Blog - 'Ice' in the Workplace

Discarded meth pipe

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. 

Businesses have a duty of care to manage risk in the workplace, and the risk represented by the ICE-using worker may be identified and limited by using workplace drug testing.

A workplace drug (and alcohol) program is served by four main elements; a robust policy that clearly establishes expectations around drug use; education and training for workers; a testing regime that is accurate and reliable and can determine drug exposure; and an employee assistance program that provides support for workers.

Workplace drug testing usually follows a two-part approach. Onsite testing uses a validated device that screens workers based on those who are negative for drugs (compared with the appropriate standard) or those who are non-negative, where there is a need for further investigation.  

Overall, we should consider drug testing in workplaces to actually be ‘non-drug testing’. That is, screening is designed to identify the 99% of workers who are drug-free and may return to work immediately.  

An extended version of this will be published in Business SA's upcoming Ice Whitepaper.

Boilerplate John

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