Drug Testing

Drug testing around the world

by Pablo Bolanos on December 6, 2017

A workplace drug testing program helps companies screen and hire the best, most talented, drug-free individual for the job. A program also supports efforts to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive environment for all employees. This priority should not change if your organization has employees who work overseas.

In the U.S., drug testing at the federal level of safety-sensitive employees paved the way for private sector employers to begin workplace drug testing programs to screen applicants and employees. When drug testing internationally however, there are no universal guidelines for employers to follow.

We know there are challenges with international drug testing such as logistics, turnaround times, customs, and training collectors, and we are committed to solving them. In our case study, we focus on how we make international drug testing easy. Key topics include:

  • Global drug use statistics
  • Benefits of international drug testing
  • Return on investment
  • Global testing program check-list
  • A day in the life of an international drug test specimen

In the end, an experienced, reliable drug testing provider can help to bridge the knowledge gap and coordinate the necessary resources to manage an effective international drug testing program.

Download our new International Drug Testing Case study.

Watch an archive of the Navigating Global Drug Testing webinar to get answers to the most common question about drug-free workplace programs abroad.

For more information about international drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.


 

federal-form.jpgEarlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The HHS guideline revisions will lead to the following changes:

  • Expanded Federal urine workplace drug testing to include four Schedule II drugs: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone
  • Removed MDEA for confirmatory testing
  • Raised the lower pH cutoff from 3 to 4 to identify an adulterated specimen
  • Allowed a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to recommend the collection of an oral fluid specimen in certain situations, as permitted by agency policy

This week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the revised Federal Custody and Control Form (CCF). This approval essentially links the forthcoming testing changes to the required paperwork that will accompany the testing specimens. HHS published a Q&A document to help clarify a number of the changes.

While the impact of these revised regulations is somewhat complex, here are a few key insights that you should be aware of at this time:

1. These changes only apply to Federal employee testing. If your company performs oral fluid, hair, instant, or non-DOT urine drug testing, these changes do not apply to your program.

**Update** On Friday, November 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) amended its regulations to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone, four commonly-abused opioids; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. This change harmonizes DOT regulations with the HHS guidelines published earlier this year. The Final Rule published in the Federal Register on Monday, November 13, and the new testing standards will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Read the full text of the Final Rule.

The most current guidance, DOT Drug Testing: Part 40 – Employee Notice, was published on December 12, 2017.

2. At this time, you should not order new paper CCF forms. The new Federal form was approved earlier this week—on August 8, 2017. As such, the printing of new forms has not yet begun. The Federal forms you have on hand today are still valid and can be used without issue for another 10 months—until June 30, 2018.

**Update** On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice in response to the HHS release from August 8, 2017. In this notice, they state that because the DOT’s final rule on synthetic opiates has yet to be issued, “…employers and their service agents are to continue using the ‘old’ CCF until further notice from DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance.”

3. The anticipated go-live date for the testing changes detailed in the bullet points above is October 1, 2017. This week’s announcement only pertains to Federal CCF forms, and was essentially published to give laboratories and other service providers the ability to cease production of the legacy form and to transition production to the new form.

4. There has never been a better time to switch to eCCF. You have better things to do than keeping tabs on changing form and panel regulations, ensuring you’re using the correct form at the proper time, and dealing with the expense and hassles of shipping and storing all of this paperwork. Our electronic CCF (eCCF) process helps bear the regulatory and administrative burden for you— the new, online form is scheduled to go live in our system on October 1. There’s no cost to use it, it’s available today for all specimen types and testing reasons, and it’s simple to use. In the time it’s taken you to read this article, you could have signed up and gotten started.

As your partner in drug testing and workplace safety, we are aware of the changes and are working diligently on your behalf to ready our laboratories, systems, and personnel. We are committed helping create a smooth and seamless transition as we collectively adapt to the regulatory obligations to which we’re bound.

As we do all of this, you should do four simple things:

  • Continue testing as usual. The effort at this point falls on the laboratory, not on you or your drug testing program. You do not need new forms at this time.
  • Get news and updates from the DOT via email by subscribing to the DOT notification system (list serve).
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you stay current with news and updates on this and other topics.
  • Join the thousands of customers of all sizes and in all industries who have moved away from paper-based drug testing documentation and who are now processing millions of eCCFs each year

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

 

Hair Drug Test Procedures

November 7, 2017Drug Testing

Hair drug testing can help employers detect habitual use by job applicants and employees. Its primary benefit when compared to other types of drug testing is its long detection window. Additionally, the process requires a small specimen of hair cut under direct supervision, making it difficult to tamper or cheat.  When compared with urine testing, […]

Read the full article →

Ask the Experts: Cheating an oral fluid drug test

November 2, 2017Oral Fluid testing

Q: Is it possible for a donor to cheat an oral fluid drug test? Over time, we have heard about numerous attempts by individuals trying to cheat an oral fluid drug test. Examples include excessively rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash, chewing ice, eating Altoids® mints, drinking excessive amounts of water, using products that claim to clean […]

Read the full article →

International Drug and Alcohol Trends

October 31, 2017Drug Testing

Brazil is known for spectacular beaches, the Amazon rainforest, and over the past decade, the “Cracklands,” a notorious part of Rio de Janeiro at the heart of Brazil’s growing crack-cocaine epidemic. On the other side of the equator, there is Canada, often referred to as “the friendly neighbor to the north.” Much like the U.S., […]

Read the full article →

How to choose a drug testing laboratory

October 30, 2017Drug Testing

Studies by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggest that substance abuse – which includes drugs and alcohol – costs the U.S. an estimated $276 billion a year, with much of the cost resulting from lost work productivity and increased healthcare spending. Compared to the risks that hiring a drug user can […]

Read the full article →

Clinical Spotlight: Hepatitis C

October 19, 2017Clinical testing

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and a leading cause of liver cancer and transplants. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the United States are infected with the virus. Nicknamed “a silent disease,” the vast majority—at least 50%— of HCV cases go undiagnosed and many result in fatalities […]

Read the full article →

Ask the Experts: Hair drug test specimens

October 17, 2017Hair testing

Q: Can a hair drug test be performed on someone with little or no hair? We get many questions from both individuals scheduled for a drug screen and employers in anticipation of a hair drug test. They wonder how much hair is needed, what part of the head is the hair is cut from, whether […]

Read the full article →

Half of Americans tested misused prescription medications

October 3, 2017Drug Testing

Quest Diagnostics Health Trends studies are published in peer-reviewed medical journals and by the company as a public service. The research features insights and analysis from a large database of laboratory data. Most recently, we released the Prescription Drug Misuse in America: Diagnostic Insights in the Growing Drug Epidemic report, which examined 3.4 million prescription […]

Read the full article →

Cincinnati: A 7-Day Look into Heroin Addiction

September 29, 2017Drug Testing

Advancements in technology allow us to experience more than just our own lives. Through the screens we hold, we passively watch, comment, and discuss as observers and bystanders. With the 24-hour news cycle and reality television, we can become desensitized and may even experience compassion fatigue, a side effect of vicariously experiencing trauma. When it […]

Read the full article →