Are you testing for the latest drugs of abuse?
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Opiates: Codeine, Morphine, 6-AM
- Amphetamines: Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy)
Is this enough?
Every day in the media we read about the problems in America with the abuse of prescription drugs. The nationwide surge in deaths now places prescription drug overdoses as the second leading cause of accidental death behind traffic crashes and painkillers as the top narcotic contributing to death. Many states, particularly Florida, have become havens for pill mills. “Pill mill’ is a term used primarily by local and state investigators to describe a doctor, clinic or pharmacy that is prescribing or dispensing powerful narcotics inappropriately or for non-medical reasons. Most often these are Opiate pills such as such as hydromorphone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone – does the new required 5 panel test for these drugs? The answer is “No”. An expanded opiate panel is required to detect these drugs and SAMHSA does not allow these expanded panels for regulated testing.
For non-regulated or non-DOT drug testing there is a solution to help detect applicant and employee abuse of prescription drug use. SAMHSA certified laboratories do offer testing for additional drug panels; a ten panel test has been around for over ten years for urine testing. Unfortunately expanded panel testing is limited for oral fluid/salvia testing and hair testing.
USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance consultants recommend a 10 panel drug test with expanded opiates – this includes: Marijuana, Cocaine, Phencyclidine (PCP), Opiates, Amphetamines, Barbituates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Propoxyphene and Methaqualone. It is important to request from your laboratory that the Amphetamines panel include Methamphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy) and the Opiates panel include Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone and the heroin metabolite 6-acetylmorphine (6AM). The expanded panel will help employers accomplish the goals of their drug free workplace program. Laboratories charge extra fees for this expanded panel but really only a few dollars more and well worth the investment to deter employees from using drugs in the workplace
Part 2 – Spice, K2, bath salts, K3, Buzz, Pulse, Hush, Mystery, Stinger
Besides the highly published opiate problem in America – a new issues continue to develop. A new market for synthetic chemicals has emerged –Bath Salts, Spice, K-2 and others. Nearly a dozen states and several cities are banning or debating bans on K2, Spice — a packet of herbs coated with a synthetic chemical that mimics a marijuana high when it’s smoked — amid fears that its use is spreading among young people. Synthetic cannabinoids are chemical compounds that mimic the effects of THC, the principle active ingredient of cannabis. These psychoactive research chemicals are frequently being sprayed on herbal mixtures and sold as “fake weed” or “synthetic marijuana.”
All over the U.S., bath salts are being sold with names like “Ivory Wave,” “White Lightning” and “Hurricane Charlie.” But these aren’t your average bath salts that you pour into the bathtub to soak in after a long, hard day to relax – these so-called bath salts are intended to be snorted, smoked or injected – and users are getting high off of them.
The synthetic marijuana and bath salts are highly addictive and highly dangerous. The chemicals used in these products are very potent and the strength and content may vary greatly. They affect behavior, judgment and health and can cause serious harm when used.
“Bath salts” may cause increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, chest pains, and other harmful effects. There have been reports of car crashes, self-mutilations, suicides and homicides linked to the use of these drugs.
Unfortunately this new breed of drugs is not being detected in Federal and DOT drug test panels or in standard workplace drug test panels. In many areas of the country, young folks are currently using these drugs to avoid detection in standard drug testing panels. Following a single low dose exposure, synthetic cannabinoids can be detected up to 72 hours in human urine. In cases of chronic exposure the window of detection is much longer. USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance specialists can provide drug testing for bath salts, Spice, K-2 and other new synthetic drugs. This additional testing must be specified in advance on the drug testing account.
Whether it is for expanded opiate testing or detection of bath salts and synthetic marijuana; employers must update their drug free workplace policies to reflect what is being tested for. USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance consultants are available for policy consultation to update drug free workplace polices for any kind of expanded testing program.