Category: Uncategorized

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It is very important to watch the contents that you put into your body, but even more important once you become pregnant. Studies have shown that once a woman uses drugs during pregnancy, she becomes a higher risk for a miscarriage, premature labor, fetal death and even maternal death. Some common drugs and their harmful effects are listed below:  

Marijuana

  • What happens when a pregnant woman smokes marijuana? Marijuana crosses the placenta to your baby. Marijuana, like cigarette smoke, contains toxins that keep your baby from getting the proper supply of oxygen that he or she needs to grow.
  • How can marijuana affect the baby? Studies of marijuana in pregnancy are inconclusive because many women who smoke marijuana also use tobacco and alcohol. Smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood, which reduces the oxygen supply to the baby. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning problems.

Cocaine

  • What happens when a pregnant woman consumes cocaine? Cocaine crosses the placenta and enters your baby’s circulation. The elimination of cocaine is slower in a fetus than in an adult. This means that cocaine remains in the baby’s body much longer than it does in your body.

 

  • How can cocaine affect my baby? According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), during the early months of pregnancy cocaine exposure may increase the risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, cocaine use can cause placental abruption, which can lead to severe bleeding, preterm birth, and fetal death. OTIS also states that the risk of birth defects appears to be greater when the mother has used cocaine frequently during pregnancy. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG), women who use cocaine during their pregnancy have a 25 % increased chance of premature labor. Babies born to mothers who use cocaine throughout their pregnancy may also have a smaller head and be growth restricted. Babies who are exposed to cocaine later in pregnancy may be born dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Some experts believe that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older. Defects of the genitals, kidneys, and brain are also possible.

 Heroin

  • What happens when a pregnant woman uses heroin? Heroin is a very addictive drug that crosses the placenta to the baby. Because this drug is so addictive, the unborn baby can become dependent on the drug.
  • How can heroin affect my baby? Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within the brain (intracranial hemorrhage), and infant death. Babies can also be born addicted to heroin and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, convulsions, diarrhea, fever, sleep abnormalities, and joint stiffness. Mothers who inject narcotics are more susceptible to HIV, which can be passed to their unborn children.

Methamphetamine

  • What happens when a pregnant woman takes methamphetamine? Methamphetamine is chemically related to amphetamine, which causes the heart rate of the mother and baby to increase.
  • How can methamphetamine affect my baby: Taking methamphetamine during pregnancy can result in problems similar to those seen with the use of cocaine in pregnancy. The use of speed can cause the baby to get less oxygen, which can lead to low birth weight. Methamphetamine can also increase the likelihood of premature labor, miscarriage, and placental abruption. Babies can be born addicted to methamphetamine and suffer withdrawal symptoms that include tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Some experts believe that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older.

If you, or someone you know, would like to know more about how drug usage can affect a pregnant woman or their unborn child, please give Accredited Drug Testing a call at 800-221-4291

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Pre-employment Marijuana

As we have seen many states follow in Nevada’s footsteps in legalizing marijuana, Nevada is now the first state in the country to ban employers from testing for marijuana. If an employee tests positive for marijuana in the state of Nevada, the employer can’t do anything about it. We are now at a total of 11 states, Illinois being the most recent state to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is still currently classified as a Schedule I substance at the federal level.

There are limitations to Nevada’s law, however. Per CBS News, those with public safety jobs like firefighters and emergency medical workers, as well as those who operate vehicles, are exempt from the law, which takes effect next year.

“As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans. That’s why I was proud to sign AB132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said when signing the law.

Excluding Marijuana

Also, a similar law was passed by the New York City Council this spring. The state of Maine prohibits employers, schools and landlords from discriminating against those who use marijuana, but there’s no drug testing law. We are starting to see many employers nationwide requesting for drug tests that exclude THC. In a competitive labor market, employers are looking to remove marijuana from pre-employment drug screening policy’s to widen candidate pools. Major company such as, Citigroup is considering changing its screening policy for marijuana, per Business Insider. 

According to Quest Diagnostics, marijuana is most often found during  pre-employment screenings, court ordered, probation etc. About 2.8 percent of urine tests used by workplaces detected the presence of marijuana, reports USA Today. Quest Diagnostics also has found marijuana use since 2014 is up 16 percent among U.S. workers, and up 24 percent among those in safety-sensitive jobs like pilots or train operators, reports Business Insider.

Experts have said that there is not much of a connection between pre-employment drug testing and improved employee performance, per Business Insider. Business Insider also stated, such testing might keep some employees from applying to companies that require it. In addition, urine tests are not the most accurate when it comes to drug results, it can show the presence of THC even if marijuana wasn’t ingested recently or regularly. 

The National Law Review notes the Nevada law doesn’t apply if in conflict with the provisions of collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts, or to positions funded by federal grants. The law also allows for exemptions for positions an employer has determined could adversely affect the safety of others, so companies are advised to review job descriptions with that in mind, per the National Law Review.

Marijuana Testing

New York City’s recently passed law also has a number of exemptions, including law enforcement officers; some construction or maintenance jobs; employees required to have a commercial driver’s license; those supervising children, medical patients or those with disabilities.

Quest Diagnostics found marijuana positivity rates rose at least 20 percent from 2015 to 2017 for workers in transportation, construction and manufacturing industries, per Business Insider. Post-accident urine test positives shot up 81 percent between 2014 and 2018. 

We are noticing many changes in testing for marijuana, however it is very important to have exemptions in these new laws for all safety sensitive occupations. As the legalization laws keep expanding throughout the nation, so will the drug testing policy’s.  The end of pre-employment testing for marijuana could be on the horizon, but not for everyone there will always be exemptions for using marijuana.

If you need to order a drug test with or without THC give us a call today at (800) 221-4291 or visit our website at www.Accrediteddrugtesting.com

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Drug and Workplace Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have found that employees who suffer from drug or alcohol dependency are nearly three times more likely to either cause or personally experience an injury-related absence from work.

By James A. Greer l Jun 01, 2019

With the rise of unions in the 1800s and the industrial revolution, workplace safety became a rallying cry for workers, particularly in areas such as coal mining, manufacturing, and other employment venues where potential safety hazards existed. While labor movements in Europe were the originators of promoting workplace safety, these efforts eventually made their way to the United States and after years of injuries and fatalities in the American workforce, state and local governments began responding to workers’ demands to regulate the workplace and ensure safe workplace environments.

The need for workplace safety in the United States at its beginning primarily focused on equipment and the conditions of the physical workplace. While those issues remain important, a new culprit affecting workplace safety has arrived in force, and the culprit is drugs and drug use by employees.

Over the last 40 years, the U.S. government, law enforcement, and academics have conducted research, including direct observations of the effect of drug use, including illegal substances and prescription medications, on the human brain. And in most cases, the evidence has been clear: When a person is under the influence of a drug, whether for medical purposes or recreational use, the reflexes slow down, the ability to make rational decisions is negatively impacted, and the user can in many cases subject others to unsafe circumstances or environments that can cause injury and even a fatality.

In the 1980s, the U.S. government recognized this issue and formally adopted drug testing for the U.S. military, federal contractors, and, ultimately in 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, which required all agencies under the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement drug and alcohol testing for employees of the nation’s transportation industry who performed safety-sensitive functions. This effort by Congress was in response to several well-known tragic accidents that resulted in injury and death where the use of illegal controlled substances was determined to be the cause.

While Congress mandated drug testing for the nation’s transportation industry, many employers adopted the philosophy that drug testing employees provides greater workplace safety along with other benefits. Recent statistics estimate that 14.8 million Americans use illegal drugs, and 70 percent of them are employed. Furthermore, a significant percentage of this drug usage occurs at work, or the employees are high when they arrive to their workplace.

These statistics clearly show the potential for a workplace injury, particularly in the areas of transportation, manufacturing, and heavy equipment operation. The need to conduct drug and alcohol testing is crucial to providing a safe environment for employees. The U.S. Department of Labor and the National Institute on Drug Abuse also have found that employees who suffer from drug or alcohol dependency are nearly three times more likely to either cause or personally experience an injury-related absence from work.

The benefits for an employer who chooses a drug-free workplace are numerous and can include a reduction in the employee turnover rate, a reduction in workplace incidents or accidents, improved employee morale, and in many cases a reduction of insurance premiums as it relates to the operations of the business. Furthermore, drug use has a direct impact on violence and criminal behavior, which also can impact workplace safety. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that adults between the ages of 18 to 49 who use marijuana or cocaine were much more likely to commit crimes of all types than those who do not use these illegal substances.

Turning Back the Clock?

In recent years a discussion has begun in which drug-free workplace testing is being questioned. Many who oppose an employer’s right to perform drug tests fail to recognize that drug testing directly impacts the ability of an employer in providing a safe workplace for his or her employees. These efforts to limit or eliminate workplace drug testing either choose to ignore or are unaware of how workplace safety became an important part of our nation’s historical employer/employee relationship.

Eliminating drug testing in the workplace will not only place employees at risk, but it will turn back more than 100 years of efforts made to protect our nation’s workforce and meet the commitments that employers made to their hard-working employees that safety is our priority.

