urine drug test

Accept the Challenge: Drug-free Work Week

by Pablo Bolanos on October 13, 2017

Today someone, somewhere in the U.S., will miss work, dodge deadlines, shift their work to others, and eventually leave a position vacant. Drug and alcohol abuse can be one of the contributing factors for absenteeism, lost productivity, and eventually turnover.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 7% of adults employed full-time and 9% of those employed part-time currently use illegal drugs. In fact, more than 60% of adults know someone who has come to work under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Additionally, American companies lose billions of dollars each year due to problems related to employee alcohol and drug use on the job, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. As a result, many employers have implemented drug-free workplace programs to help filter out drug and alcohol use to protect their company and employees.

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor initiated the National Drug-Free Work Week in an effort to improve safety and well-being in the construction industry. In the past decade, a wide range of industries have joined the cause to help emphasize the importance of a drug-free workforce. The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) has taken the reigns and developed helpful resources to heighten awareness and provide education about drug use in the workplace.

This year’s Drug-Free Work Week runs from October 16-21. Some of the available campaign materials include:

  • Ideas to support Drug-Free Work Week
  • Marijuana and driving
  • Marijuana in the workplace
  • Prescription drugs and the workplace
  • Parent resources

You can help by spreading the word to encourage your organization to participate in activities designed to encourage a safe, drug-free, healthy work environment – reflecting the true spirit of Drug-Free Work Week, October 16 – 21.

Download resources from the NDWA website.

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

Cincinnati: A 7-Day Look into Heroin Addiction

by Pablo Bolanos on September 29, 2017

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 comes to headlines about drug abuse, specifically the growing opioid epidemic, we are familiar with the tragedies, but typically click away once we’ve consumed only a few sentences. It’s easier for us to detach from the loss of life on the news because we don’t see the off-camera reality.

One group of journalists sought to change that and recorded an up-close look into a week in the life of those affected by heroin and other opioids. The project—Seven Days of Heroin—sent out more than 60 reporters, photographers, and videographers from Cincinnati with a single goal: capture the lives of people affected by the crisis.

“We set out to do this project not to affirm or deny differing views on the cost of battling addiction and its impact. Rather, we set out to understand how it unfolds day in and day out. This project is as close as you can get to seeing how a neighbor, the guy at your local gas station, or even family member may be struggling with a substance use disorder,” said Peter Bhatia, Editor and Vice President, Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com.

This unique, comprehensive reporting consists of unedited moments in time, not just headlines. Read some raw excerpts examining a single week in our country’s epidemic in an area of our country hard hit by overdoses:

Monday, 9 a.m. The woman from St. Bernard looks confused, as if she’s unsure how she got here. She was on the floor of her friend’s house, barely breathing, less than 12 hours ago.

Tuesday 1:10 p.m. The [7-year old-girl] hasn’t been home since she found her mother slumped over the toilet last year, high on heroin and barely conscious. Her father died of an overdose earlier this year.

Wednesday, 1:42 p.m. She’s 25 and addicted to the synthetic opiate [fentanyl.] She used to take heroin, but now she prefers the more powerful and more dangerous synthetic. Tall and fine-boned, Ali could be a model.

Thursday, 11 a.m. After years of addiction, Gaffney’s goals are modest. She wants to raise her child in a normal home. She wants a normal life.

Friday, 8:50 p.m. She’s starting to experience withdrawal symptoms, which are dangerous to her baby, so corrections officers are going to send her to the hospital. “How often do you use heroin during the pregnancy?” the medic asks. “Every day,” she says.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. About 80 people are here, preparing to hand out thousands of pamphlets and door hangers packed with information about addiction and treatment. Some wear T-shirts proclaiming “NKY Hates Heroin,” or “Hope over Heroin.”

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. “Gracie? Wake up, Gracie,” one of them says, kneeling next to her. They rub her chest and continue setting up the IV. They talk about the possibility she took something even worse than heroin, like carfentanil, a synthetic opiate that’s blamed for a growing number of overdoses.

Journalism like this helps to expose the truth in our communities and attach faces to stories of lives in danger. After all, addiction is not a choice. If it was, it is safe to say that the majority of people would never choose it. Our society must respond with compassion and understanding and focus our efforts on recovery and rehabilitation to battle drug addiction.

Read the full Seven Days of Heroin report and watch the videos.

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 from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Detect marijuana more often using oral fluid

September 27, 2017Oral Fluid testing

As state marijuana laws continue to change, it’s not surprising that marijuana use and drug test positivity are also on the rise. An estimated 24 million adults (aged 12 or older) currently use marijuana, according to latest data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. New technology in oral fluid testing has proven effective […]

Read the full article →

Addiction Recovery: A Celebration of Life

September 6, 2017Drugs & Alcohol

“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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Risk Management: New trends in workforce drug use

August 2, 2017Drug Testing

In the early afternoon of Jan. 4, 1987, an Amtrak train crashed into a locomotive 18 miles northeast of Baltimore, causing 16 deaths and dozens of injuries. In post-accident drug and alcohol testing, the engineer driving the train tested positive for marijuana, although no one noticed anything unusual about his behavior before the crash that […]

Read the full article →

Ask the Experts: Drug testing cutoffs

July 18, 2017Drug Testing

Question: Can you explain cutoff levels for laboratory-based drug testing? In workplace drug testing, the industry standard process involves two-tiered testing – an initial screen on one portion of the specimen, followed by a confirmatory test on a second portion of the original specimen. The initial test is designed to separate negative specimens from further […]

Read the full article →

Zika Spotlight: Past, Present, and Future

July 11, 2017Drug Testing

“At first I thought Emanuelle was just a tiny baby but I noticed she wasn’t developing like my nephew of the same age. At four months she couldn’t sit down properly and was very floppy and didn’t move around at lot.” Emanuelle’s mother, Vanessa, found out the heart-breaking news that her baby had a mild […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →