Testing It Up

Cairo University Begins Mandatory Drug Testing for Students

Egypt’s premier university has recently unveiled its drug testing mandate on students without receiving any objections thus far.drug testing

Cairo University has reportedly finished drug testing more than 4,000 students, with thousands more pending. Amidst the ongoing series of democratic protests in the country, Cairo University released a statement on its website saying university students will be allowed residence in the school’s hostel only if they agree to drug testing procedures administered by the university’s National Center for Clinical and Environmental Toxicology.

Results of drug testing on university students are released on the same day of administration and sent to the hostel. The school website also stated that approximately 13,000 students eligible to stay in Cairo University’s hostel are set to be tested under the new procedures.

University president Gaber Nassar expressed that the drug testing policy “is in the interest of students” and emphasized the importance of “finishing analysis procedures to students quickly and easily.”

October 20, 2014 at 7:41 am Comments (0)

Employees’ Opioid Use Wreaking Havoc with Companies

Abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin among employees is leading to lower productivity and higher turnover for companies where abuse is rampant, according to The Wall Street Journal.drug testing

Employers in Allen County, Ohio say up to a whopping 70% of job applicants are failing drug tests, according to Jed Metzger, President of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce. Employees in the greater Cincinnati area have tested positive for opioids after being involved in accidents, ranging from damaging property with heavy equipment to crashing company vehicles.

In addition to higher accident rates, employee opioid use can contribute to increased theft and absenteeism in the workplace, Trey Grayson, President of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, said.

Although between 2003 and 2013, overall drug use among U.S. workers declined 18%, it actually rose for certain opioids, including Dilaudid and Vicodin, according to Quest Diagnostics numbers.

Companies are combatting employee opioid use by expanding drug testing, introducing zero-tolerance drug use policies and adding employee-assistance programs for workers who need addiction treatment.

October 14, 2014 at 8:53 am Comments (0)

Managing Workers’ Compensation Costs Through Advanced Drug Testing

Lab-based oral fluid testing can be a more affordable alternative to urine testing and with the federal government currently working on a set of regulations for saliva tests, more companies are bound to start using them in the near future.drug-free workplace

In addition to being more cost effective than urine testing, lab-based oral fluid testing and drug testing in general can also help a company save money on Workers’ Compensation claims and premiums, according to corporate drug testing expert Bill Current, founder of the Current Consulting Group, and Mark Pew, senior vice president of medical cost management services company PRIUM.

The two recently conducted a webinar detailing how lab-based oral fluid testing could potentially save money for companies for the actual testing process, in lost productivity costs and in Workers’ Compensation premiums.

Because the collection of oral fluid is so much easier than urine collecting, you don’t need to follow all the regulations for urine collecting. It’s also much quicker and you can easily train someone on your staff to do it, meaning you have less employee downtime.

Testing for drugs in the workplace will help companies cut down on employee absenteeism, accidents and Workers’ Compensation (WC) claims. It may even help them save money on their WC premiums.

Visit TestCountry to read the full article on how lab-based oral fluid drug testing can save your company money.

October 9, 2014 at 8:03 am Comments (0)

Highlights and insights from the 2014 National Safety Council Conference and Expo

September 22, 2014 at 7:53 am Comments (0)

Development For Portable Bath Salts Drug Test Kits Under Way

The war on drugs has just been given a major boost through a recent study involving the development of better test kits for bath salts detection.

bath saltsA news release from the America Chemical Society revealed that scientists are currently developing a portable drug test kit to detect bath salts. The illicit drug has been declared illegal in the U.S., but many retail shops and online stores are still carrying the controversial substance on their shelves. This new drug testing technology aims to provide a more convenient way to identify the use of bath salts.

While existing testing technologies that detect bath salts are already available, the equipment used in these tests are difficult to transport and carry around. One bath salt test equipment was developed for field use, but it made use of a mercury electrode, which is dangerous to human health.

The team of scientists led by Craig Banks is trying to develop a safe and convenient drug testing kit to identify bath salts. Their initial prototypes resulted in a testing method that is not only safe and easy to handle, but is also disposable, fast, and affordable. The team hopes that their discovery could be installed in modern handheld devices for better detection of bath salt compounds.

Bath salts are composed of synthetic cathinones derived from the khat plant that is abundant in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The compounds in bath salts create a euphoric feeling, which may later regress to hallucinations, seizures, and even death.

September 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm Comment (1)

New Research Says Workplace Drug Testing Benefits African-American Men

In what many may see as an odd twist, people’s own bigoted misconceptions actually mean that workplace drug testing benefits African-American men.drug testing Texas politicians

This is because even though drug use is about equal between white and black people, the common perception is that black people abuse drugs much more than their white counterparts, freelance writer Max Taves says. Workplace drug testing shows this misconception to be false, enabling black men to get higher paying jobs more frequently.

Taves wrote an article about the study, which was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“It’s a counterintuitive study. The economist who wrote this kind of knew going into it and wanted to test it,” Taves told the Huffington Post. “What it means is that companies’ information, their perception of African-Americans employees relative to white employees and drug use is wrong.”