For employers who have or are considering relaxing their workplace drug testing programs as a result of recent changes in how various states respond to individual marijuana use, there must be a clear understanding of two major impacts, which are:

  • The culpability the employer will face by putting its non-drug using workforce in jeopardy of injury
  • The risks/costs associated with assuming 100 percent liability for any and all workplace accidents caused by employee substance use

Marijuana is Not Safe for Work

The trend toward relaxing drug policies stems from a tendency to view some substances as more or less harmful than others. The reality is, any impairment of any kind is unsafe. That having been said, let’s consider the issues surrounding employee marijuana use. While it makes for good political sound bites to say that marijuana is “safe,” the harsh reality is that today’s marijuana products are anywhere between 10 and 50 times more powerful than the same drug used in the 1970s-1980s. Any training that helps supervisors detect the signs and symptoms of employee drug use means they will spend a significant amount of time explaining how employees who use marijuana have difficulty learning and retaining new information, trouble with multi-divided attention tasks, struggle with time and distance tracking, can display hallucinatory behaviors, and could be at-risk for psychotic breaks. Does this sound “safe” for the workplace?

We are in an era where some employers choose to ignore substance use that could cause significant damage—at their own expense—simply because it is a political hot button. This simply is not a wise fiscal decision, nor is it a policy that respects the safety of the workforce.

While some states have changed laws pertaining to workplace drug testing, none of these current laws prevents an employer from having a workplace drug testing policy and enforcing a drug-free workplace. While changing marijuana laws happens to be what is currently trending, the parameters for safety must stand true and will outlast the momentary hoopla of popularizing this particular drug of choice.

Workplace drug testing should be used as a deterrent to drug use, with a positive focus on detecting when an individual needs help with their sobriety as well as reminders of the importance of staying safety-focused at all times. At the end of the day, employees may not realize the value in it, but drug testing is part of their individual rights to safety in the workplace, yet it is the employer’s responsibility to protect and keep those rights fully intact.

References
1. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics-Drug and Crime Data
2. National Institute on Drug Abuse
3. U.S. Department of Labor
4. U.S. Department of Transportation

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This is the question that many people ask due to the rise in recreational and medical marijuana. With many states beginning to legalize the drug it has has caused many issues in the workplace for employees and employers. The controversy is that employers have to ask themselves is marijuana use affecting job safety and should it be allowed even with a prescription?

Marijuana Controversy

Christine Clearwater, president of Drug-free Solutions Group, specializes in substance abuse prevention in the workplace. She says marijuana legalization should not lead to more lenient employer drug policies. She also states that, the highly politicized battle over marijuana laws can drown out statistics employers need to be aware of:

  • Car crashes involving marijuana went up 300% between 2010 and 2013, and they continue to rise as more states legalize the drug
  • Marijuana is 10 to 20 times stronger today than it was in the 1960s and ’70s
  • Marijuana is an addictive drug

It is very important for employers to issue a drug policy based on the safety of employees, not based off of legal or ethical concerns. Having a drug policy in tact is a very important business decision, it ensures that the employer will not be held accountable over an employee under the influence in the workplace. Accredited Drug Testing offers Drug Free Work Place policy’s customized the each company and their needs.

Marijuana And Job Safety

The substance THC in marijuana affects many necessary job related skills such as, perception, reaction time, coordination and more. Many people with safe-sensitive positions such as, operating machinery or company vehicles are at a higher risk if under the influence.

According to a study reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents, 85% more injuries and 75% greater absenteeism compared to those who tested negative. Also impacting the workplace:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased worker compensation and unemployment compensation claims
  • High turnover
  • Lawsuits

These are the top 4 things that employers don’t want or try to avoid.  About 1/6 employees has a substance abuse problem. This is why a Drug Free Workplace policy is crucial, not only helps the employers but also helps keep the safety of all employees.

Challenges Of Medical Marijuana

Many medical marijuana-using employees have legally challenged their employers due to a positive drug test result, even when they are prescribed for it. Some states such as, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Rhode Island, protect employee rights against disciplinary action for medical marijuana use. However, marijuana is still illegal according to federal law, which classifies it as a Schedule I drug with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Federal law supersedes state law. Important things to know about medical marijuana:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Actalso sides with the employer when it comes to medical marijuana
  • Most states will not pay worker compensation to an employee who was under the influence at the time of an accident
  • Most state health insurance programs will not pay for medical marijuana.

Drug Free Work Place Tips

Marijuana is the most frequently used drug of abuse in the United States and the drug most often detected in workplace drug testing. In 2014, about 6.8 million adults ages 18 to 25 (19.6%) and about 13.5 million adults ages 26 and older (6.6%) used marijuana. A solid workplace drug policy can go a long way to keeping a company drug-free.

