Out of all illicit drugs, it is ice (also known as crystal meth), that has the biggest impact on workers, their families, and society.
It is a cause for such great concern that the Queensland state government is investing $5.4 million towards helping families break the cycle of ice addiction.
This highlights the problem of ice in what may seem a part of the population. What it does not show is the severity of ice in the workplace.
The Queensland state government’s program is called “Breakthrough for Families”. Its goal is to help parents become better parents to their children. It includes individual support sessions and public workshops and forums.
The Impact Of Ice Use On Families
Ice drug abuse changes a person. Ice users are prone to violence, loss of emotional control, and developing psychosis, creating a volatile and unstable environment around them.
Behind every ice user is a family suffering the impact of the drug. Did you know that almost one in three children who go into state care have a parent with a methamphetamine problem?
Ice abuse causes rapid damage within the user’s family, with the effects leaving a mark on children under the age of five. The difference is felt in less than a year after a parent’s ice use.
The Country’s Ice Users Are Reporting To Work
According to South Australia’s peak business lobby, thousands of Australians are working under the influence of methamphetamines.
The number of workers testing positive for ice use rose from 1.5 percent in 2016 to 1.9 percent in 2017.
In South Australia, 2.2 percent of workers employed in safety-sensitive industries, such as mining, construction, and machinery were either under the influence of ice or coming down on ice.
The figures don’t include people working in industries that are not safety-sensitive such as entertainment and finance.
But ice users in non-safety-sensitive industries are also putting others at risk when they drive to and from work. They also pose a risk to their families when they return home.
Ice Use Is More Common Among The Employed
Another surprising fact is that ice use is more prevalent among people in the workforce than the unemployed.
In 2015, Dr. Ken Pidd, the drug and alcohol expert of Flinders University, analysed data from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey. He found that while ice use was found across all occupations, it was more prevalent among blue-collar workers.
In the words of Mr. Pidd: “Tradespersons, blue-collar workers, people who work in industries such as construction, mining, manufacturing, and hospitality are the main industry and occupational groups with higher prevalence levels.”
Ice is the Most Consumed Illicit Drug in Australia
Through wastewater testing by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the authorities found that ice is the most used illicit drug in the country. They found the usage to be an estimated 8,387 kilograms of ice per year.
That’s much more compared to 3,075 kg of cocaine, 1,280 kg of MDMA and 765 kg of heroin, respectively. Adelaide and regional Western Australia have the highest levels of meth consumption.
Ice use had a social cost of more than $5 billion from 2013-14, and accounted for workplace accidents and absenteeism, running up costs to $289 million nationally.
Tests taken by SA Water and analysed by the University of South Australia for the ACIC report found that methamphetamine consumption levels had increased from 2012 to 2018.
According to the federal law enforcement minister, Angus Taylor, methamphetamine remains the drug of choice of Australians, more than all other illicit drugs combined.
Why Testing for Ice Drug Abuse Is Critical For Your Company Now
With the staggering reality of ice abuse among Australians in the workforce and the costs that come with it is why testing for ice drug abuse is critical for your company now.
The workplace is an ideal setting for intervention. It is due to the fact that a sheer amount of drug users in the workforce.
The impact of ice drug abuse is swift, therefore, as a company, you cannot afford to wait around. If someone is developing an ice addiction, you need to know very quickly.
Testing for ice drug abuse may not just save your business, but a family, too.