Meth use on the rise in mining camps

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A mine site drug tester says methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, is starting to make its way to mining camps around Australia.

According to CQ News Frontline Diagnostics owner Michael White said ice was once of the most dangerous drugs he’d encountered and its use was starting to rise in the mining industry.

“When there’s something really nasty it’s always ice and we’re seeing it start to appear in the mining camps because it’s a cheap cocaine,” he said.

“You find the smart-alecs in [mining camps] trying to sell ice.”

White told CQ News ice “cooks the brain” and users were often awake under its influence for four or five days.

He said marijuana made up for about 80 per cent of all positive tests, while amphetamines use was around 15 per cent, with 20 per cent of it being ice.

White’s call is the latest in a growing trend of public scrutiny on mine site drug use.

Last week the workout supplement Jack3d was banned at a Bowen Basin mine following reports workers were using it to stay awake.

And earlier this week Mastermyne executive health safety and environment manager Beth Jooste told the Daily Mercury mining trainees were being educated on the risks of using energy drinks.

Last year the synthetic cannabinoid Kronic was banned after reports surfaced its use was widespread on mine sites.