Fourteen states, mostly in the South and Midwest, adopted laws back in the 1980s to enforce testing by offering legal and financial incentives to companies that test current and prospective employees. Seven states, mostly in the Northeast and West, developed laws to explicitly limit testing while 29 states made little or no significant changes.

Notre Dame University economist Abigail Wozniak studied the impact of those laws on African-American employment between 1980 and 2010 and found that low-skilled black men were significantly impacted by the pro-drug test laws. Their wages in states that tested rose 12% more than black employees in states opposed to testing and 4% more than in the “neutral” states.

The overall employment rate of black men in pro-testing states didn’t change, Wozniak said, but black men were able to get better jobs because of it. The firms most likely to test employees are bigger, pay better and offer more benefits than firms that don’t test.

“These pro-testing firms hired more blacks and paid more,” said Wozniak.

 Once the companies realized their perception about hiring black employees was incorrect — proven to them by drug testing — they felt more confident hiring black employees.

August 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm Comments (0)

Drug Testing Myths Debunked

The field of drug testing has been receiving a lot of flak from the public eye. Some of the bad publicity involving drug testing and drug test kits include lack of accuracy, as well as selective drug identification.

random drug testingIn addition to this, any person undergoing a drug test is at a risk of public ridicule and persecution once the results come out. Because many drug test kits can provide accurate results, people subjected to the tests — especially when administered randomly and in mandatory fashion — are likely to feel bad about themselves or get discriminated upon.

The folks at Test Country have listed a number of myths surrounding drug testing technology, and the realities behind them. Here are some of the highlights of the feature article:

  • Two successive drug tests do not confirm an earlier result. Instead, the drug testing technique must be replaced with a more accurate method.
  • Synthetic opiates cannot be confirmed through a regular opiate screening test. These kinds of substances require special drug test kits for better detection.
  • Being exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke may yield positive results for THC, but the numbers will not be at the same magnitude as in samples taken from pot-smoking individuals.
  • Even if taken simultaneously, urine and oral samples may yield different drug test results. This is due to the fact that drugs in urine stay longer than those in saliva.

For more debunked myths and further information about drug testing technologies, read the feature on Test Country.

August 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm Comment (1)

Why Your Company Needs a Current Marijuana Policy

A new Yahoo article explains in detail why companies need to ensure their drug testing policies are worded correctly to reflect the growing acceptance of marijuana in the country. marijuana legalization

Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use and many other states have legalized it for medicinal use, company drug policies need to be updated so there are no grey areas when it comes to the drug, the article says.

Companies should follow these steps to make sure they are protected against the possibility of employees believing it is okay to come to work high on marijuana:

1. Add consequences for the use of marijuana at work.

2. Don’t completely prohibit the use of marijuana at all times.

3. Be sure to include marijuana in any drug-testing policy.

4. Make safety a priority.

To read the entire article, click here.

July 31, 2014 at 8:17 am Comment (1)

Drug Tests that Avoid Testing for Marijuana Gaining Popularity

Marijuana used to be at the very top of the list of drugs to test for in the workplace. It was virtually impossible to find a drug test that tested for any combination of the major abused drugs and not have marijuana included.

drug-free workplaceBut, now that Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, drug tests that detect all the major drugs except marijuana are starting to pop up.

For example, there is one product named Multi Drug 4 Panel Urine Dipstrip Test that tests for all other relevant drugs like cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine and amphetamine, but does not test for marijuana/THC. These tests are convenient for workplaces that want to have a workplace drug testing policy, but that do not want to risk having an employee test positive for a substance that is currently legal within the state.

Click here to read more about drug testing without testing for marijuana and THC.

July 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm Comment (1)

Physician calls for quicker process for approving epilepsy medication

The United States needs a faster process for approving medication, particularly epilepsy medication, Dr. Nathan Fountain said in a post for Kevin MD.medicine

Fountain said he sees about two patients per year die from complications due to epilepsy while new, potentially life-saving treatments are stalled in the long, arduous process of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the two organizations that have to provide final regulatory approval of new medicines.

Fountain said  there is no time limit on the scheduling process, which is in place to help prevent drugs with the potential for abuse from getting into the wrong hands while ensuring patients who need them have access to them. But the time it takes for drugs to get approved by the DEA has progressively gotten longer after they receive approval by the FDA. The amount of time has gone from 49 days in the period of 1997-1999 to 237 days in the period 2009-2013 according to a published analysis. This is an average of nearly eight months; and sometimes it takes more than a year for approval.

Fountain has joined with the Epilepsy Foundation in support of the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act (H.R. 4299), which would provide needed clarity and predictability to the DEA review process and help ensure innovative treatment options are made available to patients who need them by setting a 45-day deadline for the DEA to schedule new medicines as recommended by the FDA.

“This problem applies to all drugs reviewed by the DEA and particularly for conditions that are in urgent need of avoiding unnecessary delays,” Fountain said.

July 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm Comments (0)

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