News State QLD News ‘Many miners are steroid junkies’

‘Many miners are steroid junkies’

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Bored, buff and ready to snap.

That’s the dangerous prognosis for Queensland’s fly-in, fly-out miners, as concerns about steroid use by industry workers increase.

Tony Graham is the managing director of the Australian Workplace Drug Testing Services, which provides educational programs and testing for a range of companies involved in the sector.

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He says there’s been a huge increase in demand for their seminar “Beat the Cheats” in the past five years.
Four years ago, they ran it a couple of times a year. In 2014, it was closer to 20.

While concerns range from illegal drugs such as synthetic cannabis to caffeine-rich dietary supplements, there’s one substance of mounting worry to mining companies.

But most don’t test for it.

“Steroid use is becoming more and more widespread,” he told AAP.

“We know that the mines are getting more and more concerned about (it).”

“(But) most companies don’t test for steroids – it’s very expensive.”

Senior Gold Coast Superintendent Jim Keogh agreed steroids are a drug likely to be abused by miners.

“The mines provide big gyms and all the food you want to eat – there’s nothing else to do but pump iron,” he said.

He said this could heighten the chance of “roid rage” incidents in an already high-risk working environment.

But coughing up funds for widespread testing wouldn’t necessarily help curb any potential surge in steroid use by miners, Mr Graham says.

He says that money would be better spent teaching people about the real toll such drugs take on their minds and bodies.

“We need to … spend more money on education and awareness as to why these particular drugs are dangerous,” he said.

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