If there was a betting market on whether the number of workplace codeine drug test positive results would rise or not, a smart punter would be putting their money – and their house – on a rise.
Why are the number of positive codeine drug tests likely to rise?
Because the prime time for cold and flu season is fast approaching and that’s the time many people reach for products that contain codeine, such as Codral Cold and Flu, Nurofen Plus and Panedeine. While there is much argument about whether these products should be available over the counter in Australian pharmacies, at this stage you can still purchase them without a prescription.
The potential for people to fail a codeine drug test arises when they don’t follow the recommended dosage. These people either don’t read the labels or, believing they will feel better quicker, double or even triple the dosage.
While a positive codeine drug test can usually be explained by an employee, the real issue is not the failed drug test but the condition of the employee. Codeine, taken at the recommended dosage is perfectly safe for most people, but taken above recommended dosage the side effects are similar to those experienced by people who use opium, which codeine is closely related to. These include drowsiness, tiredness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, erratic behaviour and sweating.
Do you want someone who is experiencing these symptoms in a workplace, driving a fork lift or handling a large truck? Of course not. It’s yet another good reason to educate your employees about the risks of codeine and to test employees to detect people those who may be affected.
NOTE: Workplace drug test results by Integrity Sampling in recent years have shown a sharp rise in the number of people caught with codeine in their system over the cooler months.