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Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Can poppy seeds cause false positives for opiates in a drug test? USAMDT send the facts..

 

Poppy seeds do contain trace amounts of morphine, but it would require about 100 poppy seed bagels to reach enough to cause a positive (failed) test result. A 1996 episode of the highly popular sitcom Seinfeld may have helped perpetuate this urban legend. An episode of MythBusters tested this legend, and found that as little as three poppy-seed bagels was enough to cause a positive result for the remainder of the day they were eaten (though participants tested clean the following day). The results of this experiment are inconclusive, however, because a test was used with an opiate cutoff level of 300 ng/mL instead of the current SAMHSA recommended cutoff level used in the DOT or DOT Look A Like 5 test, which was raised from 300 ng/mL to 2,000 ng/mL in 1998 in order to avoid such false positives from poppy seeds. In addition, one thing poppy seeds do not do is serve as an alibi for heroin: a unique metabolite (6-monoacetylmorphine or 6AM) is produced from heroin use that is never produced from consuming any other substance, let alone poppy seeds.

USAMDT can help you with all your drug and alcohol testing needs. Call 516-802-3546

The Cost: Substance Abuse Adversely Affects The Bottom Line

USA MOBILE can assist you in formulating a Drug Free Work Place Policy, call 516-802-3546 for info.

Even though many employers choose to ignore the problem, substance abuse in the workplace has a real impact on their bottom line. Substance abuse drains more than $100 Billion from American businesses every year in …

  • WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: 38% to 50% of all Workers’ Compensation claims are related to substance abuse in the workplace; substance abusers file three to five times as many Worker’s Compensation claims.
  • MEDICAL COSTS: Substance abusers incur 300% higher medical costs than non-abusers.
  • ABSENTEEISM: Substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to be absent eight or more days a year.
  • LOST PRODUCTIVITY: Substance abusers are 1/3 less productive.
  • EMPLOYEE TURNOVER: It costs a business an average of $7,000 to replace a salaried worker.

Companies who have a Drug Free Workplace Program will find that an investment in education, prevention, and assistance programs pays dividends for both the employer & the employee. * Source: ‘Working Partners’, National Conference Proceedings Report: sponsored by U.S. Dept. of Labor, the SBA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Preemployment DrugTesting the wave of the future.Failed drug tests leave jobs open.

There’s a heightened sensitivity on the part of employers that it’s important to not have workers who are impaired because of their use of drugs. USAMDT recommends hair follicle testing for a 90 day window of use. Call for info 516-802-3546

There are more than 80,000 job openings in Ohio, but employers say finding enough workers who can pass drug tests to fill these positions remains a challenge, according to a recent state work force development report.

Ohio Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp., said the correlation of unemployment to substance abuse is one of the most distressing woes shared by business owners across the state.

Job seekers failing drug tests are reportedly a problem despite continued high unemployment.

Butler County had an average unemployment rate in 2011 of 9 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

A total 14,600 people in Butler County were unemployed in December, according to state figures.

Derickson, who represents the western portion of Butler County, chairs the Ohio House Legislative Study Committee on Workforce Development formed last year.

The committee met with businesses and other work force groups across the state.

“Some witnesses suggested that staying on unemployment or in a treatment program is often preferable to an out-of-work individual over gainful employment,” wrote Derickson in the report.

“These problems are real issues facing Ohio’s work force and significantly affect our employers’ ability to find qualified workers.”

According to the state jobs department, there were more than 80,000 job openings in the state as of Friday, and many of them remained unfilled for months because employers can’t find qualified employees or people who can pass their drug tests, businesses have cited.

Derickson said in an interview Thursday he thinks this is a problem that has probably existed for some time, it’s just now getting recognized.

“We heard it everywhere,” he said. “I know it’s a problem.”

Fairfield Twp. Walmart store Manager Ben Kincer said passing a drug test and a background check are the two biggest hurdles to applicants landing a job at his store. It’s been an issue for a while, Kincer said.

“It is a challenge for us at my store,” he said.

