Workers evade drug testing as demand for products rises

INDUSTRY drug testers have revealed that testing isn't picking up illegal synthetic drugs, driving up demand in Gladstone.

The revelation comes after Queensland Police in Gladstone raided a suspected methamphetamine laboratory in West Gladstone on Friday.

The news a drug lab was operating in Gladstone did not come as a surprise to drug and alcohol screener Kerryanne Tawhai.

"(It) goes with the territory," she said. "You've got large a congregation of people and there's nothing really to do in this town."

Ms Tawhai is the director of Down to Earth results, a company that tests substances in workers.

She said workers managed their drug intake to pass industry tests used to detect synthetic drugs such as amphetamines.

"They're out (of the body in) 42-72 hours," Ms Tawhai said.

Also in demand, imitation marijuana kronic is available at $100 for a 3g bag via a cash-only sale at some Gladstone stores.

Ms Tawhai said some industry tests wouldn't pick up kronic but others would.

"There is a possibility that some substances might not be picked up," Ms Tawhai said.

"Some of the testing kits can provide results for up to nine different substances, including alcohol."

Rockhampton Police raided a number of adult stores and tobacconists late last year in relation to synthetic drugs.

A spokesman for industry employer Bechtel said random drug testing was conducted across all construction sites on a daily basis.

"The random testing on Bechtel's construction sites includes an alcohol breath test and a swab test," he said.

Gladstone GP Superclinic director John Bird said he was not surprised at the drug culture in Gladstone but was unsure of how prevalent it was.

"The fly-in fly-out workforce does come with some social issues," he said.



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