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News

Fair dismissal of line manager who refused workplace drug test
An employment tribunal rejected an unfair dismissal claim by a line manager who was sacked when he refused to take a workplace drug test. His responsibility for enforcing the employer’s drug and alcohol testing policy meant that he should have set an example. Read more . . .

Drugged drivers most dangerous to their friends
The Ministry of Transport report that for every 100 alcohol or drug-impaired driver or rider who die in road crashes, 47 of their passengers and 16 sober road users die with them. Read more . . .

Alleged meth ring busted in cross-country police operation
Drugs and cash found hidden inside tyres as part of large-scale police operation targeting alleged methamphetamine production and distribution across the country. Read more . . .

Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Workplace Safety and Productivity
The number of people using marijuana is rising rapidly, and the impact of this increase is showing in the workplace. Read more . . .

Kapiti man dies from ‘bath salts’ overdose
A Kapiti man has died in hospital after a suspected overdose of bath salts, police say. The 27-year-old was flown to Wellington Hospital from Waikanae on Monday and died in the intensive care unit on Tuesday night. Kapiti-Mana Police executed a search warrant at a Waikanae address on Tuesday night and arrested and charged a 25-year-old man with drug-related offences. Read more . . .

Kiwi cops to get random drug tests
Kiwi cops will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing from next year in a bid to “ensure workplace safety”. Until now, top brass have needed consent to carry out drug and alcohol testing on staff. However, a new policy was under development. Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said the policy change was prompted by the recently enacted Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Read more . . .

Son’s synthetic drug use devastates mother
A mother speaks out about the devastating effects of her son’s addiction to synthetic cannabis. Read more . . .

Synthetic cannabis dangers
Synthetic cannabis is causing record hospital admissions with a range of concerning symptoms. Read more . . .

Synthetic high ‘N-Bomb’ reclassified as Class B drug, bringing jail time for dealers
A hallucinogenic dubbed “fake acid”, which has caused hospitalisations of users around New Zealand, is likely to be reclassified as a hard drug, attracting harsher penalties. The synthetic drug, often mistaken for traditional hallucinogen LSD, and known on the street as “N-Bomb,” is on track to be reclassified as a Class B1 drug. Read more . . .

‘Dr Death’ chemical found in illegal drugs sold in Wellington
A lethal chemical has been detected in illegal Ecstasy pills sold on the black market in Wellington. Now, the New Zealand Drug Foundation is warning overdoses could become more common as a result. Para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA) has been dubbed “Dr Death” by health professionals due to its high toxicity, and in the past two years has been linked to at least 27 deaths in Britain and Ireland. Read more . . .

Adventure tourism drug testing may be shelved by the Government
Random drug-testing in the adventure tourism industry could be quietly shelved, despite being recommended in the wake of the Carterton balloon tragedy. Read more . . .

Healthy Workplaces
Occupational health testing has become an important part of the hiring process for hundreds of companies. By completing this process for prospective hires, companies are ensuring that the employees on their site are physically able to complete their jobs and also do not have any outstanding health concerns that would be a risk for working in remote environments. Read more . . .

More workers face random drug and alcohol tests under new health and safety laws

Having big nights out on the town could soon be a thing of the past as more and more employers take a zero tolerance stance on drugs and alcohol, says a leading employment lawyer. Read more . . .

Health and Safety Law Changes
Changes to health and safety (H&S) laws are a step closer, with a select committee reporting its recommendations back to Parliament. The Bill is expected to be passed later this year and there will be some months before it comes into effect. During this time government will provide further guidance to help businesses understand what the new law means for them, so you will have plenty of time to prepare.Read more . . .

Vaping: The latest scourge in drug abuse
Emergency rooms are filling up with patients suffering from synthetic drug overdoses, and the problem is getting worse due to a device that’s ostensibly supposed to help people quit smoking.Read more . . .

