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Drug Testing

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70,237 Americans died in 2017 from drug overdoses.  Of those individuals that died from a drug overdose, 47,600 of them or approximately 68%, died with opioids in their systems.  Opioid overdoses can occur from prescription opioids, like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine or illegal opioids, like heroin and fentanyl. An opioid overdose occurs when too much of the drug is taken.  The drug then overwhelms the individual’s brain and interrupts the body’s natural drive to breathe.

urine drug test

Symptoms of an Opioid Overdose Include:

  • Small constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Falling asleep or loss of consciousness
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Pale, blue, or cold skin

Unlike other prescription opioids like Percocet and Narco which are generally used in an outpatient setting, Fentanyl, which is an opioid mainly used in hospital settings to treat severe pain in the end of life illnesses, has become a cause for concern among US communities and health care organizations. Fentanyl could probably be considered the most powerful opioid in medicine today and has a high potential for abuse that can result in severe psychological or physical dependence. The addictive properties of synthetic fentanyl are 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than many forms of heroin.

But Fentanyl not only causes dependence, now there is there is the issue of accidental exposure to this strong substance. In fact, first responders, healthcare workers, crime investigators, and hazardous materials response teams, as well as the general public can unknowingly inhale fentanyl from objects that are laced with this opioid. Sadly, fentanyl is fueling the opioid epidemic with devastating consequences for the average American.

So how do we stop this deadly drug from unleashing havoc on our local communities? Well, countries around the world, including the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain, have developed programs with government funding where drug users can take their illegal drugs to be tested for contamination and flag dangerously strong doses. Similarly, in the United States, the California Department of Public Health started providing fentanyl testing strips to harm reduction centers in May of 2017 in hopes to reduce the number of deaths caused by fentanyl.  By providing testing strips and easy access to drug testing clinics, it is hoped that drug overdose deaths will begin to decrease.

If someone you know begins to show signs of an opioid overdose, it is imperative to seek medical care immediately.  Your fast response time may be the difference between life and death for that person.

Contact Mednovations for a Urine Drug Test Today

Although total prevention will most likely never occur each life saved by some type of positive change is considered a win. Testing for fentanyl and other opioids can easily be done by a urine drug test. If you live in the Washington DC metro area, consider Mednovations for reliable, accurate, confidential, and efficient urine drug test services and more. Contact us today for more information or schedule an appointment online.

marijuana breathalyzer and drug testing

In a study regarding illicit drugs and driving, over 50% of drug users admitted to driving while high. Driving while under the influence of marijuana can have many negative consequences and potentially lead to death.  Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary active ingredient in marijuana, can affect body movements,  judgment, memory, balance, and coordination—all which are needed to drive safely. A driver’s vision and coordination required full attention.  However, when a drug user is high, their perception of speed and time, attentiveness, ability to react, and even the ability to problem solve is all negatively impacted.

With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana increasing, law enforcement officers throughout the country are concerned about drivers driving under the influence of marijuana. In the past, officers have had to rely on detection methods such as observation, this includes the smell of marijuana, difficulty following instructions and performing simple coordination tests, and blood or urine test, but there is hope that this will soon be changing.

Marijuana Breathalyzer

Marijuana breathalyzers are extremely more sensitive than the current alcohol breathalyzers. With the marijuana breathalyzer, officers will be able to detect THC on the breath of potential drugged drivers directly at the scene.  The driver will blow into a small tube on the marijuana breathalyzer for 30 seconds.  Within four minutes, officers will have access to the breathalyzer results. Ultimately, holding drivers liable and making the roadways safer.  Using saliva or urine to test for THC can take an extended period of time and requires a lab for analysis.  However, with the marijuana breathalyzer, law enforcement officers will be able to quickly determine if the driver has used marijuana within two or three hours prior to testing.

