The rising incidence of ice use at HMAS Sterling has forced the Australian Defence Force to consider making the sailors assigned in the said naval base undergo hair drug testing, says Nick Butterly in a report for The West Australian.
Hair drug testing ‘more accurate’
The subject was brought up by Vice-Chief of the Defence Force Ray Griggs during a Senate hearing early in June, admitting under questioning by senator Nick Xenophon that the random urine testing currently being done in the base allows methylamphetamine or ice users to escape detection. He also agreed with the independent senator when he said hair drug testing could be more accurate.
The senate hearing comes after reports surfaced that in recent years, five junior sailors stationed at HMAS Stirling have committed suicide after abusing methylamphetamine. An apparent overdose also claimed the life of one sailor.
The drug situation at HMAS Stirling is pretty much a representation of the worsening ice epidemic in Australia. While drug abuse is not a new issue in any military anywhere in the world, it is quite alarming because the drug involved in this HMAS Stirling situation is ice, a stimulant which, among other things, makes users alert, aggressive and in some cases, violent. In a military setting with all the weaponry about, ice abuse can indeed be an awfully scary thing.
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