Busting the Top 10 Marijuana Myths

by Landon Todd on October 31, 2014

DATIA BrochureThe latest data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) reports that marijuana continues to be the most commonly detected illicit drug. Analysis of more than 7.6 million urine drug tests shows marijuana positivity in the combined U.S. workforce increased 6.2 percent, to 1.7 percent in 2013 compared to 1.6 percent in 2012.

With the recent changes in marijuana legislation, some have been led to believe that marijuana is harmless, not addictive and safer than alcohol. However, research studies, information and opinions from recognized authorities in the medical and scientific communities also merit consideration. In an effort to combat some of the misperceptions about marijuana, the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) developed a brochure that highlights the common myths surrounding marijuana use.

Visit DATIA’s website to download the brochure and learn more about the myths and impacts of marijuana use.

Ebola and Workplace Drug Testing Programs

by Pablo Bolanos on October 30, 2014

IMG_0752The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is an infectious disease that has rapidly spread in parts of West Africa. In recent weeks, cases of infected individuals have been reported in the United States. A consequence of the high profile of the virus has been the heightened need for workplaces to react appropriately in order to help ensure the health and safety of their employees.

The majority of workplace drug testing is performed on urine specimens collected at collection sites like our Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers (PSCs). In a statement released on October 23, Quest Diagnostics assures that our priority is the health and safety of our employees, donors and patients.In an abundance of caution, we will not collect specimens from suspected Ebola patients at our Patient Service Centers and in-office phlebotomy sites. We will not accept or process specimens from known or suspected Ebola patients. Once a suspected Ebola patient is confirmed to be Ebola-negative, specimens from that individual may be sent to Quest Diagnostics.

For those specimen types that are self-collected at the place of employment like oral fluid, the risk of transmission of the Ebola virus is reported to be minimal by health authorities. Earlier this month the World Health Organization stated that although contact with saliva and tears may carry some risk, studies implicating these bodily fluids were extremely limited in sample size, and as such the science is inconclusive. Furthermore, in various reports, the presence of the Ebola virus in saliva was found most frequently in patients at severe stages of the illness, thus, it appears to be highly unlikely that an individual would be able to present themselves for drug testing. In short, the risk to employees of our oral fluid drug testing clients is extremely low. In all cases, it is imperative that proper collection procedures, in which the donor is the only individual in contact with the sample, are consistently applied. That said, while the risk of transmission from collecting oral fluid drug testing specimens may be low, it is our recommendation that our employer clients not collect specimens from known and suspected Ebola patients. As stated above, we will not accept or process these specimens in our laboratories.

Once a suspected Ebola patient is confirmed to be Ebola-negative, specimens from that individual may be sent to Quest Diagnostics. Learn more about how we are handling the Ebola outbreak by reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions.

Methamphetamine Positivity Increases Across All Testing Types

October 24, 2014 Illicit Drugs

Amphetamines, which includes Methamphetamine, are a distinct class of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system producing an increase in alertness and awareness. Methamphetamine releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. Methamphetamine is made using relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients which gives it a high potential for […]

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Avoid Common Employer Substance Abuse Prevention Program Mistakes

October 17, 2014 Quest News

Today, 14.6 million employees in the United States are current drug users, meaning the employee has used an illicit drug at least once in the past month. Substance abuse in the workplace adversely impacts performance, attendance, safety and health care costs. Our presenter, Mark A. de Bernardo, is a nationally recognized expert in workplace drug testing and substance […]

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Workplace Opioid Use is Costing Employers

October 15, 2014 Quest News

A recent Wall Street Journal article highlights the impact of the increasing use of heroin and opioids in the workplace and its financial toll. Employers are struggling with a rise in accidents, theft, absenteeism and turnover as well as reduced productivity due to drug abuse. The article tells the story of how drug use is “afflicting the […]

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October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October 13, 2014 Industry News

The latest data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) reports that the positivity rate for 7.6 million urine drug tests in the combined U.S. workforce increased to 3.7 percent in 2013, compared to 3.5 percent in 2012. The relative increase of 5.7 percent year-over-year is the first time the positivity rate for combined […]

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Insights from our ‘Tracking the Trends’ Webinar

October 10, 2014 Quest News

Industry expert, Dr. Barry Sample, Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, is responsible for gathering, publishing and interpreting the trends for the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) data. The DTI is arguably the industry’s longest standing, most frequently relied upon resource for drug use patterns within the American workforce.  In a recent webinar, Dr. […]

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National Drug-Free Work Week: October 13-18

October 7, 2014 Industry News

The latest data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) reports that the positivity rate for 7.6 million urine drug tests in the combined U.S. workforce increased to 3.7 percent in 2013, compared to 3.5 percent in 2012. The relative increase of 5.7 percent year-over-year is the first time the positivity rate for combined […]

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Online Drug Testing Solutions Made Simple

October 3, 2014 Online Solutions

Technology gives you the tools to help to make complicated tasks simpler. Because we know the drug testing process can sometimes be complex, we analyzed the steps to identify and create useful, electronic solutions designed to simplify and enhance your workflow. We offer a full spectrum of online solutions for each step of the drug […]

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Marijuana Positivity Increases

October 1, 2014 Illicit Drugs

Marijuana continues to be the most commonly detected illicit drug, according to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) analysis of urine drug tests. Marijuana positivity in the combined U.S. workforce increased 6.2 percent, to 1.7 percent in 2013 compared to 1.6 percent in 2012. In the safety-sensitive workforce, marijuana positivity increased 5.6 percent (0.67% […]

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