Adam Jones, acting division director at Workforce One of Butler County, the county’s job center, said he hadn’t heard of the issue.

“What we have seen are more and more postings requiring an applicant to pass a drug screen, or drug test,” Jones said.

Sandy Oakes, a training recruiter at the Belcan Staffing Solutions office in Fairfield, said the number of people who are passing drug tests has increased recently. The temporary job agency screens applicants with drug tests and background checks for employers.

Five percent to 10 percent of the hundreds of applicants are now failing their drug tests, Oakes said. Before, at least 25 percent failed, she said.

“I feel it’s due to the fact it’s so hard to find a job. I think they know that so they’re trying to clean their act up, where before, I think they used to think, ‘Oh, I’ll fail today, but I’ll get a job tomorrow,’” Oakes said. “It ain’t that way anymore.”

Karen Whittamore, director of Workforce One of Warren County, wants local work force systems to be able to do background checks and drug screens, as well as pre-screen applicants in areas such as soft skills, before they invest training funds and commit program funding.

“All too often, an individual who is not likely to gain employment for reasons other than the lack of training comes to a Workforce Investment Act program requesting training,” Whittamore said during testimony last year.

They may be a good candidate, but there can be hidden and unreported barriers that won’t help them find jobs regardless of training. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get training, she said. The program should be able to work with the person to resolve drug or background issues.

“It is unfair to taxpayers to pay for training that is not likely to result in employment due to other issues,” she said.

John Bohley, executive director of the Butler County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board, said recreational drug use, more employers doing drug tests and long-term addictions that make it harder to stop are reasons they are seeing for failed tests. If people use marijuana recreationally, even infrequently, it can stay in their system for 30 days, Bohley said.

People further along in the addiction process have changes in the function of their brains that makes it difficult to stop, Bohley said.

He said employers, especially in areas such as bus and truck driving, are more frequently testing.

“There’s a heightened sensitivity on the part of employers that it’s important to not have workers who are impaired because of their use of drugs,” he said.

http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticle=&articleID=5569289810893340677&gid=3327926&type=member&item=97696274&articleURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emiddletownjournal%2Ecom%2Fnews%2Fmiddletown-news%2Freport-failed-drug-tests-leave-jobs-open-1320325%2Ehtml&urlhash=S4gb&goback=%2Egde_3327926_member_97696274

What is Sleep Apnea and why is DOT FMSCA worried about it?

Because of this concern we are offering Sleep Apnea studies at our Queens and Suffolk, Long Island Offices, call 718-463-1166 for more information.

Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.

This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, there are no blood tests for the condition.

Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member and/or bed partner may first notice the signs of sleep apnea.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses.

When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. For example, small children may have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats, which can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.

Outlook

Untreated sleep apnea can:

  • Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes
  • Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
  • Make arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), or irregular heartbeats, more likely
  • Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people.

Should record companies start mandatory drug testing? Could Winehouse & Houston still be alive

http://drdrew.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/14/should-record-companies-start-mandatory-drug-testing/

There have been so many artists in the music industry plagued by problems with drugs and alcohol over the years.

Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson – the list goes on and on … and now, everyone’s talking about the death of Whitney Houston. Although the official toxicology reports have yet to be released, it’s no secret that the pop icon had a tough battle with her addictions as well.

Some are asking, can the recording industry do anything differently to prevent even more of these tragic deaths?

On Dr. Drew Monday night, R&B singer Nicci Gilbert, who was with Houston two nights before her death, came up with a possible solution.

“Everyone is in a frenzy to find out what these artists are taking after they die,” she said. “Why aren’t record companies doing the same thing that the NFL or the NBA [are doing] – mandatory drug testing. They have 360 contracts where they take everything else. Why can’t they say in that agreement: ‘You’re going to be tested randomly.’”

Gilbert added, “If you have an issue, why aren’t there doctors that record companies work with on a regular basis that they know. If you get sick, ‘you go to this guy, because he’s not just going to give you anything you want.’ And when you start taking anything you want as an artist or as a performer, then you should be held accountable for that then – not after you die.”

