International 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.


International Drug and Alcohol Trends

by Pablo Bolanos on October 31, 2017

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., Canada has struggled with a significant increase in opioid-related deaths during the past two decades. According to research from the Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, more than 700 people died of opioid-related causes in 2015. If you employ people in these countries, drug use trends are critical for companies striving to maintain a drug-free workforce.

The International Forum for Drug and Alcohol Testing conference (IFDAT) brings thought leaders together to share best practices and engage in dialogue about how to keep global workplaces safe, productive, and drug-free. Insights about other countries’ experiences with drugs and alcohol help to develop a deeper understanding of cultures, foreign laws, and societal attitudes towards substance abuse, and subsequently, drug testing.

At the last IFDAT conference, which took place in Florida in October, sessions included aviation regulations, drug panel configurations throughout the world, international Medical Review Officer services, alcohol biomarker testing (including PEth), road safety, and dealing with test results across borders. Yet, during the conference, a universal theme emerged: drug use, drug abuse, and fatal overdoses do not singularly affect one subset of a population, one tier of income, or only “the western world.” The latest findings from the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report portray a vivid picture of drug and alcohol use across the globe:

  • 28 million cumulative years of life are lost as a result of drug use
  • An estimated 183 million past-year users of cannabis, or marijuana, in 2015
  • Approximately 1.6 million people who inject drugs have HIV and 6.1 million have Hepatitis C
  • Cultivation of the coca bush, the primary resource used in cocaine production, increased by 30% from 2013 to 2015, following a long decline
  • Drug trafficking using the “Darknet” has increased 50% each year since 2013

Additionally, Dr. Anthony Wong, Medical and Scientific Director of MAXILABOR Diagnostics, based out of Brazil, spoke about the benefits of implementing a rehabilitation program alongside voluntary employee drug testing. Dr. Wong looks at drug use and abuse as treatable conditions, and with the help of the Brazilian government has established the “CUIDE” program, a 5-step protocol that guides company policy towards treatment and rehab as part of a new kind of workplace drug testing program.

Another conclusion is that drug testing abroad is not easy. However complex, the benefits of drug-free workplace programs is supported by data and research. At Quest, we work to simplify drug testing abroad, from the collection of the specimen, to the shipping of the specimen from remote corners of the earth in an effort to streamline the entire process. Our centralized team of subject matter experts helps our clients to navigate logistics and obstacles overseas.

To learn more about international drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

Recognizing 20 Years of International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2017Drug Testing

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). IOAD is an annual, worldwide event that aims to shed light on the hundreds of thousands of people who die every year from overdosing on drugs. Twenty years ago, IOAD was instituted by social health workers Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker in Australia as a local event. […]

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Worldwide Economic Development and Drug Use

March 2, 2017International testing

Regardless of where we live in the world, socioeconomic status can influence our life experiences. From the neighborhoods were we grow up, to the extracurricular activities we take part in, many times the circumstances into which we are born can predetermine our futures and the futures of the generations that follow. According to the American […]

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Webinar: Navigating Global Drug Testing

November 10, 2016International testing

Drug use is prevalent throughout the world. According to the 2015 World Drug Report, an estimated 246 million people have used an illicit drug in 2013 and about 27 million people suffer from drug addiction. For that reason, drug testing is crucial for international businesses when hiring new applicants or making decisions about current employees. In the […]

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Drug Abuse Spans the Globe

October 3, 2016International testing

The percentage of employees in the combined U.S. workforce testing positive for drugs has steadily increased over the last three years to a 10-year high according to the latest Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ data. In the United States, the media spotlight on drug-related topics, such as the opioid epidemic, frame drug abuse and addiction […]

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Increased Drug Use Fuels Global Drug Testing Market

July 14, 2016International testing

Drug use continues to make headlines, from the rise in marijuana use, to the recently publicized opioid epidemic and the continued danger posed by synthetic drugs. Less publicized is the impact of drug abuse on companies and society, and the search for ways to combat it. One solution that more policy-makers, employers and individuals are […]

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The United Kingdom has the Highest Cocaine Use in Europe

June 22, 2016International testing

Often associated with rock stars and the “social elite,” cocaine has a long history of use dating back to its origins as a medicinal compound in the late 19th century. Cocaine use reached its peak during the disco era in the 1970s and 80s. Recently, there has been a resurgence of cocaine use, and its […]

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International Drug Testing Q&A

June 14, 2016International testing

In the United States, workplace drug testing helps companies reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and establish safer drug-free work environments by deterring substance abuse. Abroad, the benefits of workplace drug testing programs are generally not as widely understood and resources used for educating employers are not as readily available. Drug use is prevalent throughout the world. […]

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International Drug Testing Questions & Answers

September 12, 2014International testing

Quest Diagnostics is a sponsor at this year’s International Forum for Drug & Alcohol Testing (IFDAT) conference in Belfast, Ireland. The conference enables employers and industry providers to share best practices, learn about new developments, and find ways to improve efficiencies in the international employee screening process. Coleen Volksdorf, Manager of International Services at Quest Diagnostics, […]

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