UK employers may assume that the government’s ongoing war on drugs – including the enactment of the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) – means that the risk of employee drug use in the workplace has been significantly mitigated. This is not necessarily the case – it just means that new distribution networks and new substances are being created that bypass or circumvent the efforts of the government.


A new 2017 report from online drug information service DrugWise – “Highways and Buyways: A Snapshot of UK Drug Scenes 2016” – illustrates this point. Researchers spoke to drug treatment workers, police officers and experts to find out the latest trends in non-medical and recreational drug use within the UK.

One key finding was the significant rise in the non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including tranquilizers and antidepressants. Moreover, the report mentions a “total lack of dedicated services” to deal with the scope of this problem. In some cases, people are combining two readily available products – ibuprofen and codeine –mixing them with alcohol as a way of getting high.

Another key finding was the rise of new synthetic drugs derived from cannabis, and the resulting addiction problems. According to one London treatment centre, cannabis users made up 70% or more of its drug services programmes. Cannabis itself continues to evolve, with researchers particularly concerned about stronger forms of cannabis with very high levels of THC, such as “skunk.”

The conclusion of the report was unequivocal: the UK needs to be investing in more preventative harm-reduction and drug-checking services whilst also making sure that substance-use-related public services are available to everyone.

The good news is that it’s possible to find experienced companies already providing these drug-testing services.

As an established security and risk management company with extensive experience managing challenging issues both domestically and internationally BP Associates are able offer a complete in-house drug testing solution that’s both cost-effective and easy to implement.

BP Associates have been introducing to their clients cost effective oral fluid point-of-care testing kits that can screen for a wide range of drugs. These kits save real time in collections as there are no trips to the bathroom as with urine.  It also provides an option to obtain large volume collections in a controlled environment i.e. inductions.

Results from these indicative tests are usually available within just 5-10 minutes. Should a non-negative sample be identified then confirmation can be sought from one of BP Associates partnering UKAS accredited laboratories who will provide an independent laboratory certificate.

Researcher working with chemicals

It’s important to understand that the profile and habits of the typical drug user are changing, creating new risks and challenges for the workplace. It’s simply getting harder to identify potential drug users. BP Associates have been implementing cost effective testing strategies for companies over many years to aid management teams make their workplaces safer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss our services.

For further information please contact BP Associates on:

Southern office: 08450 519 380

Northern Office: 08450 564 240