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Drug Testing Facts and Statistics

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Many employers require drug testing as part of the pre-employment assessment process.  According to the American Management Association, there were about 62% of employers in the United States that had implemented a drug testing program with the drive to guarantee employee safety, comply with the state regulations, protect the organization’s reputation, and develop a drug-free environment for employers and employees.

Drug testing can be administered through urine test, saliva test, hair follicle test, and blood test. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) requires federal workplaces to test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). The table below shows some facts that you may need to know about the drug testing methods.

Urine Drug Testing This is the most common method used to test employees for its accuracy and reliability. According to survey on urine drug testing, nearly 75% of adult illicit drug users are employed, which cost American businesses to lose about $81 billion in a year.
Saliva Drug Testing The saliva drug testing is also known as oral fluid testing. According to the survey of saliva drug testing, 12.7 million out of 20.6 million adult drug users are employed full time and among the US working age of 18-64, 62.7% are employed fulltime despite having substance abuse disorder.
Hair Follicle Test This type of drug testing method uses hair follicle to assess the presence of drug metabolites. According to survey of the 2007 Quest Diagnostic Drug Testing Index, the use of amphetamines in the general workforce has slightly increased to about 5%.
Blood Drug Testing This type of drug testing is not used often as urine drug testing because it requires medically trained professionals and specialized equipment. According to the 2007 United Nations Drug Report, about 158.8 million people have consumed marijuana within the last 12 months.

Drug testing is an effective way to assess employees whether or not they have been using drugs. It is also one way to evaluate whether or not the employees are strictly following your organization’s drug-free workplace policy.

Drug Test Cost

The cost of drug testing can vary depending on the type of test and the number of employees being tested. The cost for a standard workplace urine test is estimated to be around $25 to $75 per test.

According to government studies, 1 out of 6 workers has a problem with drug abuse. The following are additional facts regarding the cost of drug testing.

  • Drug testing per employee is estimated to cost at least $15, 000 annually
  • Employed drug users are 20 times more often absent at work while
  • Drug accusers cost companies 300% in medical expenses and benefits
  • Drug  abusers can be 1/3 less productive in the long run

Who does the Testing?

An organization can conduct a drug testing following the mandatory guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Aside from this law, private companies that intend to conduct drug testing must comply with their state laws and city code. Transportation companies may need to comply with the existing rules and regulations of the US Department of Transportation. Some organizations may use the US Department of Health and Human Services upon conducting a drug testing. In some instances, an employee may not know about the drug test results unless an MRO has done a final evaluation on the results. The MRO is defined by SAMHSA as a licensed physician who has an appropriate medical training to interpret laboratory results including the employee’s medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.

Instances when a drug test is administered

An organization may conduct a drug test at any of the five following times.

  • Pre-employment – Most companies usually require drug testing during pre-employment to decrease the chance of hiring drug users.
  • For reasonable suspicion – When an employee shows unusual signs of not being fit for duty, such as frequent absence, low work performance, frequent argument with co-workers, and fearless dispute with the employer, he or she may be subject to a drug testing to justify the situation.
  • At random – Random drug testing comes unannounced for at least once in a year to discourage employees from using drugs. When caught positive, an employee may be subject to serious penalties, such as getting fired from job or voidance of professional license.
  • Post-accident – An organization may conduct drug testing on individuals following an accident or incident involving unsafe behavior.
  • Post-treatment – after being treated in a rehab, an individual may be subject to another drug testing to make sure that he or she has finally recovered from drug addiction.

Possibilities of a drug-free workplace

A workplace with drug-free employees is always expected to produce a progressive output. The following are the significant benefits of a drug-free workplace.

