Drug testing has hit the news again, with random testing on contestants for the hit ITV show, Love Island. It’s been widely reported that many of the 2019 Love Island contestants have now been axed. This is after failing to pass surprise drug tests, ahead of the new series airing in June 2019.
Several Love Island hopefuls have been left gutted after failing to pass an unannounced drug test and reportedly getting the boot from the new series. Contestants had to undertake both Psychological and Drug tests to eliminate those “mentally at risk” from entering the show. Reportedly, the first time for testing the potential contestants for drugs and it was done on a random/unannounced basis. The contestants had to provide a urine sample. The show stated that “they wanted everyone to be mentally and physically healthy”. There was no warning and many of the Love Island contestant hopefuls tested positive. Some of the drugs included Cannabis, Cocaine and Ketamine, after a wild weekend of partying. This was the end of the road for the hopefuls who were looking for “love” and “fame”.
Similarly to the issues surrounding the surprise and immediate cancellation of the Jeremy Kyle Show this month. Love Island has also come under fire and its after-care for contestants was criticised following the death of Mike Thalassitis in March 2019. Mike had taken his own life just a year after series two contestant Sophie Gradon committed suicide in 2018.
This is an interesting and courageous step by ITV, as they risked losing many of the “final line-up”. It’s also caused repercussions with the show having to change things last minute. However, it further goes to spotlight the obvious links between drug use and mental health – never mind physical health.
With many employers, organisations and treatment services embracing the benefits of random drug testing, it is no surprise that this valuable tool is being employed in other areas. Some may say, “if you have nothing to hide… “.
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