Drug testing positive rates soar in NSW

Alarming NSW roadside drug testing statistics have some in the community concerned

Rod Roberts, the Independent Member of the Legislative Council in New South Wales, has spoken on radio station 2GB about the alarming new drug testing positive rates in NSW.

On air with Ray Hadley and on the 2GB website, Roberts raised questions about the relatively low number of drug testing conducted in NSW. He also cited figures indicating that around 15 per cent of drug testing yields a positive result.

While the 15 per cent positive drug testing figure is alarming on its own, when put into context against alcohol testing positive rates – around 0.6 per cent – it’s even more concerning.

He highlighted the stark difference in the roadside drug testing frequency, with three million alcohol tests conducted annually by the New South Wales police force. This compares to a mere 17,000 drug tests in NSW.

“It’s quite terrifying if you’re a driver on NSW roads,” said Mr Roberts when talking about the high rate of positive drug tests.

“Clearly, we have evidence that 15 per cent of those that are tested on the side of the road, return a positive test for drugs,” he told Ray Hadley.

“I have statistics going back to between July 2019 to June 2020 when we did 172,000 roadside drug tests in NSW. Last year we only did 113,00 and the year before we only did 119,000. So we are going backwards in the number of drug tests being done, while the number of positive rates is increasing.

“We don’t have an unlimited number of resources, I understand that, but sure they’d be better directed at drug testing, because that’s the issue.”


Alarming NSW roadside drug testing statistics have some in the community concerned. Highway Patrol Images https://www.flickr.com/photos/special-fx/8615915162/

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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