procedure for workplace drug testing is to screen workers on-site using a urine or oral fluid drug testing device that detects broad classes of chemicals; usually opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamine-type stimulants, cocaine and cannabinoids. If a screening test indicates a negative result then workers are allowed to return to work.
Disbelief that the flu vaccine works and “not getting around to it” are the top reasons why half of Australian adults won’t get a flu shot this yearA survey of 2,003 adults by finder.com.au has found that exactly 50% are not planning on having a flu vaccine this year –...
From this month, Australians will need a prescription to buy any medicine containing codeine. This won’t be news to many readers: commentary about the “up-scheduling” of these analgesics from Schedule 2 (pharmacy only) to Schedule 4 (prescription-only) has reached fever pitch over the past few weeks.
Drinking more than six glasses of wine or cans of beer a week reduces your life expectancy, according to the one of the largest-ever studies on global alcohol consumption.
Clients may have seen some changes in the reporting format of urine drug test certificates issued by Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL). The general structure of the report remains unchanged, with;
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has today released the fourth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing that of the illicit drugs tested, consumption of methylamphetamine and cocaine has increased across Australia.Nicotine and alcohol remain the highest consumed substances, with methylamphetamine remaining the highest consumed illicit drug in...
Faced with outbreaks of influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases, parents, educators, healthcare providers, and policymakers around the world often want to know how to persuade people to get their vaccinations. But a comprehensive review of the scientific findings from research on vaccination behavior shows that the most effective interventions focus...
The changes around codeine availability on prescription only commenced on 1 February 2018 – pharmacies also started to record over the counter sales of codeine in December 2017, to limit stockpiling of codeine products by consumers in advance of the changes. What do the changes mean for drug testing?
Breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) measured sing an electronic breath testing device (i.e. a breathalyser) is the accepted practice to measure alcohol use. The current Australian Standard ('AS 3547:1997 breath alcohol testing devices for personal use') is currently under review, and after a period of public comment the revised standard will...
CODEINE is doing more harm than good, and research is showing it to be an “increasingly underwhelming” drug, a Hunter pain specialist says.
There is growing concern about crystal methamphetamine (ice) use in Australia and internationally, in part because of the psychological effects of the drug. Although most people who use ice do not experience psychological problems, about one in three people who use it regularly report experiencing psychosis in their lifetime.
Seniors who get a flu shot every year are less likely to be hospitalized with severe influenza infections or to die from them than those who get vaccinated only sporadically, a Spanish study suggests.
A snuffly, shambling flu sufferer doesn't need to touch or cough on you to transmit the virus — they could give it to you just by breathing.
A HELPLINE for WA bosses grappling with drug abuse in the workplace is receiving 20 calls a month, with many revolving around their workers’ use of methamphetamine.
A recent article has highlighted concerns about the roadside drug testing program conducted in NSW. It suggests that the detection process is flawed as it may capture individuals who had previously used recreational drugs (such as cannabis) but who were not impaired by drugs at the time of testing. There are...
A string of deaths in Melbourne are believed connected to the extremely dangerous "drop dead" drug fuelling the worst opioid crisis in United States history.
Flakka (α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone) is a recently described street drug that first emerged in Florida. It is a type of synthetic drug, similar to the so-called "designer drugs", designed to evade drug detection systems and to defeat legislation regarding illicit drug use.
A recent phenomenon observed in the US and reported widely by police on social media is the incidence of parents found in their car in public spaces, completely unconscious due to opioid (including heroin) abuse. In cases that have been reported, children have been found in the vehicle raising ire...
Methamphetamine (usually colloquially referred to as “ice”) is a major public health problem in Australia. When we think of methamphetamine-related death, however, we tend to focus on overdose. This is a very real and valid concern. But the extent of the problem extends far beyond drug toxicity.
We acknowledge that the on-site drug testing process, using immunologically-based methods, may have some potential for ‘false positive’. These results are attributable to cross-reactions with medications, foods or other substances that may be present. However, we are extremely confident that the laboratory confirmation procedures, using chromatographic anlysis with mass spectrometric...
