Is meth on board your vessel?

Check the signs.

You're probably aware of the dangers of being impaired by methamphetamine (also known as meth or P). People who can't think clearly or respond rationally can be a danger to both themselves and others, especially around heavy machinery.

Someone with a meth dependency may also struggle on board if they can't use. Cravings can lead to mood swings which can be hazardous on a fishing vessel. Crashing after using meth can be a problem too. Fatigue and irritability can make a person difficult to manage and they can be a threat to themselves and others.

That's why identifying meth use before something happens could save your livelihood, your boat, and the lives of your crew.


The effects of meth

Meth speeds up the body's system. It chemically alters the brain and the body's movement and coordination, affecting thinking skills and reflexes.

But meth use isn't always obvious, especially not at first. You might suspect someone is high but they're not displaying any clear symptoms. So how can you confirm your suspicions without confronting them? Here's a list of common symptoms:

High on meth:

  • Excessive talking
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme mood swings

Coming down from meth:

  • Exhausted
  • Hungry
  • Flat
  • Irritable

All of these symptoms can lead to serious accidents.


Other warning signs

Other behaviours that can suggest someone's impaired by meth include:

  • frequently turning up late or calling in sick
  • poor work performance
  • accidents or near misses
  • mood swings and other personality changes
  • not looking after themselves.

Substances like methamphetamine can also increase a person's confidence, making them more likely to take risks. You're already at risk on a fishing vessel, working under challenging conditions. Can you afford to put your livelihood — and the lives of your crew — at more risk?


What can you do?

If someone on your vessel is impaired by meth, it's crucial that you take action.

Talk to each member of your crew individually to:

  • outline your vessel's drugs policy,
  • determine whether they have a problem with meth.

If they have a problem, support them in getting help.


Helpful resources to support you

The good news is help is available. Check out these online resources and treatment services:

If someone onboard has a meth problem support them in getting help.


Face the facts

Meth can be taken by:

  • inhaling/smoking,
  • swallowing a pill,
  • snorting,
  • injecting powder that has been dissolved in water/alcohol.