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5 Reasons Why We Test for Drug Abuse

A test for drug abuse shows if a specific illicit or prescription drug is present in a person’s body. It can screen for some of the most common drugs of abuse such as cocaine, marijuana, amphetamine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, opiates, PCP, tricyclic antidepressants, ecstasy, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and oxycodone.

What Types of Test for Substance Use Disorders Are Available?

  1. Urine drug test. Urine drug testing is the most common of all types due to its convenience, speed, and affordability. Also, because urine is the primary excretory route of metabolites, it’s only logical to use this specimen type.
  2. Hair drug test. Did you know that drugs can stay in the hair for months after use? However, many people disagree with being subjected to it because it cannot prove recent drug use. So if a person used synthetic marijuana a few months back during a night out with friends, or if he took opiates as a form of prescription medication, the drug will show even if he hasn’t used any recently. And due to its complex process, this type of drug test requires laboratory testing.
  3. Saliva drug test. This type of test uses oral fluid for detecting both illicit and prescription drugs. As such, it’s becoming popular. It’s less invasive, doesn’t require restrooms, and affordable too.
  4. Blood drug test. On the other hand, a blood drug test is the most expensive and most invasive of all. That’s why most organizations that have drug testing programs only use it to confirm a positive result from either urine or saliva drug tests.
  5. Sweat drug test. Evaluators typically use this type of drug test for monitoring substance abuse of people involved in child custody cases or those on probation.

But why is there a need to test for drug abuse? Read on and find out.

Test for Drugs Abuse: 5 Reasons Why

1. In treatment centers

In Medication Assisted Treatment, rehab centers, and treatment centers, practitioners use drugs and alcohol testing to ensure that patients are sticking to their treatment plans. If there is proof of recent substance or alcohol abuse, the patient’s plan is adjusted. Because if a patient continues to use illicit substances, his addiction recovery plan won’t work. He will also be at risk for a drug overdose.

2. In workplaces

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 70 percent of those abusing illicit drugs in America are employed. This is why an increasing number of entrepreneurs now have workplace drug testing programs in place. This is to promote health and safety, as well as productivity of employees. With safe, healthy, and productive employees, a business has more chances of increasing its bottom line.

3. On the road

In 2018, 20.5 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol in the past year, and 12.6 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Sadly, driving under the influence does not only put the driver and his passengers in danger. He can also endanger other people on the road. This is why when highway authorities suspect a driver of being drugged; they immediately give them a drug test. If they believe the driver has more than the safe limits of alcohol or drugs in their body. If a driver tests positive, the authorities can suspend his license or even sue him for drunk or drugged driving. In DUI cases, drug testing is necessary to ensure the safety of every person on the road.

4.At home

In homes, parents want to drug test their children for fear that they might be using drugs like crack cocaine but lying about it. And rightly so. A study shows that kids lie about their use of drugs. We are all aware of the effects of drugs and how they can affect physical and mental health. And don’t forget about the many instances of drug overdoses that have already claimed millions of lives.

5. Prisons

Drug addiction, especially in prisons and correction centers, is a menace that can put the staff, other inmates, and the public in grave danger. This is why prisons and correction centers have drug testing programs – to help eliminate the presence and use of contraband drugs in the jail and monitor inmate compliance with drug-use conditions, rules, and laws. 

These are the five reasons why we test for substance abuse. It’s to help save lives, relationships, and properties. 

If you need urine drug screens, saliva test kits, or any type of drug test, feel free to visit the Ovus Medical Store. We have an array of drug testing supplies you can choose from.

10 Panel Drug Screen: Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask

A 10 panel drug screen tests for various drugs in a person’s body. It includes testing for different classes of illegal drugs and prescription medications that are commonly misused in the United States.  

Urine testing for detecting drugs is common in a 10-panel drug test, although evaluators can also use blood and bodily fluids . 

The 10-panel drug test is less common than the 5-panel drug test. Workplace drug testing typically screens for five illicit drugs, and sometimes alcohol. A 10-panel drug test, however, does not screen for alcohol.

10 Panel Drug Test: What does it screen?

The drugs tested on a 10-panel drug test:

  • Amphetamines 
  • Cannabis 
  • Cocaine 
  • Opioids 
  • Barbiturates 
  • Benzodiazepines 
  • Phencyclidine
  • Methaqualone/ Quaaludes 
  • Methadone 
  • Propoxyphene 

What affects the window of detection?

Drug detection times vary depending on the following factors:

  • Type of drug
  • dosage
  • type of sample
  • Metabolism

The approximate detection times for drugs screened in a 10-panel drug test are as follows:

Substance                                                              Detection window

Amphetamines                                                               2 days

Barbiturates                                                                   2 to 15 days

Benzodiazepines                                                           2 to 10 days

Cannabis                                                                      3 to 30 days, depending on the frequency of usage

Cocaine                                                                        2 to 10 days

Methadone                                                                    2 to 7 days

Methaqualone                                                               10 to 15 days

Opioids                                                                        1 to 3 days

Phencyclidine                                                               8 days

Propoxyphene                                                              2 days

A 10-panel drug test may help screen for drug use, but it has limitations. For example, it can’t determine whether a person is on a drug at the time of testing. It tests for the presence of drugs or other compounds as a byproduct of drug metabolism. These by-products and compounds must be present at a specific concentration to be detected.

Who uses this drug screen and why? 

The 10-panel drug test isn’t considered a standard drug test and isn’t as common as a 5-panel drug test to screen applicants and current employees.

Professionals who are responsible for personal and public safety may be required to take random drug testing. This may include:

  • law enforcement officers
  • medical professionals
  • federal/state, local government employees

Some employers require mandatory drug testing. Your employment may depend on a passing result. However, this may be contingent on the laws in your state.

Some states prohibit employers from conducting drug testing on employees whose work doesn’t involve safety-dependent positions. 

What to expect during the screen

A technician can conduct drug testing at your workplace, a medical clinic, or accredited lab test facilities, typically during business days. The medical personnel or technician performing the drug test will provide instructions throughout the process.

The ideal site for a urine test is a single-stall bathroom. The technician will give you a drug testing cup. After filling it with your urine sample, cover the container tightly and return it to the technician.

Summary

A 10 panel drug test is not a standard drug test. Employers who require testing use a 5 panel drug test and an alcohol test. Some professions that involve personal and public safety may require regular 10 panel drug tests.

This test detects 10 substances (including prescription drugs) within their own window of detection. These detection times vary with each drug and personal factors, such as individual metabolism.

Labs may repeat positive results for confirmation to avoid false positives. An inconclusive result for substance abuse may require the person to repeat the test.

 For a 10 panel drug test that gives 99% accurate test results, check out Ovus Medical’s 10-panel drug test cup, urine dip card, and saliva drug test.

6 Panel Drug Test: Facts You Need to Know

In drug testing programs, a drug panel refers to the specific drug tested. For example, a 6 panel drug test examines a specimen for the presence of six different substances. But what does a 6 panel drug test for? Read on.

What is a 6 Panel Drug Test for?