Teen drug addiction: 7 things every parent should know
It is difficult to put the words “children” and “drug addiction” in the same sentence, but if we want to protect our kids from drug and alcohol abuse we need to educate them. Teens, and even younger kids, should know why they need to avoid substances and make smart choices. Read more . . .

Horror before and after mugshots show devastating impact of meth addiction on drug users
Dramatic before and after photos of people arrested for becoming drug addicts have been released to warn people of the physical effects on users. Read more . . .

Second-hand marijuana smoke can make you FAIL a drug test: Stronger strains are damaging non-smokers, claims study
You might think simply being around a marijuana smoker won’t get you in trouble during a drug test. But scientists now claim stronger strains of marijuana are causing second-hand pot smokers to test positive for the drug in a urine analysis. Being close to a marijuana smoker in a confined space could also cause non-smokers to have minor problems with memory and coordination, according to a new study. Read more . . .

Random drug testing urged in wake of Carterton balloon tragedy
A coroner’s calling for changes to the Aviation Act, to allow police and Civil Aviation Authority staff to carry out random drug testing. Read more . . .

The jobs that make you crave a stiff drink
Drug and alcohol abuse cost the economy considerably in lost productivity every year. New data from the United States of America shows exactly which industries are more likely to be affected by drug and/or alcohol abuse. Read more . . .

U.S. Employees Using Drugs Costing Businesses $200 Billion
15.4 million American workers are using illicit drugs, and this is costing the workforce $193 billion annually – $120.3 billion lost is productivity, $11.4 billion is healthcare costs and $61.4 billion in criminal justice costs. Read more . . .

Wellington Hospital alarmed by spate of patients gone ‘nuts’ on fake acid
Police and medical authorities are warning about a new LSD-like drug that can turn users so violent it takes four or five people to subdue them. Read more . . .

Police had to restrain patients tripping on a drug called “N-bomb” so that paramedics could get them to hospital on four separate occasions over the past three weeks, Wellington Hospital emergency medicine specialist Paul Quigley said.

Management Matters: Employers Can’t Afford Not To Drug Test
Having no allocated money in the annual budget to implement and maintain a workplace drug testing programme is an argument that simply does not stack up. In this article a newly-hired HR manager outlines the phenomenal difference in safety, productivity, staff turnover, absenteeism, injury and accident rates, comparing data before and after implementing a workplace drug testing programme. Read more . . .

Why Synthetic Marijuana Is More Toxic To The Brain Than Pot
One of the original chemists who designed synthetic cannabis for research purposes, John W. Huffman, PhD once said that he couldn’t imagine why anyone would try it recreationally. Because of its deadly toxicity, he likened it to playing Russian roulette, and said that those who tried it must be “idiots.” Whether that’s the case or not, the numbers of users is certainly rising, and so are overdoses. Read more . . .

Drug testing proposed across transport industry
The 2012 Carterton balloon tragedy has been referred to as a reason random drug testing needs to be implemented across the transport sector. The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has released it’s ‘watch list’, which features three key safety areas the watchdog wants to highlight. This includes random drug testing across aviation, rail and marine transport, as well as better tracking, and stronger rules in the maritime sector. Read more . . .

Guide to Life: How to keep your kids off drugs
Successful substance-abuse treatment for teens, experts say, begins with early identification and intervention. Read more . . .

Busy students turning to prescription drugs
The drug habits of Australian students will be the focus of new research to determine whether prescription medications are being misused in a bid to enhance academic performance. A survey, commissioned by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, will seek information from students across four Australian universities. The findings, due to be released in 2016, will build on the first big study of prescription stimulant misuse at Australian universities, published last year, which found 8 per cent of undergraduate participants had used the drugs in a manner not specified in the approved packaging label. Read more . . .

Drug addict’s battle with former legal high, GBL
A young English woman has been left with physical and emotional scars after years of abuse of the drug GBL. Read more of her story and view graphic photos of the effects of drug abuse . . .

