Workplace Drug Overdoses On the Rise

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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.

The Difference Between CBD and THC

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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.

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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.

"Grey Death" owes its name to its unique concrete powder appearance.

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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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Choosing the best screening for your company / What's trending

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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.

Oral Fluid Testing

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We know what you have heard and many people claim that chewing gum or mint, using mouthwash and brushing one’s mouth repeatedly before testing can help a drug user test clean. Increasing sensitivity of the tests, however, makes this a risky proposition. The tests are supposed to detect secretions that cannot be washed away with mouthwash. Chewing gum in particular is a mistake since it will most likely add chemicals to the oral secretions and not remove drug traces.

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