Briefly, this drug test is specific to detecting six illegal drugs in a single urine sample.

The most common type of drug testing is the urine drug test because of its ease of collection, affordability, and extended detection period.

What drugs does this cup look for?

1. Phencyclidine(PCP)

Also known as Angel Dust, Phencyclidine, is a wildly dangerous illegal drug. It makes users feel unbeatable, often leading to violence, injuries, and death.

This is why if you suspect a loved one of using this substance, you must have him tested immediately. PCP shows up within 5 days after ingestion.

2. Basic Opiates

The three primary opiates that manifest in the test are codeine, morphine, and heroin. Of the three, heroin is by far the most addictive and dangerous. Codeine is a mild pain reliever. Doctors prescribe it to reduce coughing.

Morphine, on the other hand, is a natural substance from the opium poppy plant where heroin is synthesized. Users can become addicted to heroin even after a single dose. After ingesting heroin, urine drug screen panels can detect it for around 3 to 5 days.

Indeed, pre-employment urine drug testing program for Opiates is one way for businesses to maintain a safe work environment.

3. Amphetamine & Methamphetamine

Amphetamine and methamphetamine are Schedule II drugs. Doctors usually prescribe them to treat narcolepsy and  ADHD.

Both are stimulants and appetite suppressants that increase the release of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. Thereby, users experience the effect of creating mental focus and thus reducing hyperactivity.

Employers screen job applicants and employees to help deter drug use to keep their workplaces drug-free. A drug screen can detect it for around two or three days.

4. Cocaine(COC)

Cocaine is undoubtedly a powerful, expensive street drug that makes users feel energized and strong.

Street names include:

  • blow
  • coke
  • crack.

Cocaine shows up on a urine drug test for up to a week after use.

Employers conduct urine testing thereupon, to avoid the dangers and high cost of employing cocaine users.

5. Benzodiazepine(BZO)

Benzodiazepines or benzos are set Schedule IV drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. They are central nervous system depressants.

People who take benzodiazepines feel euphoria (or high) but can lead to psychological dependence. As a result, they feel they need the drug to cope with daily life.

Detection times in urine can be up to 10 days. Benzos are metabolized in urine, producing metabolites. Hence, metabolites confirm the presence of Benzodiazepine.

6. Marijuana (THC)

Marijuana is a commonly used drug made from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. THC is the psychoactive ingredient of Marjuana which is responsible for the intoxicating effects.

Urine drug tests can detect THC  2-7 days for one time users and up to 10-30 days for chronic users.

Who Uses This Cup?

The 6 panel drug test is standard in health care, workplace, sports organizations, educational institutions, and criminal settings.

Workplace. Employers are required to test an applicant before hiring. Likewise, random testing is crucial after hiring to check for on-the-job drug use.

Sports organizations. Professional athletes usually need to take a test for performance-enhancing drugs or other substances.

Criminal Settings. Drug testing is also involved in a criminal or motor vehicle accident investigation. Moreover, screening may be ordered as part of a court case for legal or forensic purposes.

Health Care. In the healthcare system, it is specifically for treatment and compliance monitoring purposes.

Example: Monitoring opioid use. If a health care provider prescribes you an opioid for chronic pain, he may order a drug test to make sure you are taking the right amount of your medicine.

Educational Institutions. Schools may request their students to take a drug test as a requirement for enrollment. In the same manner, Ivy League universities and community colleges also oblige collegiate athletes to test for stimulant substances.

In summary, 6 panel drug test is a rapid one-step drug screening for the simultaneous, detection of multiple drugs and metabolites in urine specimens.

Check out Ovus Medical. They provide the highest quality drug testing supplies in the market.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Saliva?

Organizations with drug and alcohol testing programs see urine drug screens as the golden standard and thus use them most of the time. However, saliva testing is a type of test becoming more popular with these organizations. As discussed in this article on Ovus, it is because this testing method is quick, easy to do, and non-harmful. A saliva test is also very efficient in showing recent drug use: it can give results in as little as ten minutes. But how long do drugs stay in saliva, and what drugs do these tests detect?

Common Drugs Screened and How Long Do These Drugs Stay in Saliva

How long drugs stay in the saliva depends on the substance.

Legal Drugs

Alcohol

Standard testing for drugs doesn’t include alcohol tests, but you can still test a person on suspicion of alcohol abuse or to check if they are really not drinking alcohol. A saliva drug test can detect alcohol from 6 hours and all the way up to 3 days.

Barbiturates

Barbiturates are drugs for treating sleeplessness and seizures. They are prone to abuse because of the relaxing sensation they bring. An oral swab test can detect this drug for up to three days.

Amphetamines

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs for curing being overweight, sleeping disorders, or attention disorder. However, some use them for recreation or performance enhancement, both of which are illegal. Saliva testing kits can detect Amphetamines from 12 hours up to 5 days after use.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are calming drugs and are a remedy for anxiety or insomnia. However, they are also highly addictive. The drug detection time varies greatly, ranging from 1 to 10 days, and depending on the type of benzodiazepine.

Cannabis (THC)

Many states have already legalized marijuana. However, other states still find marijuana illegal, and those states conduct marijuana testing. Saliva tests can detect marijuana use within 24 hours up to 72 hours.

Opioids

Since some doctors prescribe opioids for pain relief, some end up abusing these drugs. One popular and illegal opioid is heroin. Statistics show that its misuse is currently an epidemic in the United States. Detection times of the different kinds of opioids vary from an hour after use and up to 10 days.

Illegal Drugs

Methamphetamine

Also known as “meth,” it is an illegal stimulant that brings happiness to the user. An oral drug test can detect Meth in as little as 10 minutes after use and as long as four days.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a very infamous and highly addictive stimulant drug, and it is illegal to use and possess this substance. Saliva tests cannot detect it after 72 hours.

Phencyclidine (PCP)

Phencyclidine or PCP is a hallucinogenic substance. The user becomes very ecstatic and disconnected from normal life. Saliva drug tests can detect it from 24 hours up to 10 days after use.

Methylenedioxy-Methamphetamine (MDMA)

Rave party goers commonly use this drug, also known as ecstasy or Molly. An oral test can detect it an hour after use, but all traces disappear 24 hours after use.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Saliva – Other Factors

Even with these benchmarks, certain factors affect how long drugs stay in saliva. These include an individual’s metabolism, age, body fat percentage, tolerance for drugs, the amount of drug taken, and even the purity of the drug itself.

Want to buy high-quality but affordable saliva drug tests? Check out Ovus Medical’s oral swabs.

12 Panel Drug Test: Frequently Asked Questions

The National Survey on Drug Use reported an increase in the abuse and diversion for illicit use of OxyContin and other prescription medications. These drugs can’t show up in a standard 5 panel drug test. As a result, many organizations consider expanding their testing standards to a 12 panel drug test to ensure workplace safety.

With this drug test, everything screened in a 10 panel test is included with additional testing for prescription painkillers and extended opiates, as well as other controlled substances. Read on to know more about this.

What does a 12 panel drug test cup test for?

