Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mixtures of Clay and Spirit

Humans are made of clay and spirit, our highly destructible bodies holding indomitable and surviving spirits. There is a study to human treatment, allowing us to be both dark and light, and to treat and feed our bodies and spirits in different ways. Let us examine how people are able to feed and starve their body and their spirit separately.

If you “feed” your body, then you give it good, tasty food, clear water, and you carefully and lovingly take care of your skin all over, fix and arrange your hair while keeping it healthy, and clothe your body in garments which feel and look good and which allow you to move around and keep your body in fluid motion.

“Starving” your body involves acts like poor nutrition, barely feeding it food which can sustain it, abusing drugs or alcohol, not keeping it in sustained and regulated temperatures, allowing it to get dirty and wear dirty garments. Body starvation also includes other forms of abuse, such as cigarette smoking and sex addiction, not to mention lethargy and over- or under-eating.

To “feed” your spirit, you would engage in hobbies with which you are quite passionate, exercise and challenge your mental acuity and speed, enjoy the great outdoors, travel, and expose yourself to new and spiritually luxurious experiences, such as the fine arts, performing arts, museums, and national parks. You spirit may enjoy animals or reading books or fine dining in your favorite restaurant. Starving your spirit involves self deprecation, self mutilation or cutting, lack of self respect, lack of self care, and anything which pushes your identity and the safety of your identity further away from you, such as drug abuse or alcoholism.
Now do you see why alcohol drug testing is so important?

Employee drug screening is protecting so many different things. Workplace Drug Testing protects employees, their coworkers, their bosses, the company equipment, and clients. Drug testing equipment is designed to help companies evaluate, through onsite drug alcohol testing, which employees are putting others in danger, and which are concerned about protecting all the different types of assets in the company. For more information regarding onsite drug and alcohol screening in Australia, call Mediscreen today.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

D&A Testing Knows No Geographical Boundaries

It is tempting to think that drug and alcohol abuse is the purview of people who either: 1) live in cities and/or are part of the night club and dance party scene, and have enough income to substances of choice, or 2) are addicts living in the streets of Australian cities, stealing and begging to keep an addiction fed. However, any employer that thinks along those lines is only considering part of the picture. There are no geographical boundaries for alcohol and drug abuse, which means workplace drug testing is as important in rural areas as it is in metropolitan locations.

The evidence of substance abuse in rural areas is found in the many studies and reports conducted by news agencies, nonprofit agencies and the government. In April 2012, the news reported that miners working in rural areas were being forced out of their jobs at a rapid rate for several reasons. These reasons included 26 days on the job with 9 days off, family issues and hard drug use. In fact, Australian Mining quoted Doug Heath, Maritime Union of Australia spokesman, as saying, “We’ve seen a massive escalation in the use of hard drugs by workers rather than recreational drugs because they don’t stay in the system as long. We’re not condoning people being under the influence of marijuana, but you’d rather be working with someone who may smoke cannabis as opposed to someone who is off their head on methamphetamine.”1 However, 
when it comes to workplace safety, any drug use is a potential problem.

Living on the Edge

This is a sad commentary on people trying to earn a living, whilst coping with the pressures of long hours and the need to fly in-and-out of rural areas. However, approximately 34 percent of all Australians live in rural and remote areas on a full-time basis, and the statistics concerning drug abuse are alarming. In 2010, approximately 17 percent of the remote population had recently used illicit drugs at the time of a survey. From 2007 to 2010, the percentage of the outer regional population recently using illicit drugs increased from 12.8 percent to 15 percent. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2008 reported that the populations who mostly live in outer regional and remote areas of Australia most commonly used cannabis, amphetamines and pain killers for non-medical purposes.2

It is natural to associate illicit drug use as an activity that mostly the well-to-do or criminals indulge in on a routine basis. Income does come into play because patterns of use are different between city and rural/remote areas. City drug abusers are more likely to use cocaine than rural residents. Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical drugs are misused more often in many rural areas of states with both rural and city populations. Income and ease of access are two of the important factors influencing which drugs are used most frequently. However, as the report on miners mentioned earlier indicated, there are other equally or more important determinants. They include unemployment, social isolation and stress.

The same types of statistics are reported for alcohol abuse in rural and remote areas. People in rural areas are 32 percent more likely to abuse alcohol than people living in the cities.3 Added to the factors just mentioned, a lack of off-time activities in rural and remote areas influences rates of alcohol abuse.

Testing Needed in Every Location

There are many people who work in rural and remote areas that live in cities, like some of the miners, and many more who live full-time in these outlying areas. Though not limited to these, the typical industries where rural and remote jobs are found include construction, architecture, building services, civil engineering, oil and gas, health services and social services.

Workplace drug testing is critical no matter where the place of work is located in light of the fact that substance abuse is a common problem in every area of the country. Fortunately, there are many drug and alcohol test kit options available today that make it possible to do saliva and urine testing in even the remotest sections of Australia.

Mediscreen ( has trained collectors available Australia wide, including in remote areas. Companies in need of Onsite Drug & Alcohol Testing support services will find Mediscreen is able to fit programs to meet particular workplace needs.