  • Issue quarterly random drug tests to employees, that way you ensure the employees are drug-free all year round.
  • Expand the drug testing panel more than just the 5-panel standard. You can even customize your own panel.
  • Offer hair drug test instead of a urine drug test to ensure more accurate results and a further detection period.
  • Lastly, make sure to have a strong policy enact that management can enforce.

The health and safety of employees is dependent on the employer, therefore it is the employers responsibility to provide a Drug Free Work Place Policy. Everything you need listed above can be provided by Accredited Drug Testing. Visited accrediteddrugtesting.com for more information or call 800-221-4291.

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Free Test Program

Terms and Conditions

 

Accredited Drug Testing understands that many Federal Government employees have been required to seek other private employment opportunities due to the Federal Government Shutdown. In an effort to assist those Federal Government Employees with the financial hardship incurred, Accredited Drug Testing will provide any Federal Government current employee one drug or alcohol test at no charge when required to “self-pay” by an employer.

The following conditions apply:

  • Employees eligible to receive this free test must be current Federal Government Employees and must scan or fax proof of Federal Government Employment (Pay stub, Federal ID).
  • Drug or alcohol tests may be scheduled for the following purposes: pre-employment, random, post-accident. This program will not apply to reasonable suspicion testing.
  • Tests may be scheduled at available testing centers Nationwide (in-network).
  • Federal Government Employees who have been required to seek full or part-time employment from non-government agencies may utilize the free test provided they have shown proof that they are a Federal Government Employee affected by the Government shutdown and required to self-pay for the test.
  • Free testing only applies to urine and breath alcohol methods. Hair testing will be discounted by 50% of the standard fee, if required. No other discounts are provided for other testing methods or services.
  • All terms and conditions are final, and this program has no cash value and Accredited Drug Testing reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding eligibility. This program and offer will end upon the reopening of the United States Federal Government ( shutdown ends).

To schedule a drug or alcohol test in conjunction with this program, please call 1-800-221-4291.

It is our hope that all Federal Government Employees return to work soon, and this program will assist in some small way.

James A. Greer, CPCT

President/CEO

Accredited Drug Testing, Inc.

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DOT Drug and Alcohol Consortium

DOT Drug and Alcohol Consortium

DOT RANDOM DRUG & ALCOHOL 

TESTING PROGRAM

(As required by 49 CFR Part 40)

FOR

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
Pipeline & Hazardous Material Administration (PHMSA)Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Accredited Drug Testing Inc (ADT) serves as a consortium / third party administrator (C/TPA) which manages the entire DOT approved Consortium for DOT regulated companies and DOT covered “safety sensitive” employees. The DOT consortium is cost effective and complies with all requirements of DOT 49 CFR Part 40 which mandates that all “safety sensitive” employees be enrolled in a random drug and alcohol testing program.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict regulations requiring regulated companies and independent operators (CDL License Holders) be a member of a DOT drug and alcohol Consortium, failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines and other DOT sanctions. 

The Accredited Drug Testing Consortium ensures compliance with the DOT regulations and customer service is our number one priority.  Our DOT specialist are committed to serving our DOT consortium members in need of a pre-employment drug test, random drug test or breath alcohol test.

A DOT drug test is a 5 panel urine test and all DOT drug tests require a Federal Chain of Custody form, this is a special 5 page form which must be used when a DOT drug test is administered.  Accredited Drug Testing provides all members of our DOT consortium a package of Federal Chain of Custody Forms to be used when taking a DOT drug test.

When joining a DOT Consortium, it is important that the Consortium staff be fully knowledgeable of all DOT regulations regarding 49 CFR Part 40 and the DOT random drug and alcohol testing requirements. Accredited Drug Testing Inc prides itself on providing accurate and professional information and services regarding the DOT Consortium.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc is fully versed in the DOT procedures for pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, reasonable suspicion drug testing, post accident drug testing, return to duty drug testing and follow up drug testing.

When you and your company are enrolled in the Accredited Drug Testing DOT Consortium, your company will receive a Certificate of Compliance (email and U.S Mail) and when any of your drivers or other safety sensitive employees are selected for a random test, the DER (designated employer representative) or you, the independent operator will be sent an email and a phone call will be made to ensure that you and your employee are aware of the selection, provided the closest testing center location and any assistance needed to ensure compliance with the DOT random drug or alcohol test process.

Please Note- If you are currently being audited/inspected or found to be in violation by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and you are calling to join the DOT Consortium or schedule a  DOT drug or breath alcohol test, please advise the Accredited Drug Testing DOT Specialist. 

Accredited Drug Testing, DOT Consortium – Easy, Cost Effective with Immediate Compliance!

For immediate compliance with the DOT Consortium enrollment requirement or to schedule a DOT drug or alcohol test call Accredited Drug Testing at (800)221-4291.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc has a special DOT Compliance Package for independent operators (CDL License holders) and other DOT regulated companies.

Complete DOT Compliance Package – Independent Operators/Small Companies Includes:

  • Pre-employment or Random drug test,
  • Consortium Membership (First Year)
  • Supervisor Training
  • DOT Drug & Alcohol Policy
  • Certificate of Compliance

Additional DOT Drug tests may be ordered at a discount when purchasing the complete compliance package.

Call Accredited Drug Testing for additional information and fees (800)221-4291.

To Review DOT 49 CFR Part 40 Regulations- CLICK HERE

Who’s Covered?

  • Truck Drivers- CDL Operators
  • Train Engineers
  • Boat Captains- Officers
  • Airplane Mechanics
  • Airline Pilots- Flight Attendants
  • Pipeline Workers

Additional companies/operators subject to DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing

  • If you or your company operate vehicles with a gross weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
  • If you or your company operate vehicles which can transport 16 or more passengers. (including the driver)
  • If you or your company operate vehicles which transport hazardous materials.

DOT Random Drug & Alcohol Testing

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all covered employees be enrolled in a DOT approved Random Consortium Selection Program. The selection of any covered employee must be made by a computerized selection process and any covered employee selected for a drug and alcohol test must immediately proceed to take the test once notified.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) determines the percentages that each consortium must select for a drug & alcohol test. As an example the FMCSA Consortium must select 25% of its members for a drug test annually and 10% for an alcohol test.

The Accredited Drug Testing Inc DOT random drug testing program notifies covered employees by email and a phone call and provides the location of the closest testing center for the covered employee to go and take their drug and alcohol test.

Failing to take a random drug or alcohol test once selected can result in substantial fines and penalties by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Accredited Drug Testing Inc provides a DOT approved random selection Consortium for covered employees who are required to comply with DOT random testing requirements.

Random Testing Requirements For Each Federal Agency DOT Consortium 

  • FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – 25% drug and 10% alcohol
  • FAA – Federal Aviation Administration – 25% drug and 10% alcohol
  • FRA – Federal Railroad Administration – 25% drug and 10% alcohol
    • MOW (Maintenance of Way) – 50% drug and 25% alcohol
  • FTA – Federal Transit Administration – 50% drug and 10% alcohol
  • PHMSA – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials – 50% drug
  • USCG – United States Coast Guard – 50% drug

DOT Consortium Employee List Revisions

Quarterly each consortium member will be contacted by the Accredited Drug Testing, DOT specialist and asked to update the company’s  DOT Consortium employee list, prior to the random selection draw (add or remove  employees from the consortium). Companies can remove or add employees to the consortium at anytime prior to the selection date. Maintaining an accurate consortium list is an important service provided by Accredited Drug Testing Inc and requires the cooperation of all Consortium Members.

DOT Post Accident Drug & Alcohol Testing 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that any covered employee immediately proceed to take a drug and breath alcohol test in the event of an accident which falls under the DOT post accident drug and alcohol testing requirements.

When possible the covered employee can contact Accredited Drug Testing Inc and the drug and alcohol test can be conducted at a testing center close to where the accident occurred, however on many occasions a post accident drug and alcohol test will require an on-site/mobile drug testing service which can be provided by Accredited Drug Testing Inc.

DOT Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all DOT regulated companies educate and train all supervisors in how to detect employees under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

Supervisors must complete and successfully pass a DOT approved supervisor training course.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc provides a DOT approved Supervisor Training Course which is web based and which will provide a Certificate of Completion at the conclusion of the course. The course is approximately 3 hours in length and maybe accessed at anytime.

DOT Drug & Alcohol Policy

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that any regulated company with two or more employees holding safety sensitive positions covered by 49 CFR Part 40 must have a written DOT Drug & Alcohol Policy and all employees must be provided a copy of the policy. Companies must comply with all requirements listed in the DOT drug and alcohol policy.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc specializes in the development and implementation of a DOT Drug & Alcohol Policy – Call Accredited Drug Testing at(800)221-4291

DOT Additional Requirements/Information

The Department of Transportation only recognizes and authorizes a 5 panel urine drug test and a breath alcohol test for compliance with 49 CFR Part 40.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that a Federal Chain of Custody Form (5 Page CCF) be used with all drug screens and that all breath alcohol testing devices be approved by the DOT.

The staff of Accredited Drug Testing Inc are certified and trained in DOT drug specimen collections and DOT breath alcohol testing.

DOT Audits/Inspections

The Department of Transportation (DOT) regularly conducts DOT Audits to ensure compliance with 49 CFR Part 40. These audits can occur due to being recently issued a DOT License (New Entrant) or complaints have been filed against the company or a follow up audit due to previous violations.

When a DOT audit/inspection occurs the following primary factors are considered,

  • Pre-employment drug tests on all covered employees on file
  • Random Pool Membership on all covered employees
  • Reasonable Suspicion/Supervisor Training Completed
  • Written drug and alcohol policy
  • Copy of DOT regulations on file
  • All DOT Licenses are current

DOT Physicals

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all drivers holding a CDL License must successfully pass a DOT physical to be issued a CDL Medical Card. The Medical Card is valid for 24months and must be renewed every 2  years with a new physical.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc provides DOT physicals nationwide at most drug testing centers and our affiliated medical facilities. All DOT Physicals are administered by an examiner trained and certified by the FMCSA.

Accredited Drug Testing Inc is your “one stop shopping” for all DOT Drug Testing and DOT Breath Alcohol Testing.

To join the DOT Consortium or schedule your DOT Drug Test or DOT Alcohol Test Call, (800)221-4291

Specializing in DOT drug and alcohol Consortium regulations.

“When You Need A Test, Choose The Best!”

Accredited Drug Testing

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FMCSA Establishes National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers

cdl-clearinghouseOn December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule that would establish a National Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers.

The clearinghouse database will serve as a central information warehouse that will contain records of violations of FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Program (Part 40) which is required for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. The National Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule goes into effect in January 2020, which is three years after its effective date.

Once the clearinghouse database is established, motor carrier employers will be required to query the database for information regarding current or prospective employees who have unresolved violations of the Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations that prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).  The Final Clearinghouse Rule also requires employers and medical review officers (MRO) to report drug and alcohol testing program violations.

“This is a major safety win for the general public and the entire commercial motor vehicle industry,” said FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling.  “The clearinghouse will allow carriers across the country to identify current and prospective drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol, and employ those who drive drug- and alcohol-free.  Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol will no longer be able to conceal those test results from employers and continue to drive while posing a safety risk to the driving public.”

The final rule requires motor carriers, medical review officers, third-party administrators, and substance abuse professionals to report information about drivers who:

  • Test positive for drugs or alcohol;
  • Refuse drug and alcohol testing; and
  • Undergo the return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation process.

Additionally, motor carriers will be required to annually search the clearinghouse for current employees, and during the pre-employment process for prospective employees, to determine whether a driver violated drug or alcohol testing requirements with a different employer that would prohibit them from operating a CMV.

 

Federal safety regulations require employers to conduct pre-employment drug testing and random drug and alcohol testing.  Motor carriers are prohibited from allowing employees to perform safety-sensitive functions, which include operating a CMV, if the employee tests positive on a DOT drug or alcohol test.

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a), a driver must grant consent before an employer can request access to that driver’s clearinghouse record and before FMCSA can release the driver’s clearinghouse record to an employer.   After registering with the clearinghouse a driver can review his or her information at no cost.

Congress directed FMCSA to establish a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse as mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

To learn more about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse, click on this link.

 

Read the full FMCSA press release.

John Burgos, CPC

Business Development Manager
https://www.AmericanrugTesting.com
(855)919-3784
American Drug Testing Inc

Read the full FMCSA press release.

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In San Diego California, police are using new mouth-swab tests to nab drivers under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.  This new method of confirming the presence of marijuana and other drugs in impaired drivers is a mouth-swab device that is already being used by police departments in more than a dozen states and is expected to become more popular with the legalization of marijuana.

The two Dräger DrugTest 5000 machines, which cost about $6,000 each, were donated by the San Diego Police.

What is the DT5000?

The DT5000 utilizes oral fluid to test for the presence of psychoactive components from seven of the most commonly abused drug types, including

  • cannabinoids (THC),
  • opiates,
  • cocaine,
  • amphetamines,
  • methamphetamines,
  • benzodiazepines and
  • methadone

The machine is measured at about the size of a mini bookshelf stereo system.  It allows law enforcement to have an accurate, reliable and easy to use tool to help deter impaired drivers on our roadways.

The DT5000 is leveraged by law enforcement personnel in more than a dozen states during roadside stops and offers quick non-invasive results, as an alternative to collecting urine or blood samples during driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) investigations. The device does not read the level of intoxication; drivers would have to take a lab based urine or blood test for that information or a second mouth swab sent to an independent confirmatory lab for independent analysis.

“It’s a huge concern of ours with the legalization of marijuana that we’re going to see an increase in impaired drugged driving,” Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said at a news conference.

California voters approved the use and cultivation of recreational marijuana by passing Proposition 64 in November.

In an effort to prepare for the impacts of the law, several San Diego narcotics officers went to Denver to learn how Colorado has fared since recreational marijuana was legalized.  Offcials have found that the region has seen an uptick in drugged driving, Zimmerman said and the numbers have been growing in California as well.

According to the California State office of Highway Safety, in 2014, 38% of drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in California tested positive for drugs, whether legal or illegal.  This number was up from 32% the year before.

“We want to get these impaired drivers off the streets,” the chief said.

The Dräger 5000 has been utilized since 2009 in the U.S. by law enforcement in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Arizona, Nevada and has also been utilized in other countries such as Australia, Belgium and Germany.

San Diego initially plans to utilize the machines primarily at DUI checkpoints for now. The Dräger 5000 will be used with the same protocols as the handheld preliminary alcohol screening devices (Breath Alcohol Machines) frequently used in the field to test for drivers impaired from alcohol.  Just as alcohol check points, drivers cannot be forced to submit to a Dräger 5000 test.

Officers will initially utilize their training to recognize the symptoms of drug impairment and will first look for various indicators that a driver is high, such as unsafe driving maneuvers, bloodshot eyes, the odor of marijuana and blank stares, San Diego police Officer Emilio Ramirez said. “Once there is ample suspicion of drug use, the officer can then request to perform field sobriety tests or for a driver to take the Dräger 5000 test.”

If the driver refuses at that point, the officer can force the person to submit to a blood test.

How does the Dräger 5000 work?

  • Driver is handed a mouth swab with instructions to run it around the inside of the mouth for up to four minutes.
  • The swab is then placed into the machine, along with a vial of testing solution, and the machine does its work.
  • It takes about six to eight minutes for results to print out.

A positive result will likely send the driver to a police phlebotomist for a blood test to determine precise drug levels.

If the mouth swab test is negative but the officer still has a suspicion of impairment, then a blood draw might still be mandated, because the Dräger 5000 measures for only seven kinds of narcotics, Ramirez said.

When it comes to detecting marijuana, the machine only looks for the active THC compound that is responsible for the high. That component, delta-9 THC, can stay in a person’s system for a few hours or longer, depending on how the cannabis was ingested and how the person’s body processes the drug. The machine does not look for the inactive THC compounds, which can stay in a person’s system for weeks, police said.

In other words, if someone legally smoked marijuana two days ago, there would be nothing to worry about if tested on the machine.

Evidence from the Dräger 5000 will be admissible in court, although the machine is not expected to have a notable effect on how drugged driving cases are prosecuted, attorneys said.

Under California law, there is no legal threshold for the amount of drugs in a person’s system when it comes to driving.

Alcohol cases are more black and white — a .08% blood-alcohol level or higher is illegal.

Officers and prosecutors have instead had to rely on subjective measures and observations to build a case of drug impairment, which can be different from person to person.

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As 2016 comes to an end, we would like to take a look back on the year in drugs and drug policy. Some might say that It is a mixed bag, with some major victories for drug reform but also some major challenges, specifically around heroin and prescription opioids, and the threat of things taking a turn for the worse in the coming years.

Here are some of the biggest stories from the year on drugs.

1. Accredited Drug Testing Acquires American Drug Testing

Logo-final-1Accredited Drug Testing is pleased to announce the acquisition of American Drug Testing, Inc., a national drug and alcohol testing company, specializing in employment related testing and individuals needing a drug, alcohol or DNA test. Mr. James A. Greer will serve as President/CEO of American Drug Testing, Inc, in addition to continuing as President of Accredited Drug Testing. The company motto
of “Above The Rest, When You Need A Test” will be the companies nationwide branding focus. Check out the company video.

2. NBC news interviews Accredited Drug Testing President

Jim Greer NBC InterviewNBC news interviews Accredited Drug Testing President / CEO James Greer regarding Federal Drug Testing Regulations. I-Team: Popular Drug Test Used for Drivers, Pilots Doesn’t Screen for Abused Prescriptions. See the interview.

3. Company President Interviewed By National Enquirer On JonBenét Ramsey Case

Our Company President and DNA Expert James A Greer was interviewed by the National Enquirer Magazine which includes comments and a photograph regarding the JonBenét Ramsey murder case. Stay tuned for an update on this story in 2017

4. Marijuana Legalization Wins Big

The legalization of marijuana had some victories in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, losing only in Arizona. The first states to do so were Colorado and Washington which led the way in 2012, and Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., following in 2014. The question is, where does marijuana win next? We won’t see state legalization initiatives until 2018

5. Medical Marijuana Wins Big

Florida Voters Legalize Medical MarijuanaMedical marijuana is even more popular than legal weed, and it went four-for-four at the ballot box in November, adding Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota to the list of full-blown medical marijuana states. That makes 28 states—more than half the country—that allow medical marijuana, along with another dozen or so red states that have passed limited CBD-only medical marijuana laws as a sop to public opinion.

The increasing acceptance of medical marijuana is going to make it that much harder for the DEA or the Trump administration to balk at reclassifying marijuana away from Schedule I, which is supposedly reserved for dangerous substances with no medical uses. It may also, along with the growing number of legal pot states, provide the necessary impetus to changing federal banking laws to allow pot businesses to behave like normal businesses.

6. The Opioid Epidemic Continues

Just as the year comes to an end, the CDC announced that opioid overdose deaths last year had topped 33,000, and with 12,000 heroin overdoses, junk had overtaken gunplay as a leading cause of death.

Furthermore, prosecutors in states across the country have taken to charging those who sell opioids (prescription or otherwise) to people who die of overdose with murder, more intrusive and privacy-invading prescription monitoring programs have been established, and the tightening of the screws on opioid prescriptions is leaving some chronic pain sufferers in the lurch and leading others to seek out opioids on the black market. Read more on this story.

7. DEA Held Prescription Take Back Day

OCT 17 – (Washington, DC) – DEA set to repeat on one of its most popular community programs this weekend, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.  On Saturday October 22 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their unused, unwanted prescription medications at one of 4,700 collection sites nationwide, operated by 3,800 local law enforcement agencies and other community partners.  The service is free of charge, no questions asked. Read more.

8. DEA Say’s “NO” To Marijuana

dea-says-no-to-marijuanaMarijuana activists who hoped the number of US states progressing towards the legalization of medical marijuana would soften the federal stance on the drug faced a setback Thursday as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that itwill keep marijuana illegal for any purpose. Read more.

9. Drug Testing Positive Results by Classification

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the statistics, facts, data, and outputs that have an impact workplace drug testing programs. Utilizing Quest Diagnostics as a resource, we will take a deeper dive into positivity by drug type. Read more.

10. FMCSA Establishes National Drug & Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers.

cdl-clearinghouseOn December 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule that would establish a National Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. Read more.

 

 

For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(855)919-3784
Accredited Drug Testing

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April 29, 2017 – 10AM to 2PM

This year’s National Prescription takeback day will be held on April 29, 2017 between 10:00am and 2:00pm.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse and medications.

The 2016 Prescription take back event was the most successful in recent years since its inception in 2010.  Last year illustrated Americans’ understanding of the value of this service.

In 2016, the DEA partnered with over 4,200 of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds.

2016 Top 5 States Participating

  1. Texas (almost 40 tons);
  2. California (32 tons);
  3. Wisconsin (31 tons);
  4. Illinois (24 tons); and
  5. Massachusetts (24 tons).

Recent studies have indicated that most prescription drug abusers report that they get their drugs from friends and family. With the success of National Prescription Takeback Day, it is promising that many Americans understand that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers.  This is a huge impact in as much that opioid painkillers accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses (78 a day in 2014 which is the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The studies also show that 8 out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.

“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction.  Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.”

Where did the National Prescription Takeback Day Come From?

This event stemmed from the final rule called the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (“Disposal Act”)

What is the Drug Disposal Act?

The Drug Disposal Act amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to give the DEA authority to endorse new regulations, within the framework of the CSA.  This would allow an “ultimate user” to deliver unused pharmaceutical controlled substances to appropriate entities for disposal in a safe and effective manner consistent with effective controls against diversion. The goal of the Disposal Act is to encourage public and private entities to develop a variety of methods of collection and disposal in a secure, convenient, and responsible manner.

Who is an “ultimate user”?

The Controlled Substances Act defines an “ultimate user” as “a person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member

Will there still be take-back events every six months?

Law enforcement may continue to conduct take-back events at any time. Any person or community group, registrant or non-registrant, may partner with law enforcement to conduct take-back events. The DEA encourages communities to partner with law enforcement to continue to conduct take-back events.

The DEA will continue to sponsor nationwide take-back events in the spring and fall. DEA will continue to encourage local law enforcement to implement additional take-back efforts conducted in accordance with the new regulations.

Can I dispose of illicit drugs through a collection receptacle, mail-back package, or take-back event?

How can I safely and securely dispose of my unwanted marijuana?

NO!  Individuals may not dispose/discard any illicit drugs (e.g., schedule I controlled substances such as marijuana, heroin, LSD) through any of the three disposal methods.

Furthermore, individuals may not dispose of any controlled substances that they do not legally possess. This includes schedules II-V controlled substances that are illegally obtained and possessed.

 Are there environmental impacts?

Disposed pharmaceuticals must be rendered non-retrievable in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, tribal, and local laws, including those relating to environmental protection. By expanding options on how ultimate users may dispose of their pharmaceutical controlled substances, fewer of these substances may end up in our nation’s water system.

For more information on the DEA’s Takeback Initiative or to find a collection site near you Click Here