The purpose of a 12 panel drug screen is to check for illicit substances. This panel drug test includes drug screening for:

  • Amphetamines (AMP)
  • Barbiturates (BAR)
  • Benzodiazepines (BZO)
  • Buprenorphine (BUP)
  • Cocaine (COC)
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Methadone (MTD)
  • Methamphetamines (MET)
  • Opiates (OPI/MOR)
  • Oxycodone (OXY)
  • pH and Creatinine or Adulterants (ADLTX)

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Does Suboxone show up on this drug test?

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone used to treat excessive use of opioids. Although it is a prescription medicine, it is still part of the drug screening process.

When it comes to panel drug testing, the 12 panel drug test can detect the presence of Suboxone. However, positive results will appear as buprenorphine which is one of its active ingredients.

Does Acid show up on a panel test?

Acid or LSD has one of the shortest detection times, and urine tests can detect it up to 8 hours after consumption. However, it will not show up on a 12 panel urine drug test, but there’s a separate LSD urine test available now in the market.

Does Wellbutrin show up?

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant drug that doesn’t get you high but can sometimes turn into a physical dependence over time. By crushing and snorting or smoking Wellbutrin can be very dangerous that lead to seizures.

A 12-panel drug test will not detect Wellbutrin. Instead, Wellbutrin or other antidepressants can trigger a false-positive test and often show up as amphetamines. However, blood tests can detect this substance.

Does Alcohol show up on a twelve panel drug test?

Many companies require that their employees submit to alcohol testing to maintain a healthy and productive working environment.

Nonetheless, this drug test does not automatically include alcohol testing. Instead, it’s possible to add detection for Alcohol if requested explicitly for screening. An ETG urine test can detect this substance.

Will Neurontin show up?

Neurontin is a famous brand name for Gabapentin which is an anticonvulsant drug. It is a prescription medicine for treating seizures in adults and children over the age of three. Also, it is approved to treat pain brought on by shingles.

More so, Neurontin doesn’t show up on 12 panel drug test. Despite that, there’s a specific Gabapentin urine drug test available today.

Does Tramadol show up?

Tramadol is a synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain. Tests for this substance are not common on 12-panel or most standard drug tests. But there are advanced screening panels for pain medication that check for it as well, such as urine, blood, saliva, and hair drug testing.

Today, these tests have become the most favored by most industries because they can detect medical prescription drug abuse. While it’s a good thing to reveal these substances, it’s equally important to make sure that every organization knows what it has to test. Not all prescription drugs appear in a standard 12 panel drug test. Some medications are only detectable through specific panel tests or by specially requested drug screen tests.

If you’re looking for affordable yet superior quality drug testing supplies, then take a look at Ovus Medical’s 12 panel drug tests now!

How Long Does Acid Stay in Your System?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 27 million people in the United States used acid at some point in their lives. While people use acid for many reasons, there have long been rumors on its long-term effects to stay in the body. How long does acid stay in your system? Read on to find out.

Acid is known scientifically as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). It is an illicit synthetic substance with hallucinogenic properties that cause dizziness and visual hallucinations. The drug is available as a capsule or liquid (applied to blotter paper) to consume orally.

But how long does acid stay in your system? Below is a guide that can help you out.

Side Effects of LSD: What Does Acid Do To Your Body?

People often use LSD for a variety of reasons. LSD is commonly used for recreational and social purposes, while others also use it for spiritual causes, artistic inspiration, and therapeutic purposes.

However, the effects of LSD are very unpredictable. A bad trip on acid can be very psychedelic, causing one to feel out of time and unable to identify oneself. People who are under the influence of acid are usually suffering from the following side effects or withdrawal symptoms:

  • Despair
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Intense fear
  • Flashbacks
  • Enhanced anxiety
  • Concentration problems
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • High body temperature and sweating
  • Dehydration
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Risk to personal safety

Please note that an individual’s experience may vary depending on the amount taken or factors such as the person’s mood, personality, or environment in which they consume it.

 

When Do You Start Feeling The Effects?

Typically, LSD is sold as a capsule or liquid packaged in small bottles or added directly to blotter paper, sugar cubes, and gelatin squares. Generally, most consume it orally, but some apply a drop itself into the eye.

The first time you ingest the drug, it takes 20 minutes to 2 hours to start feeling its effects. Upon onset, it takes about 35 minutes for the results to peak.

How Long Does Acid Stay in Your System?

For years, the belief was that acid would stay in the spinal cord forever after consumption. However, that belief was proven incorrect after thorough research and testing.

How long does acid stay in your system? After ingesting, LSD is absorbed by the bloodstream and distributed quickly throughout the body. Researchers have found that the substance stays in the body for up to 12 hours.

However, factors like age, metabolism, and food consumption can affect how long LSD remains in the body.

 

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Types of Drug Tests That Can Detect Acid

The following are the most common types of drug test used to detect acid in the body:

Blood Tests

Tests by blood are usually the most reliable way to screen for drugs, but they are generally the most invasive. LSD stays in the blood for 6 to 12 hours.

Urine Tests

Among all other drugs, LSD has one of the shortest detection times. Urine tests can detect it up to 8 hours after consumption.

Hair Tests

Hair tests can detect the presence of LSD in the body up to 90 days after its last use. However, the use of this test is the least common.

What can affect Acid detection times?

LSD stays in the body for different lengths of time, depending on the individual. Factors that influence the length of time it stays in the body include:

  • Age
  • Dosage amount
  • General health
  • Genetics
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Metabolism
  • Nutritional intake
  • Weight

Drugs that might cause false positives for acid

Several medications can cause urine drug screens for LSD to show as false positives, including:

  • Ambroxol
  • Amitril (amitriptyline)
  • Buspar (buspirone)
  • Cardizem (diltiazem)
  • Fentanyl
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Trandate (labetalol)
  • Verelan (verapamil)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

How long does acid stay in your system? It depends on a lot of factors. LSD stays in the system for only a few hours after taking it, with its effects quickly wearing off. However, its devastating side effects may persist for several days, depending on the dosage, health condition, and resistance to the said substance of abuse.

Due to LSD’s short detection time, a more specialized laboratory technique is necessary to detect its presence in the body. But today, there are test kits available that are easy to use, provide fast turnaround times, and deliver reliable results for acid detection.

Do you need drug testing supplies that can test for acid accurately, safely, and hygienically? Check out Ovus Medical’s LSD Urine Test Strips now!

What Are the Cut Off Levels for Drug Testing?

Drug testing uses a cut-off level to determine the concentration of drugs and drug metabolites in your urine, blood sample, saliva, and hair. There is a safety risk if the results are equal to or above the recommended cut-off levels. If your sample is below the cut-off level, your test will show a negative result. If it is equal to or above the cut-off, your test result will be positive

What is the significance of cut-off levels?

Cut-offs in drug testing programs are important. It’s because not all positive test results mean a donor uses illicit drugs. For example, he might have taken drugs a few months before detection, and the laboratory used hair samples for testing. In this case, drugs would most likely be present, but the result would be below the cut-off.

Also, cut-offs are essential because it protects donors from false-positives. It makes it clear that while drugs may have been present because of prior exposure, the donor hasn’t used drugs recently.

 How are cut-off levels determined, and what regulatory body determines them?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) establishes the scientific and technical guidelines for federal and non-federal workplace drug testing programs. An example of a federal agency is the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It requires employees and applicants to undergo drug testing. DOT only permits HHS-certified laboratories to conduct both drug testing and verification to determine the results’ accuracy.

 Are cut-off levels affected by detection times?

There are different detection times for various drugs among individuals. These depend on factors such as body weight, gender, age, or substances the person may have consumed with the drug.

Also, drugs have various windows of detection due to their degree of fat solubility. Highly fat-soluble compounds like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have a long half-life.

Thus, some highly fat-soluble compounds can be detected in urine up to several weeks from last use among heavy users. Benzodiazepines’ detection times vary among individuals due to their half-life.

Long-acting (up to 10 days), intermediate-acting (up to 5 days), or short-acting (up to 2 days). Other factors such as dosage, administration route, time of the last dosage, and individual differences in the drug’s interaction with other substances will affect the detection of benzodiazepine.

NCBI shows the various detection windows via urine samples for some commonly used substances.

Cut-off levels for drug testing

Drug tests vary, depending on the types of drugs tested and the types of specimens collected. Specimens can be in the form of urine, hair, saliva (oral fluid), or sweat samples.

In federally regulated programs, however, only urine samples are collected.

The five categories of the most commonly tested drugs are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Additional categories may include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, ethanol (alcohol), hydrocodone, MDMA, methadone, methaqualone, or propoxyphene.

For the evaluator, knowing the cut-off levels for drug testing can help them provide a more accurate interpretation of results.

To learn more about drug testing, visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have a wealth of information you’ll find beneficial.

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MRO for Drug Testing: What Does He Do?

When an employee undergoes drug testing, a medical review officer reviews the results. But what exactly does an MRO do? Read on to find out what an MRO is and the part he or she plays in the drug testing process.

What is an MRO for drug testing?

A Medical Review Officer is a licensed physician holding either a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree. MROs are different from medical examiners. They are the ones who analyze the laboratory results of a drug test.

MROs are familiar with both prescribed and illegal drugs. They also know anti-drug laws and guidelines very well. MROs must also pass a nationally recognized board exam and maintain their certifications by retaking the same exam every five years.

Work Process of a Medical Review Officer

So what exactly does an MRO do when it comes to drug testing measures? Here is a step-by-step process.

Step 1: Reviewing Laboratory Results Generated

When an employee of the company has provided a sample to the drug testing lab, the lab tests it immediately. The lab then sends its findings to the MRO.

Step 1.1: If Test Result is Negative

If the test is negative, the MRO will verify the result, then send it to the employer.

Step 1.2: If Test Result is Non-Negative

If the result comes back as non-negative, the MRO will first double-check to see if it correct. If it is, the MRO has 72 hours to contact the employee.

Step 2: Interviewing the Employee

The MRO will have to talk to the employee to check if they are on any treatments or have any other medical explanations for non-negative or positive results.

Step 2.1: If the Employee Fails to Respond

The MRO will try three times to contact the employee and wait for 72 hours for him or her to respond. If there is no response, the MRO will ask the employer to tell the employee to contact the MRO. The MRO will not give the employer any specifics about the result.

Step 2.2: When the Employee Responds

The MRO will ask the employee for any medical explanations for the non-negative result, like a prescription drug. If there is a valid explanation, the MRO will classify the test as negative. If the employee doesn’t have a good reason, the MRO will report the test as positive.

Having an MRO review test results protects individuals from being wrongly accused of using illegal drugs and the employer from being sued by any employee fired for failing a drug test.

Are MROs required in all drug tests?

MROs are mandatory for drug tests for employees who have safety-related functions regulated by the Department of Transportation, as outlined in 49 CFR Part 40. MRO services are optional for those who do not fall under these regulations, though it is ideal for employers to use them.

To summarize, the MRO ensures the accuracy and integrity of drug test results and helps to confirm if the tested employee has a legitimate medical explanation if he or she has a positive drug test result. That way, employees won’t face wrongful termination, and employers won’t have to worry about facing any legal battles.

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Want to know more about drug testing? Read other blog articles here at Ovus Medical.

What are Quaaludes and Why Were They Banned?

Quaalude is the trade name for methaqualone. In 1965, William H. Rorer Pharmaceuticals introduced it to the medical community as a safe barbiturate substitute to induce sleep. It was later shown to have addiction and withdrawal symptoms similar to other prescription barbiturates. 

In 1972, plenty of US doctors prescribed Quaaludes. Methaqualone was sold in capsule form or in tablet form that had a “714” imprint. They were inexpensive during the time they were legal in the United States. Quaaludes are no longer legally available in America for the last 36 years. It is now an illegal drug that goes by names like Mandies and Quack.

What are Quaaludes made of?

The main ingredient of Quaaludes is a synthetic chemical called Methaqualone. Indian researchers in 1955 formulated it in their pursuit of new antimalarials. The drug has sedative quality, but it was then thought to be non-addictive. Quaaludes were unique in that they were both a depressant and a hypnotic.

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How do Quaaludes work?

Most sedatives, including alcohol and Valium, work by binding to gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABAA) in the central nervous system, increasing the brain’s inhibitory signals. Quaaludes bind to a different segment of the GABAA receptor but have similar sedative effects. When GABA (neurotransmitter) receptors activity increases, your breathing and heart rate decrease. Whenever this happens, your pulse rate and blood pressure drop, too, entering a feeling of deep relaxation. 

Methaqualone was both a sedative and a hypnotic. It promotes relaxation, sleepiness, and sometimes a feeling of euphoria (happiness, calmness). They are Central Nervous System(CNS) depressants that include sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics.

Why were they banned?

Doctors prescribed  quaaludes to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders. However, in 1984 the US Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA) labeled methaqualone with a Schedule 1 status, which President Ronal Reagan signed into law on the same year. This status effectively banned manufacturing, selling, and possession of methaqualone.

Abuse of legal prescriptions

By the late 1960s and 1970s, the drug became a popular recreation or party drug. At its height during the 1970s, Quaalude was the “disco biscuits” found across the US.

Quaaludes’ abuse potential soon became apparent. In 1973 the Controlled Substances Act labeled methaqualone in Schedule II. Schedule II status makes it difficult to prescribe, and it is illegal to possess without a prescription. But then the “stress clinics” that appeared across America became the easy source of prescriptions for Quaaludes.

Lemmon Pharmaceuticals, which bought the Quaaludes recipe in 1980, stopped the production of Quaaludes in 1983 due to widespread abuse, hundreds of deaths from illegal use, illegal recreational use, and resulting bad publicity. User demand for quaaludes waned, but new drugs just replaced quaaludes in the recreational niche.

Why do Substance Abusers still use them despite the consequences? 

Why continue using this substance despite the severe negative consequences?

A Quora writer who describes himself to be a part of the secret society of drug takers says this:” “The relaxation effect was so complete that the couch and your body were melding into one. It was ok because it felt so good to be totally relaxed.”

