The term “recreational” defines as an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. Skiing, knitting, sporting leagues, and book clubs are examples of recreational activities that can enhance our overall life experience. Recreational is also a word used to describe the casual use of mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol. Because these behaviors are often exhibited in social settings, recreational drug and alcohol use is oftentimes perceived as harmless, non habit-forming behavior due to its informal nature and seemingly broad social acceptance.
However, a thin line separates the casual use of drugs and alcohol and the potential steep fall into a serious substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse disorders manifest when the recurrent use of drugs and/or alcohol causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
Why then, are some people able to casually enjoy a cocktail on the weekend while firing up the grill, while others end up crossing the line from recreational use to addiction? And, when a user’s life is flipped upside down because of their physical and psychological dependence on mind-altering substances, what are they and their loved ones to do?
In this new series, we will take a deeper dive into what decades of psychological and pharmacological research have to tell us about the science behind substance abuse disorders and addiction, how individuals are affected, and what employers can do to both thwart problematic behavior and to offer aid through established Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).
To learn more about drugs of abuse, visit our resources page or our common drugs of abuse literature.
Our By the Numbers blog series takes a closer look at the numbers, facts, data, and outputs that impact workplace drug testing programs. In this post, we examine the environmental impact of moving from paper-based custody and control forms (CCF) to electronic custody and control forms (eCCF).
Paper-based CCFs have been a mainstay of the drug testing industry since its inception in the 1980s, when the Reagan Administration passed the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency.” In 2016, Quest Diagnostics processed more than 11 million workplace drug tests. Moreover, on average, we supply our employer clients with 1.5 paper forms for each drug test conducted. And while a single 5-part paper form may not seem like much, 16.5 million such forms add up—and the environmental impact is dramatic. If eCCFs were used for every Quest Diagnostics drug test performed instead of paper CCFs, 10,000 trees could have been saved in 2016 alone. Expanding the calculation to the entire drug testing industry, an estimated 42,000+ trees could potentially be saved each year.
Quest Diagnostics has been investing in and providing eCCF (formerly known as eReq) to non-regulated employers for nearly a decade, and we launched eCCF for regulated, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug tests this January. eCCF is currently available for DOT urine, non-DOT urine, Express Results™ Online, oral fluid, and hair drug tests from Quest Diagnostics.
For more information on drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.