Substance Abuse

Drugged Driving on the Rise has Police Worried for the Holiday Season

Last month police in Southern Australia participated in the month long Operation Safe October blitz. They discovered an astonishing number of increased drugged drivers, and believe this might result in more accidents during this years’ holiday season.

During the blitz, police had more than 4300 traffic offensives. They performed 2394 drug tests, in which 72 came back positive. They also conducted 30,403 breath tests in which 292 were found to be drunk driving.

Andrew Thiele who is the in Charge Inspector for the Traffic Support Branch Officers said the percentage of people driving under the influence of drugs is disturbing. “Police are extremely fearful as the Christmas season approaches, people will make poor choices after celebrating and drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he stated.

During the months of July and September they also discovered a huge increase in drugged driving, producing 575 positive drug tests. During the same period in 2010 they had 398 positive drug test results.

According to The Advertiser the amount of drivers under the influence of methamphetamine doubled, from 122 to 274.

Although on the other hand, positive drug tests for marijuana dropped from 157 last year to 125.

Officer Thiele also stated that the number of drugged drivers was higher than drunk drivers due to the drug tests being more targeted and also an increase in police training.

Other citations during the October blitz included 3208 speeding tickets, 492 distractive driving offensives and 258 seat-belt enforcements.

Officer Thiele stated that “despite the improvement in serious injuries and road fatalities this October compared with last year, we have grave concerns the road safety message is still going unheeded and this will continue to cost lives. People who choose to drink or take drugs and drive should understand there are consequences to their decisions that may either end their life or change their life forever.”


Drug Testing News

WWE’s Head Referee Mike Chioda Suspended for Positive Drug Test

Mike Chioda the longest working referee in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) industry has been suspended for 30 days due to producing a positive drug test. Chioda has spent 22 years working for the WWE. He began his career as a member of the ring crew for five years until being trained as a referee.

The WWE has a Wellness Program in which positive drug tests for marijuana and alcohol are not punished by suspension, but instead by a fine of $2,500. This means that Chioda had to of tested positive for something other than alcohol and/or marijuana. The official banned substance list for the Wellness Program includes anabolic androgenic steroids, human growth hormone, stimulants (Ecstasy, meth, etc…) and numerous other substances.

Any exemption to these rules would be prescription medications, which depends on a case by case basis. The muscle relaxers Soma and Miltown have been completely banned no matter if a WWE employee has a doctor prescription for them. The WWE feels that there are other muscle relaxers that are more effective and are less likely to cause intoxication.

In the case of a positive drug test the WWE’s Wellness Programs first step of action is to suspend the employee for 30 days, the second repercussion is a 60 day suspension and if it happens a third time they will termination you as an employee.

Details are currently unknown regarding the type of drug Chioda tested positive for and if any further suspension will occur. For those in the WWE, Chioda’s suspension came as a shock. Jason Powell stated at that Mike Chioda is the first referee he knows of to be suspended under the new policy that went into effect on November 1, 2007. It has been rumored that Scott Armstrong will take over as head referee while Chioda is suspended for the next month.