Workplace drug use up during COVID-19

What drug are you most likely to detect in workplace drug testing in WA? The photo provides a hint, but here’s another clue: that’s not a normal cigarette!

According to an article on the UK’s, the use of drugs has soared among staff during the coronavirus lockdown.

More than one-in-four UK workers have tested positive for drugs in the past three months, workplace drug testing has shown according to the article.

The director of AlphaBiolabs, a worKplace drug testing firm in the UK, said in the article: “We have been very surprised by the findings, as we have never seen positive rates anywhere near this level before.

“From the second half of March until the end of April, testing virtually ground to a halt as companies put their employees on furlough leave or stopped operating altogether.

“I believe we are now seeing the effects of employees left to their own devices during what has been a very difficult period for society.”

Rachel Davenport, director of AlphaBiolabs, added in the article: “This, potentially coupled with health and money worries, may have influenced some of the decisions that have been made.

“We can only guess that employees may have slipped into bad habits while they may have been furloughed.

“We recommend that employers inform their staff before they return to work that testing is being conducted, and that they need to consider this and the choices they may be making before returning to work and representing their company.”

Rachel added in the article: “Employees under the influence of drugs could cause significant harm to themselves, their colleagues, the public and the business itself.

“Random testing has been shown to be extremely effective as a means of reducing incidents, ill health, absenteeism and litigation.”

Here are some other interesting findings published in the article:

  • Across the whole of 2019, the average number of positive results recorded by AlphaBiolabs was 14.1%.
  • In May this year, 30.5% of tests were positive. In June, the figure was 26.5%, while in July it was 21.7%.
  • The average number of positive results over the past three months represents a rise of 86% compared with the average for 2019 as a whole.


The use of drugs has soared among staff during the coronavirus lockdown. Credit GoToVan

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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