Ice Drug Testing at the Workplace
According to the United Nations’ World Drug Report 2021, the percentage of people using Ice on a daily and weekly basis in Australia has more than doubled from 12.4 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2019.
Ice is a potent variant of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine. It is frequently abused in workplaces in Australia and other countries because of its stress-reducing effect. Ice increases dopamine levels when consumed, leading to increased pleasure and alertness.
The use of Ice at the workplace can negatively impact your staff’s health, productivity, and overall business. Therefore, an ice drug test is a must-have procedure within your workplace drug policy. This can help detect impaired employees and save your company from accidents, financial losses, legal issues, and reputational damage.
What Is Ice?
Ice, also known as crystal, glass, or shabu, is a powerful form of methamphetamine, which is already a highly addictive drug.
Ice typically exerts a stronger influence and produces side effects that are more potent and last longer. It accelerates the central nervous system activity and increases Dopamine levels in users. Dopamine is the substance in the brain that makes us feel good and alert.
Users warm the Ice in a glass pipe before inhaling the rising vapours. Then the vapours travel to the lungs, bloodstream, and brain. The user immediately feels high and experiences increased alertness and sudden waves of pleasure. Due to its low cost compared to other forms of meth and because it is odourless and can be easily concealed, Ice is a commonly used drug in workplaces.
Effects of Ice on the Body
When people use Ice, they may experience short-term or long-term side effects.
Short-Term Side Effects of Ice
Depending on how the drug is taken, the short-term effects may appear within 30 minutes and last up to 12 hours. These side effects are:
- Erratic and aggressive behaviour
- Mood swings
- Blur vision
- Loss of appetite
- Inconsistent heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Tremors and convulsions
Long-Term Side Effects of Ice
Consuming Ice frequently and in large doses can lead to more severe and troubling conditions. The long-term effects of Ice consumption can last for weeks, months, and even years and may include:
- Poor emotion management
- Sleeping difficulties
- Extreme weight loss
- Rotten teeth
- Poor impulse control
- Kidney issues
- Long-term brain damage
The Impact of Ice on the Workplace
A common use of Ice at workplaces is to increase alertness and productivity. This is why it is the favourite of people who work in heavy industries. Ice users can work longer without resting or eating.
However, the negative impact of Ice eventually manifests when the employee collapses and needs to rest. This implies that their body will rest for the same number of hours or days that they were awake. Frequent lateness or absenteeism and poor performance are other traits of an ice user.
But, even more, alarming is the possibility that using ice while at work could seriously jeopardise everyone’s safety on the job.
Ice use impairs a person’s ability to judge distance and speed, make wise decisions, and perform with normal coordination. In addition, operating large machinery, driving company vehicles, or carrying out tasks in risky environments become dangerous activities for everyone under those circumstances.
You will incur Workman’s Compensation costs if the ice user causes an injury to another employee. In addition, the hurt worker may file a lawsuit against you and your business for negligence, which can severely damage your reputation and make you lose customers.
Symptoms of Ice Abuse at Work
There are many obvious symptoms and signs of ice abuse. However, not all of the symptoms or warning signs listed below prove that a person is using Ice at work. Always remember that they could be symptoms of other medical issues or a personal problem. If a staff exhibits two or more of the warning signs and symptoms listed below, you could conduct a drug test to see if you are dealing with a meth problem.
Ice Drug Testing Methods
A random ice testing program should be implemented as part of workplace drug and alcohol policies, given the ice epidemic that Australia is currently experiencing. Employees who participate in workplace incidents must also submit to ice drug testing as a matter of procedure. Reasonable suspicion by the employer may also lead to a request for an employee to submit to an ice test.
Companies frequently use the ice drug testing methods listed below to determine whether an employee uses Ice while at work:
Urine test: A urine test is highly sensitive and can identify Ice in the user for several days after use.
Saliva test: The saliva test is quick, precise, simple to use, and finds actual meth traces in oral fluids. It is also less invasive and remains a popular choice for ice drug testing initiatives.
Always take precautions to safeguard your business from the issues that arise from workplace Ice abuse. To do this effectively, you will need to establish and enforce a workplace drug and alcohol policy. Such policy includes providing educational and awareness programs and ice drug tests.
Australia Drug Testing provides companies with reliable drug test kits to keep employees and businesses safe. Our drug testing kits are Certified to Australian Standards and highly sensitive for onsite commercial and industrial use, allowing you to test your employees safely and conveniently in the workplace.