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March 19, 2008

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New drugs and alcohol policy at Royal Mail as LAPC warns against ‘skunk’ dangers

The CWU’s national health and safety officer, David Joyce, said: “We are satisfied that the new policy and guidance now being deployed is in the best interests of our members. Simply put, alcohol and drugs problems are always best treated with sympathy and support where misconduct is not an issue, and disciplinary action is a last resort.” The policy will be subject to a 12-month review.

Meanwhile, the London Accident Prevention Council (LAPC) has expressed concern over the growing number of drivers under the influence of high-strength ‘skunk’ cannabis (pictured). The council warns that a growing number of drivers involved in road accidents have illegal drugs in their system, a suspicion confirmed by Jacqueline Richards, an emergency nurse practitioner at Queen’s Hospital, London. At recent LAPC meeting, Richards presented results of a casualty audit showing how drivers under the influence of drugs was a significant factor relating to road traffic collisions.

The LAPC says that drivers under the influence of skunk are impaired by slower reaction times, poor concentration, impaired steering control and coordination, as well as feelings of paranoia, drowsiness, and disorientation. The council is urging the government to run educational campaigns, and offer more police officers Drug Influence Recognition Training (DIRT) to conduct Field Impairment Tests (FITs).

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