Dr. Drew responded, “I love that.”

Read on to hear from a rocker:,By Gary Stromberg, Special to CNN

  • Gary Stromberg says he easily could have died from addiction to narcotics, alcohol
  • He ran a famous rock star PR firm, with a large bowl of cocaine as centerpiece
  • Stromberg lost his house, business, wife, money, and blamed everyone but himself
  • He admitted the problem was inside himself and began his journey to recovery

My life with drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and addiction

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/23/opinion/stromberg-addiction-struggle/index.html?iref=obnetwork

USA Mobile Drug Testing Central Long Island offers Lab Based Oral Fluid Testing

Oral Fluid Testing & Opiates Recommended & available now for non DOT testing. 516-802-3546 to schedule a mobile collection. For non regulated employees, we can test for expanded opiates in both urine and hair samples for 90 days use right NOW, but DOT employees will have to wait til all the paperwork is done to expand their urine tests and allow oral fluids.

USA Mobile Drug Testing Compliance Consultants applaud the recent approval by SAMHSA for oral fluid testing and expanded opiate testing.

On January 25, 2012 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. approved both of the Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) July, 2011, recommendations:

(1) Based on review of the science, DTAB recommends that SAMHSA include oral fluid as an alternative specimen in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.

(2) DTAB recommends the inclusion of additional Schedule II prescription medications (e.g., oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone) in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.

http://usamdt.com/oral-fluid-testing-expanded-opiate-testing-recommended/

 

“It is important to note that these recommendations are not yet in effect for Federal workplace or Department of Transportation testing” stated Joe Strom, CEO of USA Mobile Drug Testing.  “Administrator Hyde directed SAMHSA to implement the recommendations through revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.  This will take some time.”

USA Mobile Drug Testing officials were also pleased with the statement issued by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC), “the opportunity to address the illicit use and abuse of these additional Schedule II drugs in the transportation industries is an important way to limit their misuse in our communities and a great way to serve transportation safety, while getting those who need treatment into treatment. And please know that oral fluid testing will be a bonus to our regulated transportation industry program; and will certainly serve to assist the DOTs National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its efforts, with others, to establish national per se laws for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID).”

DOT is required by law to follow HHS procedures for the drugs for which they test and the specimens they test. Therefore, the DOT will continue to work with the DTAB, HHS/SAMHSA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and others to bring these approved recommendations to realization in our regulations and throughout the transportation industries.

USA Mobile Drug Testing will notify clients at such time that these new drug testing regulations become a reality and are officially a part of the program.  Please note again these approved recommendations are not yet in effect.

What if Day Care Workers Get Stoned on Marijuana and Kill Children?

 
You may think legalizing marijuana is such a great idea, but what if it’s actually the worst idea ever? Here’s someone who believes the latter, and they’ve written a letter to their local newspaper explaining why.

What about the children’s day care workers? If they smoke it and their senses are dulled by its use and they drop little Johnny on his head, whose fault is it now? If it’s legalized, there is no crime and no recourse for problems it causes. You may be able to sue for a wrongful death or injuries incurred, but other than that there’s been no crime.

The same situation will apply if the driving under the influence of it causes an accident. The police can’t intervene on a situation that isn’t a crime. Please think about these things, it is a big deal and it opens a can of worms that we will pay for the rest of our lives. [emissourian.com]

If even one sentence of this impressively incoherent editorial made any sense at all, I suppose I’d be in a different line of work. Heck, I might even be dead. We might all be dead, slaughtered ironically by the very people whose job it was to care for us while our parents were at work. After all, at the risk of terrifying the above editorial’s author, marijuana is already being grown, sold, and smoked in every neighborhood in America (except the South Bronx, where they’ve now captured every single offender).

Fortunately, things aren’t actually that bad in real life, especially if you’re not a paranoid idiot. For example, our foremost concerns about bad things happening at day care centers can be resolved satisfactorily in almost every case simply by choosing a facility with a good reputation for not killing the children.