But why would you want to start using or continue using the outlawed Quaaludes after watching the 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street?

Drug addiction robs a user of any rational thinking. Studies on brain imaging on patients addicted to drugs show physical changes in the brain that are critical for judgment, decision-making, learning, memory, and behavior control. 

Scientists believe these changes alter how the brain works and explain why substance abusers still use drugs despite negative consequences. Additionally, substance abuse impairs a person’s ability to refrain from continued use of drugs.

Substance abuse is a disease and a social menace that is depriving nations of precious human resources. It will require social support and material resources to help those who struggle with addiction and see a chance to live meaningful alternative lives.

If you want to learn more about drugs and drug testing, visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have a wealth of information you can benefit from.

What Causes Low Creatinine Levels in Urine Drug Test?

Do you know that standard urine drug tests also check on one’s level of creatinine concentration? Normal creatinine levels help show that the urine sample is not diluted. How about if somebody’s urine drug test results indicate low creatinine levels? Read on to know what low creatinine levels mean in urine drug tests.

What is creatinine?

Creatinine is a byproduct of muscle metabolism. It usually appears in urine in relatively constant quantities over 24 hours with the usual amount of liquid intake. Then, it is filtered out of the blood through the kidneys at a reasonably steady rate. Hence, there is a continual production of creatinine and a continual excretion of it in the urine. 

In general, limited water intake can lead to abnormally concentrated urine, resulting in elevated creatinine levels.

Conversely, a more significant than usual water intake will dilute the amount of drug in the urine sample, thus, yielding low creatinine levels.

What are the various creatinine levels?

The normal level of creatinine in urine is from 60 mg/dL to 300 mg/dL.

The Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has set the guidelines below:

Dilute urine creatinine: equal to or greater than 2.0 mg/dL and less than 20 mg/dL Most likely due to increased water or liquid intake. This can be a result of short-term water loading (flushing) in an attempt to dilute any drug below testing cut-off concentrations

Abnormally dilute urine creatinine: <2.0 mg/dL. In this case, the specimen shows a deficient creatinine value. It may be an indication that the specimen is not consistent with normal human urine.

When the urine sample is too diluted, the results are normally labeled as “inconclusive.”

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What causes low creatinine levels in the urine?

Intentional and Accidental Urine Dilution

Intentional dilution of urine happens when a person purposefully alters the chemical composition of his urine sample. For example, a person is doing it intentionally if he drinks excessive amounts of water or takes diuretics to flush out the metabolites or byproducts of the drugs consumed before testing.

Adulteration is also an example of urine dilution. It involves adding water or some products like bleaching agents and detergents to the urine sample.

However, urine dilution can also be unintentional. Low creatinine levels can occur when any of the following conditions are present:

  • Muscle disease (muscle weakness, stiffness, and pain; decline in mobility)
  • Muscular dystrophy involves progressive loss of muscle mass and consequent loss of stamina
  • Poor liver function (jaundice, pale, bloodied tar-colored stool)
  • Excessive water loss
  • Low muscle mass due to malnutrition/low-meat or low-protein diet)
  • Kidney disease/stones

What do low creatinine levels mean in urine drug tests?

Getting low creatinine levels may indicate that the person tested tried to mask his urine drug test result. Moreover, he may have other health issues which he needs to address.

Summing up, establishing the creatinine levels in drug-abuse testing helps validate the urine specimen used and the testing results.

Check out Ovus Medical’s 12 panel drug test with adulterants to detect low creatinine levels.

What Are Barbiturates? Here’s A Quick Guide

Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveal that around 405,000 Americans aged 12 and above use barbiturates. Of this number, some 32,000 misuse barbiturates. Besides, teenagers and young adults who take barbiturates for recreational purposes are increasing in number.

Getting to know more about this substance would help us understand how they can affect your health as well as your loved ones. Here’s a quick guide.

What are barbiturates?

Barbiturates are synthetic drugs known as sedative-hypnotics with sleep-inducing and anxiety-decreasing effects. They increase a chemical’s activity in the brain called gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA). It’s a neurotransmitter facilitating communication between brain cells.

Medical practitioners prescribe these drugs to:

  • treat headaches
  • insomnia
  • seizure disorder
  • epilepsy
  • increased pressure in the skull
  • severe trauma to the skull
  • some types of convulsions

Also known as depressants, downers, or barbs, barbiturates produce effects similar to those of alcohol used as a recreational drug.

What are barbiturates made from?

Barbiturates are derivatives of barbituric acid (malonyl urea), formed from malonic acid and urea. Specifically, barbituric acid was first discovered by the German chemist Adolf von Baeyer in 1864. He combined urea (an animal waste product) with malonic acid (derived from the acid of apples).

Types of barbiturates

1. Amobarbital (Amytal)

Amobarbital was intended to treat various symptoms of insomnia and anxiety-related disorders. Researchers later discovered that its side effects outweighed its benefits. However, amobarbital is still occasionally administered or prescribed in a clinical setting.

When GABA receptors in the brain are activated with Amobarbital, the central nervous system’s signals can become sluggish or blocked.

2. Butabarbital (Butisol)

Butabarbital is used on a short-term basis to treat insomnia. It is also used to relieve anxiety, for example, before a surgical procedure. It works by slowing brain activity.

3. Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is the oldest epilepsy medicine still in use to treat or prevent seizures. It slows down the activity of your brain and nervous system. Phenobarbital is used to treat or prevent seizures

4. Secobarbital (Seconal)

Secobarbital is used for a short time to treat insomnia or as a sedative before surgery.

5. Butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine (Esgic, Fioricet)

Butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine is a combination medication used to treat tension headaches.

What are the side effects of barbiturates?

Since these substances are considered central nervous system depressants, they cause psychological changes in mood, such as euphoria, depression, or reduced inhibition. Such changes are the main reason why barbiturates are often abused.

Aside from those given above, other side effects of barbiturates include the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • confusion
  •  dizziness
  • Headache
  •  impaired judgment
  • light headedness
  • nausea
  •  slurred speech
  •  vomiting

Meanwhile, high doses of barbiturates can cause hostility, anxiety, body ataxia, slurred speech, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

Long-term use of barbiturates may result in the following effects:

  1. Depression, intense tiredness, and extreme mood swings
  2. Delirium and seizure, especially following a sudden withdrawal
  3. Chronic intoxication, aggressive behavior, impaired memory, judgment and coordination, and insomnia

 

Why is testing necessary?

Barbiturates are addictive. Consequently, these drugs often get into illegal use and abuse throughout the United States. Also, long-term association with barbiturates can cause addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms.

Testing for barbiturate can help your loved ones or your employees to prevent and detect addiction with the drug at the earliest time. Check out Ovus Medical’s Barbiturate test strips.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

Alcohol is one of the most popular drugs in the world. Since it’s not yet considered a controlled substance, people consume it anytime and anywhere. 

But because employers know that working people (especially those in safety-sensitive jobs) who are under the influence of alcohol can threaten their own lives and others, they now include urine alcohol testing in their drug testing programs. 