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased employee morale
  • Safer work environment
  • Reduction in worker’s compensation claims
  • Reduction in health care rates
  • Reduced absenteeism

Additional resources:




10 Major Dangers of Abusing Methamphetamine

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Methamphetamine is the white crystalline powder that produces different stimulating effect depending on the route of administration. Along the streets, methamphetamine is well known for many names such as Meth, speed, ice, chalk, crystal fire, or glass and can be taken orally, smoke, snorted, or injected. Smoking meth creates an intense sensation called “rush” or “flash,” that lasts only for a few minutes. Snorting, swallowing, or injecting the drug creates a very euphoric effect to the brain, but is not that quick though.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and very potent drug that is commonly abused by over 314, 000 teenagers in 2008.Because of its high potency, meth is classified as Scheduled II by the NIDA and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); anyone caught abusing the drug and positive with drug testing is subject to varying penalties.

Methamphetamine Drug Tests

Methamphetamine Drug Tests

Teenagers abuse meth for the extremely pleasurable feeling it brings to one. However, while this effect can only last for a few minutes before its metabolites in the body falls down, most teens continuously stay high on meth. The downside is that longer association can cause serve adverse effects especially on the health of youngsters. The following are the major dangers you need to know about meth.

1.    Abusing meth creates a quick tolerance. Once you try it, you get hooked to it and as time goes by your body would need larger amounts of meth in order to get high. This instance is one of the most common reasons behind numerous criminal assaults. Because of the need for more drugs, people are actually motivated to kill to obtain money and buy drugs.

2.    Chronic meth abuse creates long term negative effect on mental health such as hallucinations, and delusions of parasites crawling on skin. Teenagers in this case become so paranoid to the point that some of the young addicts are sent to mental hospitals for severe mental disorientation.

3.    Taking high doses of meth can cause full-blown toxic psychosis wherein teens become more aggressive and violent, however; unaware of how cruel it can be to the point that they hurt their own parents and sibling without even realizing it.

4.    Meth can also cause extreme weight loss because of loss of appetite as well as severe dental problem known as “Meth Mouth.” American dental association defines meth mouth as an informal name for advance tooth decay because of bruxism, poor hygiene, and hyposalivation as results of meth abuse.

5.    According to NIDA, meth is responsible for the most of the HIV cases among teens as it also arouse sexual orgasms which lead to risky sexual behaviors. Meth is also found to be positive among rape suspects on notorious rape cases, children abuse, and sexual assaults. For instance, just in 2004, the State of California has held 182 suspects who are held liable for criminal conduct because of meth.

6.    Meth is also responsible for the transmission of hepatitis A and B, which is common to gangsters or group of individuals abusing meth together. This can happen when there is only one syringe is shared for the whole group.

7.    Drug driving is one of the known causes that lead to unexpected road accidents among teens. According to records, meth is one of the drugs present in teen’s body during drug testing. Because of the intense sensation it brings to one, it tends t impair the senses of the driver causing to over speed on the road without even realizing it.

8.    Meth can cause cardiovascular problems such as increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, inflamed heart, and hyperthermia. Despite being a healthy person, you can always get sick because of meth abuse.

9.    Long term association with meth can lead to stroke and worst death because of the sudden rise of body temperature and convulsion. According to According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network, meth related death from 1993 to 1997 accounted to 125 and is currently increasing at present.

10.  Abusing meth causes infertility but for pregnant women, meth abuse can actually lead to miscarriage. Most of the babies born prematurely experience lethargy and neurological complications.

How to Determine if the Person is Abusing Methamphetamine

There are many ways to determine if a person is abusing meth. Physical manifestation of meth abuse includes incessant talking when the person used to be silent, rapid eye movement, increased body temperature which can be as high as 108 degrees, dilated pupils and extreme sweating despite not getting into too much physical activity. In most times, we usually stay away from people in this condition, however; these physical symptoms cannot be the solid evidences that a person is abusing meth. To assess accurate and reliable judgment, the government has implemented a random drug testing in schools and the workplace.

Drug testing on meth uses methamphetamine drug test kits in order to assess the body with the amphetamine metabolites. Following the new federal cut off levels, a urine sample showing 500 ng/ml of amphetamine metabolite during the initial test is confirmed through GC test. Confirmatory test should then show at least 250 ng/ml of meth metabolite before a person is considered positive. Meth abuse can also be justified through hair follicle test and saliva swab test. Using the methamphetamine test kits, drug testing on meth can already be done at home while till adhering to the new federal cut off guideline. For hair follicle test, the cut off level is 300 ng/ml while saliva swab test should at least be 50 ng/ml.





8 Significant Facts Teens should know About MDMA

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a synthetic and highly addictive psychoactive drug  that is now one of the most commonly abused type of drugs by teenagers. According to the2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of people who have tried at MDMA at least once accounted to 11 million and is continuously increasing at present.

During night clubs and raves, this drug is commonly known as ecstasy which affects a broader range of ethnic groups and youngsters. Despite its medicinal use for sexual impotency in adults, teens abuse MDMA for its pleasurable feeling of euphoria, emotional warmth, and increased energy.

According to reports MDMA abused usually comes together with some other drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, and sildenafil or Viagra.

However, despite its popularity and long time existence in history, there are still many things that teens should know about MDMA. Taking drugs without even knowing its severe consequences can be lethal. Thus, the following are some significant facts teenagers need to know about MDMA.

  • MDMA is similar some other drugs like cocaine and marijuana. It creates a pleasurable feeling for a few minutes, but when all of it fades what remains is the craving for more drugs. What is bad about it is that longer association can actually bring negative effects to health such problems in the cardiovascular system and over all mental health.
  • Abusing MDMA can cause sleep disorders. It basically causes jaw clenching and grinding teeth or bruxism while sleeping. This unconscious habit leads to severe dental destruction and sometimes jaw pains and headaches.
  • MDMA is responsible for several psychological risks such as estrangement and flashbacks. Abusing MDMA for your own personal vested interest can lead to behaviors such that of schizophrenic psychos where a person becomes lethargic, disoriented, and prone to making meaningless and repetitive movements.
  • MDMA can cause death by suppressing muscle coordination in the body. This leads to stroke and heart attacks.
  • Anyone on night outs is at risk for MDMA abuse. Because these drugs are tasteless and odorless, they can be furtively dropped into a person’s drink. This trick has already become a common scheme among bullies on parties. Unfortunately, records show that girls who have been preyed with this manner have become victims of sexual assaults.
  • MDMA deplete serotonin levels in the body, which impairs the attention and lose focus especially when driving. Drugged driving can actually lead to unexpected fatal road accidents.
  • The feeling of being close to people is actually one of the after effects of MDMA. Teens like the feeling of being sociable, however; what is bad about the closeness is the related extreme attraction to the opposite sex which leads to most cases of premarital sex and unplanned pregnancy.
  • There is no specific and fast medication for MDMA addiction. This fact can be very hurting not only to you but also to parents. The only available treatment is the cognitive-behavioral intervention which is a lengthy process designed to modify patient’s thinking and behavior.

The New Federal Cut-off level of MDMA

Drug testing on MDMA follows a specific cut-off level to confirm positive use of the drug among teenagers. Using the MDMA drug test kits, there are three ways on which drug testing is administered to the person and each entails different cut-off levels. First drug testing detects for MDMA metabolites through the person’s urine. As recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the cut off level is 250 ng/ml.

synthetic drug banner

A second option to assess MDMA presence in the body is through hair follicle test. This type of test uses a hair sample which is usually cut at approximately 3.9 cm or 1.5 inches close to the scalp to identify MDMA presence. Hair follicle test measures for the drug molecules and its specific metabolites which actually stay in the hair by the bloodstream after it has been processed in the body. The MDMA cut-off level of MDMA metabolite in the hair follicle test is 300 ng/ml.

The third drug testing option is the saliva swab testing. The test simply use the saliva swab test kits where the swab is placed between the lower cheek and gum for about two minutes which when concentrated with saliva is transferred to a collection vial. The new federal cut-off level of MDMA metabolites on a saliva screening is at least 50 ng/ml.



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Answers, comments, information, articles and opinions provided on all TestCountry related webpages are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, counseling, psychological, or other professional advice. You should not use the information on TestCountry for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, rehabilitation or detoxification from any substance abuse or adopting any treatment for a health or drug problem.

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