Narcotics Detection » Security Systems in Saskatoon, SK

Commercial Services

Narcotics Detection

Alcohol or other drug use can sometimes become a social and health problem, which can have a negative impact on the working and private lives of those it affects. It is also possible that the use of alcohol and other drugs could create problems in the workplace such as, but not limited to, increased risk of accidents and other safety issues, absenteeism, diminished performance and productivity, and interpersonal conflict.

What Employers Can Do

Alcoholism and other drug addictions can become chronic and potentially fatal diseases if not treated. Employers who notice an employee having difficulty on the job may want to assess whether alcohol or drug use is affecting this person's productivity. If this is the case, here are some steps you can take to begin a discussion about alcohol and drugs in the workplace.

Educate: Educate employees about company policies regarding alcohol and drug use.

Document: Keep a record of the employee's work performance -- good and bad. That way you will be able to document any change.

Warn: Have an informal talk to alert the employee about his or her unsatisfactory job performance, communicate your expectations, and discuss the consequences. Do not discuss drug and alcohol abuse specifically. Keep the conversation on job performance issues.

Refer: Contact the person designated by your company -- whether it's a representative of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a medical professional or other -- to advise you about confronting an employee who has problems. They can give you advice for your initial discussion and then inform the employee of available help.

Intervene: Don't delay or beat around the bush. The sooner you talk to an employee, the sooner he or she can get help.

Confirm: Evaluate the extent of any problem through professional assessment.

Follow up: Stick to your guns. Once you have confronted an employee, following through with appropriate support is extremely important.

  • A 2009 report found that substance abuse, alcohol in particular, is a chronic challenge in the oil and gas industry’s labour force in Canada, pointing to a 481% increase in Employee Assistance Program (EAP) access for alcohol abuse over a three-year period.
  • Alcohol and other drug use in the workplace costs business and industry more than $2.8 billion per year in lost productivity in Alberta. If left untreated, substance abuse contributes to unsafe work practices, accidents and increase risk of injury; depression, stress, reduced morale and other emotional problems; increased absenteeism, and higher worker’s compensation and insurance costs.
  • In a recent employer survey, a large proportion of employers (79%) in Alberta reported that testing had been either very or somewhat effective in reducing workplace problems due to alcohol. The results were even stronger for drug testing, with 87.3% reporting a positive effect.
  • A 2002 study found construction companies that conduct drug tests reduced their injury rates by 51% within two years of implementation, from a rate of 8.9 injuries per 200,000 work-hours to 4.4 injuries per 200,000 work hours.
  1. JACKSON, Marla. (2009). Health and Wellness Trends in the Oil and Gas Sector: Insights from The Shepell Research Group. Shepell.
  2. EVANS, Mark. Addictions site set to help. Alberta Health Services, 28 May 2013. Web, 23 July 2013.
  3. THOMPSON, Angus H., JACOBS, Philip and DEWA, Carolyn S. (2011). The Alberta Survey of Addictive Behaviors and Mental Health in the Workforce: 2009. Institute of Health Economics.
  4. PHARE, Stephanie, BERGERMAN, Lisa and BARRON, Gary. (2010). Workplace addiction and mental health in the construction industry: Literature synthesis. Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health.

Narcotic Testing

The Itemiser3 is an instrument used to screen for drugs. Screening is a preliminary evaluation that attempts to determine whether key features of drug abuse are present in an individual. Screening indicates whether the problem of drug abuse is likely present.

Imagine being able to go into a workplace or even a school and being able to determine if cocaine, heroin, THC, methamphetamine, Amphetamine, MDMA, MDA, Crystal Meth or other drugs are being used, you can identifying potential or actual abusers so appropriate intervention services can be provided.

The Itemiser3 uses simple particle swaps that are swiped across a surface and then inserted into the Itemiser3 for analysis. Surfaces include skin, vehicles, ID cards, pens, etc. The Itemiser3 was designed with portability and flexibility in mind. It has touch screen menus on a graphical user interface that make it easy to learn and operate. Quick analysis and results are ready in as little as 7 seconds. Its lightweight design makes it easy to transport and can operate from any vehicles 12 VDC power outlet, as well as, the one hour battery life. With expanding libraries to accommodate unique user requirements the Itemiser3 is functional for almost anyone in any situation.

Brigadier Security System maintains an Itemizer3 in house to compliment the Narcotic Dog detection team and to assist corporate clients with validation of potential narcotics found during swab tests. Contact Brigadier Security Systems for more information.

About the Dogs

Brigadier uses several different breeds of dog for narcotic detection but has primarily employed the Labrador Retriever breed. The dogs are selected from reputable breeders with basic obedience training being taught. The selected dogs are matched with Brigadier officers to continue the narcotics detection training which forms a well-trained detector dog team.

The life of a detector dog:

  • they are usually 11 to 16-months old when their training begins;
  • dogs that are trained to detect food, plant and animal products live in commercial kennels so that they are not continually around food smells from the handler’s household kitchen. Dogs that are trained to detect drugs, firearms and currency live with their dog handlers;
  • the dogs are transported in air-conditioned vehicles that act as a mobile kennel when the dog is at work;
  • typically, the dogs work for 8 to 10 years; and
  • when the dogs retire, their handlers get the first option of taking them home to live with them or finding them a suitable good home.

What Brigadier looks for in a potential detector dog:

  • natural ability and the desire to retrieve;
  • good physical condition;
  • size (15-40 kilos);
  • alertness;
  • boldness (i.e. not being afraid of the varying situations and environments that they will be working in);
  • temperament; and
  • sociability.

Passive vs. Active

When the program initially started, all drug/firearm dogs were trained to indicate actively by scratching, digging, biting and barking at the source of the contraband odour. This was an effective way to deter drug and firearm smuggling. Primarily, only passive dog training is now conducted.

Passive dogs will sit beside the source of the trained odour. The docile and friendly nature of the dogs allows Brigadier officers to peacefully circulate with them during detection. Passive detector dogs are working in all regions throughout Canada including international airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.