Spike in failed drug tests


A glut of methamphetamine in Nelson is showing, with a huge increase in the number of failed drug tests by workers.

Figures released to Nelson Weekly from The Drug Detection Agency show that more people were caught with methamphetamine – otherwise known as P – in their system over the three months from July to September than in all of 2014.

That spike has impacted on the general fail rates of drug tests that TDDA give to employees of various companies throughout Nelson and Tasman.

In August this year, 8.2 per cent of people who took a drug test failed, compared to last year’s rate of 4.8 per cent.

The national average last year was 6.1 per cent.

TDDA says drug tests are given either as part of a pre-employment check, after an on-site accident or as part of a random screening. The majority of people failing for P were during a random test.

Group general manager for TDDA, Glenn Dobson, says these stats show how important drug testing is for workplace safety.

“It really isn’t about trying to catch people, rather it’s about ensuring everybody gets home safely to their families at the end of a working day.”

Two people spoken to by the Weekly, but who refused to be quoted or named in this article, say there is more P available to buy in Nelson than there has been in the past.

Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Mat Arnold-Kelly says the use of P has a negative impact on the wider community.

“Police have been concerned for some time about the sale and supply of methamphetamine throughout New Zealand, including Nelson Bays, driven in the main by the business interests of criminal gangs.”

Police encourage anyone with information about any drug activity to contact Police. Information can also be given by contacting Crimestoppers Ph 0800 555 111.