Police blame miners for Mt Isa drug boom

Police say strong demand from mining workers has helped Mount Isa become the “synthetic drug capital” of North Queensland.

Northern Region Drug Squad officer in charge Brad Phelps told ABC Radio there had been more synthetic drug seizures in Mt Isa than in any other part of Queensland.

He said the mining industry was partly to blame for the problem, with workers turning to synthetic products to escape workplace tests that initially focused on traditional drugs.

“We have a number of young, male people involved in the mining industry where they are frequently undergoing drug testing, and they also have a fairly large disposable income,” he said.

While the mining industry now has its sights set on controlling the use of synthetic materials,  Phelps said the initial lapse in testing had caused the industry to grow “dramatically”.

Phelps said synthetic cannabis, a compound designed to mimic the effects of cannabis, was one of the most popular drugs in use but police were cracking down on the industry.

Synthetic cannabis product Kronic has already been banned after it gained popularity in the mining industries of Queensland and Western Australia.

Last year the body-building supplement Jack3d was also banned on Bowen Basin mines following reports workers were using it to stay awake.

Late last year a new synthetic drug known as Venom was touted as the “next generation of Kronic” after it was released in WA.

Image: ABC News

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