(02) 8001 2535

(02) 8001 2535

Newsletter

The old stereotype of an opioid/heroin addict is no longer typical.

In reality, opioid addiction and overdose affect all parts of society - including white collar people and the elderly. It is also very often in regional and remote communities.

The problem is now frequently the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs (in particular Oxycodone) rather than drugs of abuse such as heroin. Growth in Oxycodone use has been dramatic and its abuse and overdoses in the USA have killed more Americans than World War 2!

You may be aware that the standard by which we conduct workplace oral fluid drug testing AS4760 (2006) has recently been updated. The new standard, ASNZS4760 (2019), was released earlier this month and includes some significant changes.

Whilst implementation of the new (2019) standard cannot occur until the relevant confirmation laboratories are NATA accredited to it - and this may be a number of months away yet – we wanted to share with you some of the key changes that the updated standard will bring.

Currently there is debate about whether “pill testing” should be provided at music festivals to those concerned about the safety and composition of a recreational drug pill. The State Government in NSW for example has stated that their experts have advised against it. However, there have been a number of drug overdoses at festivals, including 5 fatalities since September 2018 in NSW alone. While a coroner’s report into these deaths has yet to be released, MDMA (ecstasy) may be a contributing factor in at least several of these cases.

The use of medicinal cannabis in Australia is increasing. Over 3,100 prescriptions have been approved by the Department of Health (TGA) since March 2018. There is only one medicinal cannabis product registered in Australia (Sativex for muscle spasticity in MS), but a number of other medical conditions are being treated with experimental cannabis preparations. Medicinal cannabis usually comes as an oil, capsule or oral and nasal spray. All treatment with medicinal cannabis requires a prescription. 

Safe Work NSW, the state’s workplace health and safety regulator, has written to one of the nation’s top law firms advising of concerns that “workers and others may be at risk in the workplace due to being under the influence of supplements and drugs” [The Australian newspaper 22 November 2018].

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PO Box 9017 Harris Park NSW 2150
02 8001 2535 | info@dasa.net.au