What was in that brownie?

by Brie Edmonds on September 12, 2017

marijuana-edibleYou know the smell. The someone’s-smoking-pot-smell. But did you know that, when baked, marijuana can become odorless, undetectable, and may even be more potent than when it is smoked1?

Unfortunately, the Davis Regional Medical Center emergency room staff unwittingly learned this lesson firsthand. In April 2017, an employee unknowingly brought in baked goods that were laced with oil derived from marijuana. The cookies and muffins were put in the community kitchen for colleagues to enjoy, which they did. While authorities say patient care was not compromised, it easily could have been in this situation.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article Edible Marijuana: Issues for the Workplace notes that “consumption of marijuana by edible means is becoming more common in the growing number of states that have legalized the drug’s use.” This all begs the question, “Do we need to start questioning what is in the lunchroom brownies?”

As with any form of drug ingestion and its associated impairment, employers do need to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The impairing effects of marijuana can start quickly and can last for several hours. Marijuana that’s eaten can be more potent than marijuana that’s smoked, in part because the delayed onset of effect can lead to greater rates of drug consumption. Just Think Twice shares these negative effects of marijuana edibles:

  • Psychotic episodes
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Impaired motor ability

As state marijuana laws continue to change, it’s not surprising that marijuana use and drug test positivity are also on the rise. And while willing marijuana consumption is one issue, unknowing and unwilling consumption is something different and potentially more serious, especially as cases of emergency room visits, child illness, and accidental death associated with marijuana edibles continue to occur.

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



Addiction Recovery: A Celebration of Life

by Pablo Bolanos on September 6, 2017

“Recovery makes me feel like that empty space in my heart is finally filled. I have the motivation and drive that I have never experienced before. For the first time in my life, I believe I have a purpose, and I am so much more than just a hopeless junkie sentenced to a life of misery. Failure is not in the fall; it’s when you stop getting back up.”—a recovering addict’s story about her journey of recovery and rehabilitation.

Most people struggling with substance use disorders have a desire to stop using drugs and alcohol, yet kicking the habit is not easy. What begins as a voluntary choice to experiment with drugs or alcohol can sometimes turn into a habit that is no longer a free-willed choice. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), continued substance abuse can change the brain in dramatic and sometimes toxic ways that can lead to compulsive and even uncontrollable drug use.

Our brain’s pleasure center is a primitive A/B rewarded system; we indulge in activities because our brain chemistry grows accustomed to feeling rewards as dopamine surges. Overstimulating the reward system produces euphoric effects that strongly reinforce behavior and conditions a person to repeat it. Addicts battle against this hard-wired chemistry and cannot simply wake up and acknowledge the destruction drugs have brought to their lives.

Associations like Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), NIDA, and countless others observe National Recovery Month in September to raise awareness about substance use disorders and celebrate individuals in recovery—individuals like Cody who uses his sobriety to help others see a brighter future:

“I suffered from a substance use disorder and today I just try to have an open ear to people that want to talk. I try to create a safe space. I help those that come in through these doors [at HOPE center] every day, and try to give them inspiration. I’ve got a job now. I’m actually being a part of society now, which I’ve never been. I love life. I’m content with myself now. You know, life isn’t all rainbows and giggles. Stuff happens, but it’s how I deal with it now. I go out there and help someone that’s struggling and by doing that, I help myself. I just want to create a wonderful place for people to come and open up. Because I’ve never had that before, and many others haven’t had that, either.”

For more information about Recovery Month, visit SAMSHA’s website dedicated to the cause. Read stories of recovery like Cody’s and use the toolkits to bring attention to the benefits of substance abuse treatment and mental health programs.

If you or someone you know is unable to stop using drugs or alcohol, seek a referral from your primary care physician or locate an addiction specialist through the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Learn more about substance use disorders and their development in our An Exploration of Addiction blog series.

Top 7 Trends at SAPAA

August 30, 2017Drug Testing

Hundreds of drug and alcohol testing industry professionals met in Las Vegas for the annual Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) conference last week. As a platinum sponsor, we are proud to support a group whose mission is to establish, promote, and communicate the highest standards of quality, integrity, and professionalism in the administration of workplace […]

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Hair Testing Helps to Protect Safety

August 29, 2017Hair testing

Safety remains a primary reason for drug testing, and that’s just as true in the U.S. as it is in Brazil. The Brazilian government faced serious challenges keeping its streets and highways safe with 40,000 traffic-related deaths annually. The dangers were reflected in data from the World Health Organization, which ranks Brazil fifth in the […]

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An Exploration of Addiction: Trauma and Adult Substance Abuse

August 7, 2017Drug Testing

Our series has taken a closer look at the temptations of adolescent life and how experimentation and excess as young adults can feed substance use disorders. Sometimes trauma can push someone across the very thin line between a casual drug habit and addiction. As adults, we face endless challenges. Stress is a part of life […]

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Ask the Experts: Hair Drug Test Collections

August 4, 2017Hair testing

Question: How much hair is needed for a drug test? Rumors abound about exactly how much hair is snipped for a hair drug test. Some imagine they will suffer with a choppy, bad haircut or bald spot. Others fear they will lose their precious locks and require a hat wherever they go. In fact, quite […]

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America’s Favorite Illicit Drug: Marijuana

July 7, 2017Illicit drugs

Marijuana is the product of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, containing the psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Despite its illegal status, the drug reigns as America’s favorite and most commonly detected illicit drug. Since the 1920s, marijuana has been the subject of myths and propaganda while also being glamorized by pop culture, movies, and television. Attitudes relaxed in […]

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An Exploration of Addiction: Young Adults

June 27, 2017Drug Testing

In the previous installment of our Exploration of Addiction series, we examined the adolescent years and how access, curiosity, and a number of other factors can influence adolescent drug and alcohol use. We now turn our attention to a demographic that is sometimes synonymous with excess, experimentation, and substance-abuse: young adulthood. According to the National […]

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Name That Drug: Seemingly Superhuman

June 23, 2017Drug Testing

DATIA focus magazine is a quarterly publication of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) that provides up-to-date resources and information. As a top publication in our industry, DATIA focus features content on leading innovations, research, and current trends. The publication features in-depth articles that discuss trends, the effects of drugs, legal implications of drug and alcohol […]

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I’m There: Laron Nelson

June 19, 2017We're There

Always racing against time, Laron Nelson, Technical Forensic Processor, greets thousands of packages with a smile and an eagerness to get them moving throughout our Lenexa, Kansas laboratory. He is part of the specimen processing team that must always work quickly and efficiently because our clients trust Quest to deliver timely, accurate drug test results. […]

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