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is calling for greater public education about the dangers of prescription drug use.
Impairments in processing and using information that help with decision-making and planning simple tasks such as grocery shopping are linked with one's frequency of alcohol or drug use according to a new study. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Medical Center found that cognitive...
Workplace drug testing is most commonly based on oral fluid or urine samples in which the presence of drug (or metabolites) above permitted levels can be determined by on-site devices (usually immunoassay). Laboratory confirmation tests may then accurately measure concentrations of specific drug identities.
Illicit drug use and abuse have negatively impacted various aspects of society. With the growing number of cases of drug abuse in the workplace, the situation has risen to an alarming level. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), more than 68.9 per cent of all drug...
With the number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases already well ahead of the number confirmed by the same time last year, Queensland Health said it was a good reminder for people to get their flu shots.
As part of Medvet's continuing commitment to excellence, we have recently undergone an audit of our management systems. Certified organisations must be fully re-accredited every three years. This involves the independent examination of our systems, processes, and policies; measuring them against rigorous international quality standards.
There have been lobby groups in existence for a long time who seek the legalisation of the use of hemp and hemp products, and the decriminalisation of recreational cannabis use. While hemp has many potential uses, ranging from textiles and fibres, to construction materials and animal feeds, its availability has...
The number of overdoses from prescription pain killers is on the rise, health experts warn, with users saying opiates are easier to obtain than drugs like ice.
You suspect one of your staff members is regularly turning up to work affected by their drug intake. Or there’s been an incident at work, and an investigation has uncovered that the staff member involved was impaired by alcohol at the time. What do you do?
Codeine is an opiate analgesic, used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain that does not respond to aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. It is available in a wide range of over-the-counter preparations for pain and fever in combination with paracetamol (e.g. Panamax Co) or ibuprofen (Nurofen Plus).
Almost 7,000 influenza cases have been diagnosed so far this year, a rise of about 1,000 since the same period in 2016.
One in 37 Victorian truck drivers tested positive to drug-driving, almost double the national figure, in a police blitz this week.
His role includes providing toxicology advice and support for clients regarding drug and alcohol testing procedures and interpreting drug test results. He is a graduate of Adelaide University with a PhD in toxicology and the measurement of occupational chemical exposures using samples of blood and urine.
Water testing of Adelaide's wastewater has revealed a 25% spike in methamphetamine use over the past year, and a tripling of consumption over the past five years.
Alcohol is the “defining social glue” for many young employees, with non-drinkers often excluded in many circles, according to new research by the think tank Demos in Britain.
Arizona is one of five US states with marijuana legalisation on the ballot this northern fall, and the state's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, is not happy about it.
Firing an employee who turns up for work while drunk or on drugs might seem like the right thing to do at the time, however hasty decisions could expose employers to substantial legal risk.
Drugs and alcohol in the workplace can have a devastating impact on business operations and expose employers to costly legal claims, therefore it is essential that companies implement a strong drug and alcohol policy to help reduce safety risks and discharge health and safety obligations.
Hangovers cost businesses $3 billion a year in absenteeism and make up for 11.5 million sick days, according to new research from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University.
CONSTRUCTION bosses are calling on the Queensland Government to introduce tough compulsory drug-testing on building sites as employees fear attacks from co-workers hooked on ice.
More truck drivers are being caught driving under the influence of drugs, including ice, prompting a warning from police that a rogue element is threatening public safety on the state's roads.
Influenza is a global health problem that affects 3-5m people a year and causes fatalities among the very old, the very young, and those with existing medical conditions. The virus spreads through contact. When we look at people’s social networks, an inter-connected web emerges that can help disease spread.
Tasmanian dairy farmers battling drug use among staff as far north west region sees a rise in illegal drug use
There are concerns an increase in illegal drug use in Tasmania's far north west could be spreading to the dairy industry.
The business benefits of safety often focus on cost avoidance. Companies know that every workplace safety incident incurs both direct costs, like the cost of medical treatment, and indirect costs, like loss of work time and affect on morale.
The next time you’re watching Parliament and wondering if the MPs are drunk, you have a 20% chance of being right according to a poll conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF).