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According to CNN) More pregnant women seem to be using pot -- sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety -- and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age.

The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA
Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use climbed from 9.8% to 19%, the researchers found.
That research involved only certain women in California, but a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, published in JAMA in January, found that those who reported using marijuana in the previous month grew from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. The women were 18 to 44.

Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby.

 From <http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/26/health/marijuana-pregnancy-statistics-study/index.html>

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The workplace is not immune from drug use. According to a recent survey from the National Safety Council, more than 70% of U.S. employers are dealing with the direct impact of prescription drug misuse in their workplaces. But, drug use in the workplace has taken an ominous turn. According to a new study form the Bureau of Labor Statistics, deaths from unintentional drug and alcohol overdoses in the workplace rose more than 30 percent in 2016. The BLS study goes on to state that overdose fatalities have increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.

There are ways to avoid workplace drug overdoses. The most important factor in any workplace drug program is to have a strong policy. This policy should state that your company is a drug free workplace and should cover drug testing, as well as employee assistance. Also, It’s important to train your supervisors in drug recognition. Drug recognition allows you to recognize drug abuse indicators and intercede in your employees drug use before it causes a workplace accident or a workplace overdose.

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THC is the ingredient that makes you intoxicated and CBD is the ingredient that contains the analgesic, anti-seizure and purported anticancer effects. Most cannabis sold has a ratio of 10 to 1 of THC vs. CBD.  Most marijuana has more of an intoxicating effect than healing effect.

CBD image001

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“A new study by Dr. Winstanley’s group in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience examines how these two chemicals shape our willingness to face a challenge. Does marijuana make us lazy?

To answer this question, the Winstanley team first tested rats to determine which were hard workers and which were slackers. After being injected with THC, CBD or both, the rats had to choose between a simple task with a measly reward or a demanding one that reaped a bigger payoff.”

According to Dr. Winstanley, THC didn’t impair the rats’ ability to perform, only their willingness to try. That downshift in motivation didn’t happen in rats injected with CBD only.  To see the whole article, you can go here.

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The drug is a mix of opioids that can kill in very small doses. 

Fentanyl, which is more than 50 times stronger than morphine and carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer nearly 100 times more potent than fentanyl, are both often sold and used illegally.

Investigators have found a variety of opioids in grey death samples: designer drug U-47700 commonly known as "pink", heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl-like molecules. Because each drug is present in such low concentrations, some of them may not show up on tests, thus, ingredients may change from one batch to another, putting users at risk of overdoses and constantly keeping  chemists and the medical examiners on their toes.

Read more at the Source: <http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/01/health/u-47700-pink-drug/>

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Question: What is the preferred specimen (urine, salvia, hair etc..) for use in a workplace drug-testing program? There is no clear-cut answer as each methodology has it's pros and cons.

Non-federally regulated clients (NREG clients) have the ability, based on their specific drug free workplace programs, to use specimen other than urine at their general discretion. Trending, are employers combining their specimen collection for pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, follow-up and return to duty testing. For example: in pre-employment testing, urine and hair testing specimen are the most popular combination. This allows employers a more effective evaluation of prospective employees, as they consider cost, whether testing can be done on-site and the time of the detection window. Employers often find, that using multiple specimen testing methodologies, strengthens their overall drug testing program.

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