Prescription Opioids: A Dose of Reality

by Landon Todd on July 29, 2014

statistic.pngFor people with chronic and reoccurring pain, opioids, such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, not only relieve suffering, but can help support a normal lifestyle, alleviate stress and improve sleep. But there is a downside – prescription opioids can be just as addictive and dangerous as illegal drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ show that positivity rates for prescription opiates increased 40 percent from 2005 – 2009 and have continued to climb each year.

The over-prescription of pain medications has not only led to an increase in opiate-abusers, but has also contributed to a rise in heroin use. Research from the National Drug Intelligence Center shows that heroin use increased 79 percent from 2007 – 2012. It appears that with the high costs associated with prescription opiates, many drug users have turned to alternative, cheaper options such as heroin.

To create awareness around these alarming statistics, the Working Partners of Columbus, Ohio has developed the new video A Dose of Reality, with the goal of enlisting American workers in recognizing and combatting the prescription-drug problem.

Learn more about the dangers of prescription opioids.

New Quest Study Examines Prescription Drug Misuse

by Nicole Jupe on July 21, 2014

drug-misuseQuest Diagnostics released a Health Trends™ report with a three-year analysis of prescription drug use from more than 1.4 million test results. The study examined the risks of prescription drug misuse and efforts at the state level to reduce abuse.

Patients, regardless of age or gender, sometimes use dangerous drug combinations and skip doses. Michael R. Clark, M.D., MPH, MBA, associate professor and director, Chronic Pain Treatment Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is quoted in the press release, “Patients are still substituting, supplementing, and diverting their prescribed controlled substances.”

Five states have implemented multi-faceted prescription drug abuse prevention programs in recent years, and these same states showed the greatest rate of decline in prescription drug misuse. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and New York experienced an average decline that was nearly 2.5 times greater than the average of all other states combined. Actions taken in these states included prescription drug databases, physician and patient education and public awareness campaigns. This portion of the study shows promising signs that the right strategies can help to make progress against the prescription drug epidemic.

Quest Diagnostics is a leader in prescription and workplace drug testing. In much the same way that this Health Trends report showed trends in prescription drug use, the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ details trends of drug use by U.S. workers. For more information about our drug testing products and services, contact us online.

Ask the Experts: Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

July 17, 2014 Ask the Experts

Question: If I suspect my employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work, what can I do? Employers who implement pre-employment drug testing programs do so to protect their businesses from the impact of drug abuse before making hiring decisions. As a result, they help to strengthen the integrity of their workplace […]

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Drug Testing Collection Site Network

July 15, 2014 Collection Services

Our drug testing collection site network consists of more than 8,000 locations across the country, and helps to ensure a convenient, consistent, high-quality experience for the donors of our employer customers. But not all collection sites are created equal, and it’s important to know the differences between each type of site when making a location […]

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Revised Urine Specimen Collector Guidelines

July 3, 2014 Collection Services

Earlier this month, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) issued an official Question & Answer document that clarifies collector guidelines outlined in 49 CFR Part 40. Specifically, the document addresses when a collector can give a donor permission to leave the collection site, and what a collector should do if a […]

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Ask the Experts: Hair Testing vs. Hair Follicle Testing

July 3, 2014 Ask the Experts

Question: What is the difference between hair testing and hair follicle testing? Calling a hair test a hair follicle test is a common misnomer. We looked to Jarod Rowland, a scientific expert in our Lenexa, Kansas hair testing laboratory, to better understand hair testing terminology and the hair testing collection process. The hair follicle is […]

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Suite of Online Solutions: FormFox®

July 1, 2014 Online Solutions

FormFox is an online system that simplifies the collection process for non-regulated urine, oral fluid, hair and instant drug testing. It can accept orders from all of our online solutions and helps to reduce errors, paperwork and the time it takes to work through the process. A FormFox collection wizard guides a trained collector step-by-step […]

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“Marijuana: A Look at the Science & State Legislation” Webinar Recap

June 27, 2014 Illicit Drugs

Employers continue to seek out accurate information to better understand the legal and regulatory environment surrounding the “medical” and recreational use of marijuana. Two experts in the fields of science and law presented in our June 25 webinar on marijuana use, common terminology, state laws and insights from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™. Dr. Barry […]

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Ask the Experts: Oral Fluid Collections

June 26, 2014 Ask the Experts

Question: How can we better ensure fast and adequate oral fluid sample collections? The most appropriate answer to this question starts with a discussion of the oral fluid collection process and device. A key benefit of oral fluid testing is that samples can be collected on-site – i.e. at the work-site or hiring location. On-site […]

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Suite of Online Solutions: Application Tracking Systems

June 24, 2014 Online Solutions

Many Human Resources professionals work in roles that extend beyond a single specialty. They may recruit, interview, check references, on-board, hire, take disciplinary actions, administer benefits and manage a drug and alcohol testing program. Along with these multiple job functions comes working in numerous systems. At Quest Diagnostics, we have a solution that gives you […]

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