Drug and alcohol testing in WA a workplace imperative


If you own or manage a business in WA and don’t conduct drug testing of your workforce and don’t take steps to protect you and your business from issues of drugs and alcohol, you should be. But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at Australian statistics for drug use and misuse and it’s easy to see that drug and alcohol testing in WA workplaces is an absolute necessity.

The need for alcohol testing in WA

  • While the use of drugs such as amphetamines is a major concern, alcohol is our most widely used – and abused – drug.
  • 8% of Australians aged 14 years and over drink alcohol weekly.
  • If you think alcohol is mainly consumed – and abused – by younger people, think again. The age group with the greatest number of people who drink daily is the 70+ age group.
  • 1 in 5 Australians drink at levels that are considered at-risk.
  • Alcohol is responsible for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents every year.

The need for drug testing in WA

  • When it comes to illicit drugs, cannabis is the most widely used. Close to 35% of Australians have tried cannabis at least once.
  • Of the other common illegal drugs, around 11% of Australia’s population have tried ecstasy at least once, cocaine 9% and heroin 1.3%.
  • As you probably know, the use of methamphetamines and amphetamines in WA is a big concern and something that has grabbed a lot of media attention. Methamphetamines (ICE) and amphetamines are used more widely in WA than any other state in Australia (around double that of Australian national figures).

While these statistics are concerning, what should be more alarming, and further highlights the need for drug and alcohol testing in WA, is the relationship between drugs and alcohol, and the workplace:

  • Surveys have shown that around 20% of people – that’s one in five – have been absent from work after over-drinking alcohol.
  • 1 in 10 employees have experienced negative effects from a co-worker’s use of alcohol.
  • Around 20% of people have also admitted to going to work while drunk or affected by alcohol.
  • 2% of people – that’s one in 50 – confess to going to work affected by drugs.
  • 10% of employees say they have suffered negative effects (accidents, near accidents, need to cover for a colleague, abuse) due to fellow employees being affected by alcohol or drugs.

Should you be conducting drug testing in your WA workplace? Should you be conducting alcohol testing in your WA workplace? The statistics unequivocally say the answer is yes.

NOTE: Integrity Sampling conducts drug testing in Perth and the regional WA areas of Busselton, Dampier, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha and Port Hedland.

Should you introduce drug and alcohol testing in your WA workplace? Statistics, including stats on alcohol and drug usage, say yes.

By Paul Marshall

Paul is the Owner and Director of Integrity Sampling WA, which has technicians that provides drug and alcohol management services, including drug and alcohol testing, in the Perth area and all regional locations within Western Australia. You can connect with Paul Marshall on LinkedIn

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