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 abuse.
The latest data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) reports that the positivity rate for amphetamines use – specifically the use of methamphetamine – increased across all three specimen types – urine, oral fluid and hair. Combined U.S. workforce data in urine showed a 10 percent (0.85% vs. 0.77%) year-over-year increase in amphetamines positivity in 2013 compared to 2012. In the U.S. general workforce, methamphetamine positivity in urine drug tests increased 27 percent (0.14% vs. 0.11%); oral fluid methamphetamine positivity increased by 50 percent (0.24% vs. 0.16%) and the positivity rate in hair testing jumped by 55 percent (1.2% vs. 0.77%). Amphetamines positivity rates are now at their highest levels on record and methamphetamine positivity rates are at their highest levels since 2007, across all specimen types.
Read the full release at QuestDiagnostics.com/DTI or download the new Drug Testing Index brochure. You can also subscribe to get email updates containing the latest DTI information.
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 anationally recognized expert in workplace drug testing and substance abuse prevention. As a Senior Partner of Jackson Lewis LLP, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, government relations and workplace drug testing issues. In addition, Mr. de Bernardo is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, a national coalition dedicated to promoting and preserving the rights of employers and employees in effective substance abuse prevention programs.
Mr. de Bernardo says, “Employees should know that their choice to engage in illicit drug use jeopardizes their employment with the company.”
Below are some valuable tips from his presentation to help to create an effective workplace policy and substance abuse prevention program.
- Ensure the three essentials – justification, prohibitions and penalties – are included in your company’s policy.
- Be direct and to the point with your company policy. Do not dilute the language of the policy. If your message is clear and strong, it effectively defines the penalties for a violation.
- Use the words safety and health in the first sentence of your policy. Emphasize that your company is committed to ensuring a drug-free work environment for all of its employees.
- Include the misuse of illegal drugs, illicit drugs (such as synthetic drugs), legal drugs taken without a valid prescription or not in accordance with a prescription, and alcohol in your policy.
- Follow federal law regardless of what’s happening at the state level. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) outlines all illegal drugs.
- Conduct a pre-employment drug test post-offer and pre-hire. A job candidate should not start working prior to passing their drug test.
- Do not limit your prohibitions to “on-the-job.” Simply prohibit drug use – period.
- Implement a “post-incident,” not a post-accident drug testing policy to cover all circumstances.
- Communicate your policy repeatedly and on an ongoing basis. Conduct employee education and awareness programs to encourage cooperation.
- Universally apply the policy to all employees across the company.
Visit our webinar page to listen to a recording of this webinar and other presentations by Quest Diagnostics.
For more information about drug testing and how to build an effective program, contact us online.