What we have here, and it’s hardly a rarity in the marijuana debate, is a bit of a mix up between the rather divergent concepts of legalizing simple possession of marijuana vs. legalizing extraordinary acts of recklessness or insanity whose perpetrator happens to have consumed marijuana prior to the incident. The idea is that walking down the street with a gram of pot in your pocket would no longer be a crime. Walking down the street throwing snakes at people and screaming voodoo curses would still be illegal, but the amount of pot in your pocket at the time would be considered irrelevant at trial.

In other words, the answer to the question “whose fault is it now?” would be the same after legalization as before. If you drop a kid, crash a car, or throw a snake at somebody, it’s your fault. If marijuana was involved, it’s still your fault for consuming marijuana, not marijuana’s fault for being consumed by you. That’s the rule for alcohol, and in case anyone somehow managed not to notice, it has yet to turn our day care centers into drunken death camps.

by Scott Morgan, February 07, 2012, 10:37pmPosted in:

https://i2.wp.com/stopthedrugwar.com/files/stonedcircle.jpg

Is It Ok If My Employees Smoke Pot On the Weekends?

Compliance consultants at USA Mobile Drug Testing get this question often from employers.  Many of these employers have Drug Free Workplace Policies in effect.

WOW! Marijuana, while pretty widely accepted, is still illegal.  Would you allow your employees to break other laws on the weekends – hey what they do on their own time is their own business.

First off, employers should always follow their company policies.  If the policy states that the use of illegal drugs is prohibited on or off the job and marijuana is included in the list of illegal drugs; then you have to follow the policy when there is a violation.

Secondly, Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated employees cannot use illegal drugs including marijuana on or off the job.  This is a serious safety violation and an employer can face fines or be shut down for allowing someone who previously tested positive to continue to drive without required rehabilitation.

And there are a number of other reasons why an employer should care if their employees smoke pot on the weekends.  How do you know they only smoke pot on the weekends? There is no test that can tell you when the person used the illegal drug.  In any drug testing program, management must only be concerned with pass or fail after a confirmed drug test result is verified and reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO).  At USA Mobile Drug Testing only Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) laboratories are utilized that perform initial and confirmation testing.  All results are verified and reviewed by the MRO.

Business owners and human resource managers often ask for the quantitative levels on a positive test for marijuana.  Why?  Is the business owner or HR manager a scientist with more knowledge than the scientist employed at SAMHSA certified laboratories?  What part of a positive drug test is misunderstood?  The levels do not tell you when the person smoked the marijuana.

We must also consider the harmful effects of using marijuana and the effects in the workplace.  Marijuana effects on the human body often have many negative and adverse consequences; marijuana effects include a weakening of the immune system, loss of memory, verbal skills and judgment. Are these the employees you are relying on? While many believe marijuana to be a “safe” drug, or one that cannot become addictive, studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other research shows that marijuana and long-term marijuana effects can lead to addiction.  In the long term, health insurance costs sky rocket when drug users are in the group.

Smoking marijuana, while often joked about in circles of friends who smoke marijuana, does include severe impairment to a person’s ability to create and recall memories and events. Many drug users and friends of drug users see marijuana as a relatively innocent drug; however research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that marijuana has caused considerably dangerous conditions when driving under the influence. High doses of marijuana can cause hallucinations and delusions, at which point the person under the influence is liable to place him/her in unsafe situations.

USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance consultants have the best interest of their clients in mind.  There is nothing effective that one can do with the quantitative levels on a positive drug test, in fact under DOT regulations it is prohibited to provide this information to the employer.

Employing folks who smoke pot is huge exposure to liability. Marijuana users often use other drugs also.  No one who died from a heroin overdose ever just woke up that day and decided to use heroin.  Unfortunately they most likely started with marijuana and then moved on to cocaine and other highly dangerous drugs leading to the heroin overdose.  Do not let this happen in your organization.

Drug Testing for Unemployment Congress OK’s

Outrage: Congress Gives States the Go-Ahead to Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits (and Stick Taxpayers With the Bill)

As part of a deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through 2012, Congress will allow states to drug test people applying for those benefits.

