Hair, saliva trial for Defence Force drug test program

THE Australian Defence Force is about to trial hair and saliva testing as part of the Prohibited Substance Testing Program (PSTP).

The trial, from October 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018, will be in addition to the existing urine tests.

The aim of the trial is to enhance the deterrent effect of the PSTP.

The advantage of hair and saliva testing is that it increases the detection window for prohibited substance use.

Hair testing, in particular, allows for detection of prohibited substances for up to three months after use.

VCDF VADM Ray Griggs said the trial would comprise targeted and random testing of members in Australia.

"Members may be tested more than once by more than one method," VADM Griggs said.

The Prohibited Substance Coordinators in each service will determine the location and timing of the tests.

Medvet Science has been contracted to implement the trial, and will assist the services in the physical collection and testing of the hair and saliva samples.

ADF supervisors from the program will continue to supervise the collection of the samples.

"The trial will provide the ADF with an ability to decide on the efficacy of hair and saliva testing as additional methods available to the services for routine use of testing for prohibited substances," VADM Griggs said.

He said regardless of the outcome of the trial, the ability for the ADF to conduct hair and saliva testing would be maintained in legislation, policy and procedures, and would remain a test method available to the services to use as deemed appropriate.

The PSTP was introduced in 2005 to deter drug use by defence members to safeguard their safety, discipline, morale and security, and the reputation of the ADF.

Since 2005, more than 1100 defence members have been terminated for prohibited substance use. - Air Force News



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