Contact Mednovations for Drug Testing Services and More

The creation of the marijuana breathalyzer will ensure quick results when needed immediately.  However, for reliable and precise drug testing results you can count on Mednovations.  Our lab offers a urine panel drug test that can detect marijuana in the system as well as other drugs.  Our instant drug testing services offer accurate results with quick turnaround times. Contact Mednovations today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, pot or a joint. No matter the term that is most familiar to you, this age-old plant has been known to many cultures and societies for centuries. Surprisingly, although only more recently used for its medicinal properties in the United States, cannabis has been used in countries like India for child birth pain, in ancient Greece for sores, nosebleed and tapeworms and in the medieval Islamic world for vomiting and fever. However, it was not until the 1600s that marijuana made its debut in the United States and is now legal for medicinal purposes in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

For a significant portion of the US population marijuana is used for recreational purposes and is considered illegal. For those who inhale or smoke marijuana its effects on the body takes place in a few minutes, peaking in less than fifteen minutes and lasts for about four hours. If cannabis is ingested orally an individual does not feel the effects for an hour with symptoms peaking in about two hours and lasting for about 6 hours.

Some of the negative effects felt include paranoia, impaired memory and altered motor function. But on the positive side marijuana can help with increasing appetite and pain management. Marinol, cesamet and sativex are just some of the synthetic forms of marijuana available for medical use.

Most states that have legalized Marijuana have seen a decrease in crimes associated with cannabis but an increase in vehicle accidents associated with motor vehicle operators who have used marijuana prior to driving.

Given marijuana’s negative effects on one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center has begun to look at ways that cannabis affects the brains of motor vehicle operators and as well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently researching the development of a drug test for marijuana intoxication like those tests used for alcohol intoxication. This type of innovative technology is still years away. Until then it almost certain that there will be a segment of the population that see marijuana as the all good herb with medicinal properties and good for recreational use taking the user to the ultimate state of euphoria. While others will see it as a harmful drug responsible for motor vehicle accidents and criminal behavior. Whatever, the perspective, it is certain that Marijuana will have its place in modern society for centuries more to come.

Workplace drug use is on the rise. After years of steadily declining, the percentage of American workers testing positive for drug use has steadily risen and reached a decade-long high in 2015. Some of the nation’s largest drug testing labs have indicated that the positivity rate in 2015 rose to 4 percent—a level not seen since 20051. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. (NCADD), drug abuse costs employers $81 billion annually2 through lost productivity, workplace accidents and injuries, employee absenteeism, low morale, and increased illness.

Signs that an employee may be using drugs include inconsistent work quality, poor concentration, increased absenteeism, unexplained disappearances from the workplace, carelessness and disregard for job site safety, extended lunches and early departures, and deterioration in personal appearance and/or hygiene, among others.

While these signs may be indicative of drug use, employee drug testing can provide employers with certainty that their workplace is drug-free. Many employers drug test pre-employment, but there are other kinds of drug testing, including post-accident, random testing, return-to-duty, and post-rehabilitation.

Benefits of random drug testing include improved workplace safety and reduced company liability. A study of the effects of drug testing at the Southern Pacific Railroad showed that it resulted in accidents decreasing from 2,234 accidents before drug testing to just 322 in the first half of the fourth year of the drug-testing program. This represents a 71.2 percent annual decrease in accidents.3 Company costs may also be reduced through incentive programs offered by health insurance and other carriers including property, casualty, and liability insurance as well as Worker’s Compensation carriers. Long-term benefits of random drug testing are deterring current employees from engaging in drug use, preventing the need for substance abuse recovery programs, and improved employee morale and productivity.

There are many companies that can assist your business with drug testing. Before choosing a company, there are some considerations to take into account, like the number of drug tests you need and what type of test you want, whether it be a hair follicle drug test, urine drug test, or breath alcohol test. Each test has its pros and cons, so be sure to choose the drug test and testing company that can help your business create the best drug-free workplace.

References:

1. http://ehstoday.com/health/drug-abuse-costs-employers-81-billion-year
2. http://ehstoday.com/standards/osha/ehs_imp_36028
About the Author

Jessica Filippi is a freelance writer and editor with over a decade of publishing experience. Offering a full range of publishing services including editorial and proofreading, blog writing, and self-publishing, she may be contacted through her website, www.jessicafilippi.com, or directly at jessica.filippi@gmail.com.