Bus, truck and taxi drivers are among the biggest users in the workforce of amphetamines, including "ice", a party drug that causes psychotic episodes.
More than a third of amphetamine users reported turning up to work under the influence in the past three months. Use of the drug is also prevalent in the hospitality, agriculture and construction industries.
The findings come from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Adelaide's Flinders University. They will be presented today at the Australasian Amphetamine Conference, the first national conference to examine amphetamine use in Australia.
Using responses from the 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which surveyed almost 30,000 people about patterns of drug use, researchers found workers aged between 18 and 29 were the most likely to use amphetamines.
NSW Police have announced random drug testing of drivers for speed, cannabis and ecstasy, after research from the NSW Health Commission found one-in-five truck drivers reported using illegal drugs while working.
Professor Anne Roche, from Flinders University, said more than 12per cent of male workers aged 18 to 29 -- and 9 per cent of females - -- reported using amphetamines in the past 12 months.
"Of the people who use illicit drugs there are many more people who are in paid employment than who are not," she said.
"Research also indicates amphetamine use is on the rise."
But the Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union said few public transport workers had tested positive for drugs or alcohol.