Drug tests on Queensland Police at a low rate
DESPITE rising concerns about skyrocketing drug use in the Queensland's Police Service, only one in 250 officers are screened for substance abuse each year.
Data provided by Queensland Police shows 128 drug tests have been conducted on officers since 2006 – and all returned negative results.
Although 10 per cent of all serving police officers undergo annual random alcohol tests, about 40 out of the state's 10,000 police force are screened each year for drug abuse. In 2006 just six officers were tested for drugs.
The Queensland Police Alcohol and Drug Awareness Unit only tests officers for drugs in response to a "critical incident".
However, Gold Coast lawyers who have represented convicted drug suppliers, say more random drug testing is needed in the police force, especially on younger officers who mix in the nightclub scene.
Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson has indicated he would not support the introduction of random drug testing of police.
A senior lawyer, who asked not to be named, claimed human growth hormones and steroid use was prolific among some Gold Coast officers.
"You have these young men who are super fit. Some of them are using the drugs in the gym and supplying them," he claimed
Human growth hormone abuse is fuelled by a culture of "super masculinity" and the need for some young cops to "beef up" their bodies to protect them from the increasing threat of physical violence on the beat, it is claimed.
Gaven MP Alexander Douglas, a GP who has previously encountered steroid use when working in prisons, said the illegal use of the drug led to violent outbursts and irrational thinking.
"Steroids are being used by younger men and women, strangely enough, to make themselves look beautiful," Dr Douglas said.
"From the use of Botox and amount of surgery going on, people are body obsessed. There is a culture of this super masculinity. But I think some of it (for police officers) is driven by legitimate concerns. On the Gold Coast, policing is a lot different to Brisbane. People will have a go at them."
Dr Douglas, who has treated some Gold Coast officers for injuries, said police were working in a tough physical environment.