The question is – how long does alcohol stay in your urine? Read on to find out.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in the Body?

Once taken, the tongue and the mouth’s mucosal lining directly absorb a small amount of alcohol.  

Then, once in the stomach, the tissues lining the stomach and small intestines process it and transports it to other body organs through the bloodstream.

If you drank alcohol on an empty stomach, you’d feel intoxicated faster. It’s because food either absorbs the alcohol or prevents it from coming into contact with the stomach lining.

The liver metabolizes one standard drink per hour for men. So if you’re a man who just consumed five alcoholic beverages, alcohol will leave your body in about five hours.

What is a standard drink?

standard drink comes in the form of the following:

  • 12 fl oz of regular beer.
  • 8-9 fl oz of malt liquor.
  • 5 fl oz of wine.
  • 1.5 fl oz shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey).

Other factors influence the rate of alcohol breakdown in the body. These are:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Gender
  • Amount of food eaten
  • Type and strength of the alcoholic beverage
  • Medications that are taken before drinking alcohol

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Why use urine for testing alcohol?

Alcohol blood tests can detect the substance for up to six hours. On the other hand, breathalyzers and saliva tests can detect alcohol anywhere from 12-24 hours.

On the other hand, an alcohol urine test looks for the ethanol metabolite Ethyl Glucuronide or EtG. It’s because EtG stays in the body for up to 80 hours or three days.

Will drinking plenty of water or coffee sober you up?

No, doing these things won’t speed up the elimination of alcohol in the body. Even sleeping longer or taking a shower won’t do. Yes, drinking coffee or lots of water and taking a cold shower can make you feel refreshed and awake. However, the body eliminates alcohol naturally through an enzyme called Alcohol Dehydrogenase produced by the liver.

But even if you’re already sober, EtG will remain in your body. So if you’re scheduled for an alcohol test, your best bet would be to stay away from any alcoholic drinks for three days or more.

It is said that UA drug testing cups sometimes show false positives. Why does this happen?

Admittedly, false positives can happen if:

  • you recently ate plenty of foods poured with alcohol (baked Alaska, flambes)
  • used mouthwashes or breath mints before the test
  • took a cough syrup like Nyquil

This is why you should inform the evaluator of any medicines you took or food you ate before the alcohol drug test. Another thing to keep in mind is the cutoff levels of different drugs. 

Yes, taking Panadeine Forte for your headache might give you positive test results for opiates. However, the test will also show that the concentration is within the therapeutic range. This means you are not misusing opiates.

So how long does alcohol stay in your urine? Generally up to 80 hours depending on your age, gender, and other factors.

Would you like to know more about this topic? Visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have plenty of information you can benefit from.

What is the Drug Molly?

3,4-MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine, also known as MDMA and Molly, is the world’s most popular synthetic drug of all time. This psychoactive drug makes you friendlier, euphoric, and feel empathetic towards others. That’s why MDMA became a famous party drug among young adults. It makes you feel so alive, energetic, and super friendly – feelings that many perceive as musts to enjoy the party.

What is the drug Molly? 

No, “Molly” isn’t the name of MDMA’s inventor. The name came from “molecular,” which is how this drug was originally distributed – in powder or crystal form. 

Today, it comes in the form of capsules and funny-looking tablets. Sometimes, it’s also available in its liquid form.

Molly is just one of MDMA’s nicknames. Users also call it ecstasy, Adam, hug drug, lover’s speed, STP, beans, disco biscuit, among others.

It’s a Schedule I substance which means it has a high chance of being abused but has no FDA-approved medical use.

Although most users typically swallow Molly, some smoke, snort, or inject this illegal drug.

How does Molly work?

Ecstasy triggers three neurotransmitters in your brain: Dopamine, Noradrenaline, and Serotonin. The first ups your energy level, the second increases your heart rate, while the third improves your mood, appetite for food, and sex.

The thing is – Molly mimics these neurotransmitters, giving you that enhanced experience most users love. It makes you feel so good and happy, and you see everyone as your friend.

Side Effects of Molly

When used as directed, MDMA can be a helpful drug. But when used for recreation or as a party drug, you must be very careful. 

For one, MDMA disrupts the sleep cycle, so you’ll feel sleepless after taking it. You might feel your teeth clenching involuntarily, even when you’re wide awake. Another side effect is being too amiable and friendly, even to strangers. Now, this can lead to unsafe sex or promiscuity.

MDMA’s real danger is not in the substance itself. In fact, Dr. Alexander Shulgin, the spiritual father of psychedelics, recreated MDMA for therapeutic purposes.

It’s when someone contaminates it with other drugs like cocaine or ketamine or mixed with chemicals used for bath salts that can cause adverse effects like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • Faintness
  • Involuntary jaw clenching
  • Nausea
  • Death

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, using Molly in places where there’s long, vigorous physical activity in warm environments can lead to molly’s most acute side effects – a significant increase in body temperature or hyperthermia. This can also cause dehydration.

However, drinking plenty of water and sports drinks is not the solution in this situation. Molly causes the body to retain water, so there’s a risk of electrolyte imbalance or brain swelling.

This may be the reason why fatality reports in recent years have tended to cluster at events such as raves and electronic dance music festivals.

Is there a need to test for MDMA in the workplace?

Most companies that do drug testing in the workplace now include molly screens. This drug, as mentioned earlier, affects a person’s perception and behavior. So employers are wary that their employees’ productivity and safety might be affected by a worker who’s still experiencing a comedown because he took MDMA the night before.

Does your workplace need reliable but affordably-priced MDMA drug tests? Then check out Ovus Medical’s 101213, and 14 drug testing cups which include MDMA. Or purchase our MDMA Testing Strips

Purchase MDMA Testing Strips Here

 

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Can You Test for Kratom?

Kratom is a tree with the scientific name Mitragyna Speciosa. Its leaves contain compounds that have mind altering effects. Although it is not currently an illegal substance, long-term use can lead to dependence and abuse. But, can you test for Kratom? Read on.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is an evergreen tropical tree native to Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. This coffee species is best grown in hot, too muggy habitats.

Users eat the fresh leaves and crush and brew the dried ones. One unusual method of ingesting Kratom is called toss and wash. Users take a spoon full of the powder and put it in their mouth. They then wash that down with water or juice. Fast and easy!

There are two main active components in the leaves of Kratom: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These substances are responsible for Kratom’s psychoactive effects. Once they reach the brain, they influence mood and anxiety.

The physiological effects are similar to sedatives when consumed in high doses and stimulants when consumed in low amounts. Although it is not an opioid, it acts on the same brain receptors as opioids. Kratom’s effects intensify if someone takes it on an empty stomach.

Kratom street names include:

  • Biak
  • Ketum
  • Kakuam
  • Kratho
  • Ithang
  • Thom

Kratom is currently legal as sold in gas stations, convenience stores, head shops, and paraphernalia shops in most US parts. People can also order Kratom over the Internet with the following names.

