Under the influence

By: Karen Burge If the past 12 months has taught us anything, it’s that coming to work when feeling sick puts others at risk. We have responsibility for our own health and the safety of those around us. But what about coming to work under the influence of drugs? Whether it’s the city centres, urban fringes, regional areas or remote Australia, drugs are being used in our communities. And what goes on in the community can be brought to your organisation’s doorstep. The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2019) found around 3.4 million Australians reported using illicit drugs in the previous year—most commonly…

Illicit Drugs – Which countries party with pills

Sewage study shows which countries indulge over the new year. Despite deaths and hospitalisations linked to many new psychoactive substances (NPS), an international wastewater study led by the University of South Australia shows just how prevalent 'party pills' and 'bath salts' are in different parts of the world. In a new paper published in Water Research, the world's most comprehensive wastewater analysis of NPS shows the pattern of designer drug use in the 2019/2020 New Year in 14 sites across Australia, New Zealand, China, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway and the United States. Research from the University of South Australia show that…

AMPHETAMINES

Download the Amphetamines Drug Fact Sheet   What are Amphetamines? Amphetamines are synthetic stimulant drugs; In layman’s terms, they are lab-created substances that speed up the workings of the brain. There are legal (prescribed by a doctor) and illegal amphetamines. Long-term misuse of amphetamines can lead to serious problems, including changes to the brain, cardiovascular damage, malnutrition and anxiety and paranoia. (1) The Amphetamine class of drugs, or Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) includes amphetamine, methylamphetamine, dexamphetamine, amphetamine analogues and amphetamines not elsewhere classified. (1)   Common Street Names Addies, Bennies, Black Beauties, Crosses, Crank, Goey, Hearts, LA Turnaround, Louee, Rack, Speed, Truck…

COCAINE

Download the Cocaine Drug Fact Sheet   What is Cocaine? Cocaine is an illicit substance derived from the Coca plant that is classified as a psychostimulant drug. Psychostimulant drugs speed up the messages travelling between the brain and affected parts of the body. Cocaine is popularly used on social occasions, which results in bingeing (repeated use at increasingly higher doses). (1) Long-term abuse of Cocaine can result in the user experiencing a wide range of serious mental and physical health conditions. These effects are not only derived from the drug itself, but also from the method of administration. Cocaine is an…

BENZODIAZEPINES

Download the Benzodiazepines Drug Fact Sheet   What are Benzodiazepines? Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants, which means they slow down the workings of the brain. When prescribed by a medical professional, they are intended to treat stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders. When abused recreationally, users commonly report feelings of euphoria (a “high”), or when the drug is combined with stimulant type drugs (cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy) it is used as an aid to ‘come down’. (1) Irrespective of the use type (legal or illegal) Benzodiazepines are highly addictive. For this reason, usage for medical conditions is generally limited to courses administered…