Workplace drug testing with a difference

If monks can fail workplace drug testing, it’s fair to suggest that virtually anyone could. Credit Miguel Urieta

Integrity Sampling is Australia’s most trusted workplace drug testing teams, with locations in more than 40 cities and towns nationwide. Our work takes us into a lot of workplaces, such as mines, transportation hubs, manufacturing facilities and farms. However, we’ve never conducted drug testing in a Buddhist temple!

Our frank admission comes after an article on CBS News highlighted that every monk in a Buddhist temple in Thailand failed drug testing. Four monks, including an abbot, underwent drug testing on a single day in late November, with all four testing positive to methamphetamines.

According to the article, the monks have been defrocked and been sent to a health clinic to undergo drug rehabilitation. It has left the temple and the nearby village without any monks, with villagers unable to practice their religious obligations.

Meth a big issue in Thailand

The CBS article adds that one form of meth, called meth pills or Yaba, is widely available in Thailand. It can be purchased for less than 20 Thai baht, which is around 80 Australian cents. This makes one pill cheaper than a beer.

Thailand, and Asia more generally, is also a major transit region for methamphetamines. In October, a 1.8 tonne shipment bound for Australia was intercepted in Hong Kong. In August, two tonnes of methamphetamines hidden in marble tiles was found in a shipment from the Middle East on the way to Sydney.

While methamphetamines might not be as easily available here in Australia as it is in Thailand, it is still an issue in this country. This is less to do with its wide usage and more about the powerful effects of methamphetamines, which have no place in our workplaces and on our roads.

Other drugs can be added to the mix of substances that can have devastating consequences when used by people who then go to work. Drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin, for example, plus of course the legal drug that we all know as alcohol.

What’s the message for workplace drug testing in Australia?

Perhaps the main message from the Buddhist monk news is simply that if monks can fall prey to drugs, and fail workplace drug testing, so too can ordinary Australians.

It could be the person who you work alongside every day, your mate who you catch up with outside of work, your boss who manages your day-to-day work or the contractor that you see from time to time. The thing about drugs and some people, is that they can hide their issues very well. They can be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or methamphetamines and you might not know it.

The only way to know if someone is under the influence is to conduct workplace drug testing. Without it, you are virtually sticking your head in the sand when it comes to drugs in your workplace.


If monks can fail workplace drug testing, it’s fair to suggest that virtually anyone could. Credit Miguel Urieta

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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