Brand Names of Kratom include but not limited to:

  • Bali Halus
  • Club 13
  • Divinity Kratom
  • Edens Ethnos Kratom
  • Experience Kratom
  • Feng Shui Herbals
  • Golden Reserve Extract
  • Green Vein Borneo
  • Kratom Infusion
  • Kratom Kaps
  • Kratom Tea

Because it is legal and plant-based, they assume it is safe. However, it is not.The FDA is concerned that Kratom seems to have properties that predispose users to addiction, abuse, and dependence.

Why People Use Kratom

Traditionally, manual laborers, farmers, and fishers regularly used this herbal plant to relieve fatigue and manage pain.  For centuries, they used Kratom in their socio-religious ceremonies as a source of spiritual transcendence to uplift their spirits.

However, modern science proved Kratom as an effective plant-based libido enhancer. It is because of its aphrodisiac properties.

Pain relief is the principal reason why people use Kratom. Its alkaloid components are responsible for the action. When ingested or consumed, kratom leaves produce complex dose-dependent stimulant and analgesic effects. Kratom’s mood-boosting properties helped users stop using other drugs, specifically opiates. Some use it to alleviate symptoms of morphine and ethanol withdrawal.

Moreover, it works as an antidepressant and a hunger suppressant.

Commonly reported benefits according to a review by Singh, et al include:

  • euphoria
  • a sense of wellbeing
  • relaxation
  • enhanced sociability
  • more energy
  • analgesia
  • sensory enhancement
  • a warm and tingly feeling

Side Effects of Kratom

Kratom has varying effects on people based on dosage amounts. Long-term effects can be unpleasant and potentially life-threatening.

Side effects include:

  • agitation
  • tachycardia
  • drowsiness
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • sensitivity to sunburn
  • nausea
  • itching
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite

Graveside effects include:

  • seizures
  • respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Symptoms of psychosis in some users
  • Liver damage
  • addiction

How long does Kratom stay in the body?

Thus far, it would take 24 hours to eliminate 50% of the Kratom in the body based on various research conducted.

Usually, it would take just over five days for Kratom to leave the system. However, other factors would come into play that may affect elimination time.

Factors may include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Body fat
  • Food and water intake

Can you test for Kratom?

One of the biggest reasons people chose Kratom over other drugs is their belief that it will not show up on a drug test. Additionally, since Kratom is not yet a controlled substance, it is not part of the routines of standard drug testing. Hence, it does not show up. However, some Kratom alkaloids are now identified on specific drug tests using urine or blood samples.

Ovus Medical’s Kratom urine drug test strips are specifically created and designed to check for Kratom alkaloids.

Can you test for Kratom? Yes, it is possible! Drug tests for Kratom are now available. Use it to your advantage.

If you need to undergo Kratom drug testing and want to get accurate results in just a few minutes, check out Ovus Medical’s Kratom Test Strips.

What Happens If You Fail a Random Drug Test?

It’s a Manic Monday! You still feel light-headed from last night’s booze party. As you drive yourself to work, you silently wish your supervisor won’t ask you to take your sunglasses off. But luck against luck, he tells you you’ll have a random drug test today the moment you enter your office.

So you get your mobile phone to search for your rights. Can you be randomly drug tested? Can you refuse? What will happen if you fail a random drug test?

Can Your Employer Random Drug Test You?

Yes, he can, if he has a well-documented drug testing policy in place. He should follow your state’s guidelines on providing notice and proper procedures for avoiding discrimination and inaccurate sampling. 

Can Your Company Test You Without Warning?

Try to remember the day you applied for your job. Were you informed that passing a drug test is a requirement for employment? And that it conducts random drug tests periodically?

If yes, then the company isn’t random drug testing you without warning. From day one, you knew such a test could happen anytime to any employee.

And yes, notices for random drug tests are given the same day. There’s no need to wonder why your superior only informed you that you’d be undergoing the test today.

Can You Refuse to be Drug Tested?

Yes, you can refuse a drug test, primarily because no federal laws govern such a procedure. That is if you’re working in a non-safety sensitive job in a private company. 

However, the consequences might not be in your favor. Your superior can suspend you for disobedience, or worse, fire you. 

But if you’re working in the trucking, railroad, aviation, mass transportation, and similar industries, you can’t refuse. It’s because people’s safety can be at risk if you’re under the influence.

OVUS MEDICAL RANDOM DRUG TESTS

 

What Happens If You Fail a Random Drug Test?

Let’s assume you agreed to do the test. You don’t smell of alcohol, anyway. Plus, you’ve read somewhere that the effects of alcohol only last about three hours. So what gives?

EtG, the metabolite of alcohol, is detectable in drug tests for up to 80 hours. So you will test positive for the substance if you drank the night before.

So what happens?

When you fail a drug test, your employer can do the following:

  1. Recommend you for EAP
  2. Disqualify you for promotion
  3. Fire you

Recommend You for EAP

If your company has an Employee Assistance Program, then you’re in luck. It’s a free work-based program that provides private evaluation, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees undergoing personal or work-related issues like you. Some companies even extend assistance to the families of their employees enlisted in this program.

Disqualify You for Promotion

Yes, your employer can do so, but not if you agree to undergo a rehabilitation program. It’s because the Family and Medical Leave Act prevents employers from retaliating against workers who request FMLA leave. So if you do fail a drug test, take advantage of this leave not only to get that long-desired promotion but, more importantly, lead a new life.

Fire You

Your employer can fire you if, after testing positive, you refuse to undergo the rehabilitation program. If you agree to go through the program but don’t complete it, he can also terminate you, following the authorities’ guidelines.

What happens if you fail a drug test? Your employer can recommend you for rehab, deny you for promotion, or terminate you.

Would you like to learn more about drug testing in the workplace? Visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have a lot of information on this topic you can benefit from.

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Employee Assistance Program: The Pros and Cons

Everybody goes through personal problems at one point or another. Some people can cope with the stress that comes with these issues. However, others need assistance. This is where the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) comes in.

The Employee Assistance Program assists employees during the most turbulent times of their life. The EAP offers free programs that help employees resolve challenges such as drug or alcohol abuse, emotional problems, child care issues, anxiety, marital or family relationship concerns, elderly care, depression, or financial difficulties. These programs are typically free for employees.

In some cases, EAPs extend assistance to the family members of the employees involved.

The Pros and Cons of Employee Assistance Program Services

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The Advantages of EAP Services:

Healthier, happier employees

Experts have proven that physical, emotional, and mental stressors can affect a person’s workplace performance. A critical incident that has led to depression, job and family issues due to substance abuse can wreak havoc with a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

But when an employee gets help from his employer through the EAP, he feels loved and cared for. The result? You get happier and healthier employees that can spread good vibes in the workplace!

Engaged and dedicated employees

Did you know that only a whopping 15% of employees are actively engaged? This means 85% of your employees aren’t doing what they’re paid to do. Eventually, employee disengagement can hurt your bottom line.

However, with a well-laid-out EAP that assists employees at a time when they need it most, your employees will feel your concern for them. As their way of paying back, they’ll work harder and better to show their support for you and the company’s goals.

Less stress

Fights in the workplace, no matter how minor, can be stressful for business owners like you. A dent in the company’s bottom line due to unproductive, unengaged employees can also be a source of stress.