As part of a deal approved Friday to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits through 2012, Congress has given its okay to allow states to drug test people applying for those benefits. The move, initially opposed by Democrats, came after the Democratic leadership bowed to Republican pressure in its eagerness to get the bill passed.

Republicans had initially called for drug testing for everybody seeking unemployment benefits, but Democrats balked before backtracking and agreeing to allow testing for those who lost their jobs because of drug use and those applying for jobs in industries where drug testing is prevalent.

It’s worth noting that people fired from their jobs for drug use are fired “for cause” and not laid off for lack of work, and thus are ineligible for unemployment benefits anyway. But the provision allowing for drug testing in industries where it is common could expose hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers to drug tests before they could receive unemployment checks. None of those workers was laid off because of drug use.

The deal effectively moves the burden of drug testing from employers, who freely decide whether they think testing has more benefits than costs, to state governments and their taxpayers — at least in those states that decide to use the new tool. Drug testing is also more likely to be imposed on lower skilled workers than on white collar workers because those sectors are where drug testing is most prevalent now.

Democratic lawmakers downplayed the extent of drug testing about to be foisted on laid-off workers, while Republicans said they would be widespread. The bill requires the Labor Department to draft regulations to determine who will be subjected to drug testing. Those subject to drug testing will be those unemployed workers “for whom suitable work as defined under the state law is only available in an occupation that regularly conducts drug testing as determined under regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor,” a Democratic staffer explained to the Huffington Post.

“I think it’s a small percentage,” Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), ranking Democratic in the House committee overseeing unemployment insurance, told the Post.

But Republicans cited employer surveys to argue that drug testing would be widespread, with one survey reporting that 84% of employers required drug tests for new hires.

“That’s total nonsense,” said Levin. “No way 80%.”

But while Democrats and Republicans quibbled over how many jobless workers would be forced to endure the intrusive and humiliating ritual, the Drug Policy Alliance was clear and concise in its opposition to the move.

“This policy is a terrible one-two punch to the gut for thousands of struggling Americans,” said Bill Piper, the group’s national affairs director. “Congress has paired a generous taxpayer subsidy for corporations that drug test with a slap in the face for those struggling to find work, feed their families and keep their homes. The American people have a right to be upset over being forced to subsidize the violation of their civil liberties, when they try to access a program that they pay for with every paycheck. Drug testing is expensive and ineffective, and distracts from evidence-based policies that actually reduce the problems associated with drug use and misuse.”

http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ealternet%2Eorg%2Fdrugs%2F154217%2Fcongress_gives_states_the_go-ahead_to_drug_test_for_unemployment_benefits&urlhash=gOlR&_t=tracking_anet

 

Kansas Joins States Considering Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Kansas has joined the growing number of states considering drug testing for welfare recipients. A group of lawmakers in the state are supporting a proposal that would require one-third of Kansas welfare recipients to undergo random drug screening.

These people would have to pay for the drug screen up front. If they tested negative, the state would refund the expense. A person who tested positive for drugs would have to submit to a drug evaluation, and might be required to attend a treatment or education program, according to The Kansas City Star.

After a second positive drug test, attendance at an education or treatment program would be mandatory. The person would be terminated from the welfare program for one year. Anyone testing positive for a third time would be permanently cut from the program.

A household that included someone banned from the welfare program would receive their aid from a third party designated by the state, the article notes.

Earlier this month, legislators in the Virginia House recommended that a proposal to perform drug screening on certain recipients of public assistance in the state be delayed until next year, to allow more time to study the potential costs of the measure.

Recently, officials in Pennsylvania announced they are introducing a new drug testing program for certain welfare recipients. Pennsylvania’s program will randomly test those with a felony drug conviction within the past five years, and those on probation for such crimes. A program introduced in Florida last year to test all welfare recipients was blocked by a federal judge.

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/kansas-joins-states-considering-drug-testing-for-welfare-recipients

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