“I was getting high with drugs my doctor prescribed” – a teenager describes their battle with drug addiction.
An American teenager recalls their downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse, including abuse of prescription medication, and their journey towards becoming drug-free. Read more . . .

Methamphetamine surge received by ‘willing market’
A surge in the supply of methamphetamine is being pushed by gangs on a “willing market” in the south, police say. Search warrants were executed last week on six Dunedin properties connected with the outlaw Bandidos motorcycle gang, who had set up a probationary chapter city earlier this year. Read more . . .

Urine Drug Testing: Why Do It?
Many clinicians and academicians believe that stipulation for random urine drug testing (UDT) should be a part of any opioid agreement, with UDT serving the dual purposes of ensuring compliance with prescribed opioids as well as monitoring use of illicit drugs and non-prescribed medications. Read more . . .

Drug Testing & Safety: What’s the Connection?
Born some 30 years ago, drug testing in the workplace connects to occupational safety as a key component in protecting the safety, health, and welfare of employees, as well as the general public. Drug testing programs can contribute to the reduction of employee injury- and illness-related costs, including medical care, sick leave, and disability benefit costs. Read more . . .

Anesthetic technician struck off for drug use
An Auckland anesthetic technician who blamed her drug induced collapses at work on “truamatic events” has been struck off the register by a health watchdog after it was found she was high on drugs she’d stolen from the workplace. Read more . . .

Doctor sustained ‘devastating’ drug addiction
A doctor lost her job for writing false prescriptions to sustain a “devastating” drug addiction. The doctor, who can’t be identified, wrote 54 false prescriptions for codeine phosphate under different names for her own use. Read more about drug addiction in medical professionals . . .

Bodybuilder blames friend for drug offending
Disgraced bodybuilding world champ Stephen Orton has accused a former friend and competitor of misleading him into receiving packages of an illegal party drug worth nearly $100,000. Read more . . .

Bodybuilder Phillip Musson’s dark secret
Yesterday, Musson – also known as Dr Phil, Giant or Big Guy – was jailed for four years, five months and three weeks for masterminding the importation, sale and supply of steroids and party pills. He had earlier admitted dozens of charges, including more than 180 brought under the Medicines Act. Read more . . .

More women dying from accidental drug overdoses than in road toll, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for Penington Institute show
The growing impact of prescription drug abuse and illicit drugs on hundreds of Australian families is revealed in figures produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Penington Institute. Read more about the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse . . .

Dunedin ecstasy, LSD haul after internet order
A ”commercial enterprise” of party drugs sourced over the internet and destined for the Dunedin market has been seized, police say. Read more . . .

NZ’s cannabis high creates frightening statistic
New Zealand may be at the bottom of the planet but is the highest in the world, according to a United Nations report on drug use released this week, which said Kiwis and Australians are the biggest users of cannabis in the world. Read more . . .

Drug-addicted son tested mum’s love
A champion windsurfer’s descent into drug addiction reached rock bottom when he stole $40,000 from his mother. Read more . . .

Young mum’s quick thinking averts tragedy
A young Dunedin man was ”psychotic” on synthetic cannabis when he threatened to kill himself, his former partner and their child by driving into Otago Harbour earlier this year. Read more about the effects of synthetic cannabis . . .

Addiction: To hell and back
After years of battling drug addiction, Kate* is now an addiction success story. Read more about a former addict’s story . . .

Illegal trade tipped as legal highs stubbed out
A former legal-highs user is predicting a “massive black market” now they are illegal. Read more . . .

‘Legal highs nearly cost me my family’
The story of a man whose addiction to synthetic cannabinoids nearly cost him his family. Read more . . .

On Site Drug Screen TestingAn article by Kevin Thompson,a Registered Safety Professional, of the New Zealand Safety Council feels employers need to know what collectors and screen testing companies are not telling about the process of drug testing in New Zealand. Read more . . .