This is a real-life confession from an Ice user who revealed how it is possible that illicit drugs can be present in the workplace without employers knowing.
It is a scary reminder to management that what seems to be alright…with trusted workers being punctual and putting in a good day’s effort…might be disguising something much more sinister. This is why no-one can claim to have a drug-safe workplace unless they have examined it and implemented a professional drug-safe regime.
The article appeared in a major Newcastle-Hunter media publication. The person worked on a coal loader at Newcastle Harbour as well being a fly-in fly-out worker on a power station.
He had been self medicating his depression with recreational drugs and one day was introduced to Ice. From the very first hit he thought “Where has that been all of my life?” He was hooked. For the next 10 years he was a regular user.
He admitted to taking Ice while he was working. He remembered arriving at work so high that he tried to swipe in the main gate with his credit card.
While he was under the influence of the drug he worked on projects such as building scaffolding which had the potential – if he had made any mistakes – to lead to serious workplace injuries. To an outsider he would have had a good work ethic. He said he powered through his work because he couldn’t sit still. He would go up to a week without any sleep.
“We were all dodging the drug tests and having the time of our lives. For three years I never lined up and I never got tested.”
At another work site he had to undergo medicals and he developed a system that allowed him to continue to smoke Ice and not get caught. He said he would stop taking the Ice a number of days before the check up and sleep right up until the day of the medical. He used a test kit purchased from a chemist to check that he was clean. As soon as the examination was over he’d go straight back to smoking Ice.
Not only was he high on the job…he sold Ice to his co-workers at the work site. He said some of them had saved up tens of thousands of dollars for home loans and instead spent it on drugs. Tragically, one friend died from using it. The building and construction industry, he said, was a place with widespread consumption of Ice.
A friend if his warned him that the drug would take over his life. That it would take his house, his car, his marriage and his job. And…it did just that.
There is a happier ending to this story. The person at the centre of this story has been clean for seven months,
“I hit rock bottom. There was nowhere left to go.”