Now, an EAP might not be the perfect solution for all these, but it will help you manage your employees better. As a result, you’ll have less stress running your business.

The Disadvantages of EAP Services:

Employee Assistance Programs come with plenty of benefits. However, like everything else, they come with their own set of disadvantages. What are their cons?

More time investment

As mentioned above, you, the business owner, need to spread information about your company’s EAP as effectively as possible. Creating and putting out posters, conducting seminars and workshops, and even meeting with your managers and supervisors on how you can efficiently promote the EAP can be time and effort consuming.

Additional cost

A well-established EAP doesn’t come cheap. You have to hire the right EAP service provider. If you have less than 25 employees, your typical EAP cost will be $50 annually for every employee. 

Additionally, you’ll have to spend to create informational materials (posters, flyers, stickers) and human resources.

Employee reluctance

Employees may be reluctant to take advantage of a company’s EAP due to insufficient information or misinformation. Some employees feel subjecting themselves to a drug test program, for example, might compromise their job. They think that they might get sacked or ridiculed by co-workers, managers, and supervisors.Thus, a need for robust information dissemination is necessary. Employers should post about the different EAP offers in cafeterias, workplaces, garages, and other areas frequented by employees.

An EAP can help you build genuine, lasting relationships with the people who are helping you run your business. But like everything else, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Read through the list above. It might help you decide whether an EAP is right for you.

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have a wealth of information you’ll find beneficial.

What Are the Drug Testing Laws?

Any entrepreneur considering implementing a drug-free workplace program in his business should first be aware of the drug testing laws in his state or region. Otherwise, he can be held liable and face costly court cases later on. But what are these drug testing laws? Do these laws apply from state to state? Read on and find out.

What’s the Need for Drug Testing Programs?

More and more business owners are implementing drug-free workplace programs to prevent the harmful effects of illicit drug use. 

These programs could include:

  • Distributing information on addiction prevention.
  • Reducing or eliminating opportunities for drug abuse.
  • Providing rehabilitation services.

Drug testing programs can also help weed out unproductive people who may be abusing drugs or alcohol. 

However, just writing down a drug-testing program without understanding the laws that surround it can compromise an entrepreneur and his business.

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Below is a list of drug testing laws.

Drug Testing Laws for Reasonable Suspicion

The law states that employees’ drug testing is permissible if there is a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use. There has been a lot of controversy about this issue because some people believe it violates privacy laws and can create unnecessary roadblocks for those who were once addicted but now sober.

Medical Marijuana Laws

According to the Cannabis and Employment Laws, employers cannot consider medical cannabis use or positive drug test results when hiring or firing employees. However, this only applies if:

  • the employee isn’t bringing his medical cannabis to work;
  • isn’t in a safety-sensitive job where impairment might endanger others;
  • isn’t working in a federally-related job.

For more information on State Medical Marijuana Laws, visit this website.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides protections for people who have disabilities. It prohibits employers, government agencies, and several businesses from discriminating against people with mental and physical disabilities. 

In this regard, drug testing requirements can be discriminatory when they exclude someone from employment due to their disability. Employers cannot require an employee to take a drug test before hiring them if doing so will violate either the Americans with Disability Act or other federal law such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under the ADA terms:

  • A history of substance abuse should not affect an employer’s decision to fire, refuse to hire, or promote an employee.
  • On the other hand, enrolling in a drug or alcohol rehab program is not enough grounds to fire, refuse to hire, or promote an employee. 

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for certain family and medical reasons. If an employer has fifty or more employees, the FMLA also entitles eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave in any given year. The United States Department of Labor provides information on state laws for paid sick time at http://www.dol.gov/whd/PaidSickLeave/.

Qualified employees may use their leave to deal with substance use disorders and related problems, including:

  • Treatment of drug or alcohol addiction
  • Treatment of another physical illness or incapacity related to substance use (such as kidney failure)
  • Caring for a close family member who is undergoing treatment for these conditions

FMLA also prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who request FMLA leave. For example, an employer cannot demote, fire, or refuse promotion to an employee simply because that employee takes 12 weeks off to treat a substance use disorder. Employers also are prohibited from taking any action against workers who request time off to care for addicted family members. For more information, visit the Department of Labor’s (DOL) FMLA guide.

Random Drug Testing Laws

There are some policies that restrict who can be tested for drugs and how often they can do so. For example, employers cannot screen employees without first providing them with written notice of their intent to conduct a random drug test. They should also specify the reasons for doing so and any consequences the employee may face if he or she refuses to submit to testing. 

Additionally, state laws vary from each other; California has outlawed all random drug testing while Florida requires an employer to “have reasonable suspicion” before conducting a drug test on an employee even though refusing would result in termination depending on company policy.

Can employees challenge drug test results?

Yes. Employees can challenge drug test results if they disagree with them. If you are an employer, it is essential to remember that employees have a right to question and dispute their drug testing results, even if they had previously agreed to take the test. With this in mind, you should create a procedure for challenging tests before administering them so that your employees cannot challenge your policies.

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For more information on the different drug testing laws in the workplace, visit this website.

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Random Drug Testing in the Workplace: Do’s and Dont’s

Companies that perform random drug testing in the workplace implement it to promote health and safety in the workplace; prevent accidents and fatalities; improve productivity, and improve profitability and sustainability.

Most company owners still thinking of including random drug testing in the workplace ask this: how to implement it properly and legally? What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to this testing process?

Do’s of Random Drug Testing in the Workplace

  1. Do understand the drug testing laws in your state and area.  Drug testing laws differ from state to state. They vary in terms of covered employees, conditions or testing methods, and requirements for employee testing. That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with the laws governing your particular state. 
  2. Do have a written drug testing policy. You might not see a need for this now, but having this policy can help you avoid costly litigation later on. This policy should include your company’s reasons for testing, the people authorized to perform the drug test, and which employees should undergo testing. It should also include the consequences employees will face if they violate the terms and conditions stated in the policy.
  3. Do perform reasonable suspicion tests as soon as possible. Is one of your employees reeking of alcohol or looks drugged? Then conduct a reasonable suspicion test immediately. It’s because substances like alcohol leave the body eight hours after consumption. The more you wait, the more chances your suspected person can test negative.
  4. Do drug testing when in doubt. Let’s take the employee in #3 as an example. He appears drowsy, drugged, and stares blankly at the wall. When you ask him what his problem is, he says he didn’t get enough sleep. This is where some employers make a mistake. They believe their employee’s explanation instead of following through with a drug test. When you suspect something is off, proceed with the test regardless of your employee’s explanation.
  5. Do include “refusal to test” in your policy. Many drug testing policies do not have conditions and consequences for employees who refuse to test. Your policy should state these very clearly and effectively.

Don’ts of Random Drug Testing in the Workplace

  1. Don’t apply DOT requirements if your business doesn’t need it. Some private business owners think that creating a random drug testing policy in the workplace based on the Department of Transportation requirements is their best option. Doing so can compromise your business. It’s because different states have different laws on drug testing. What may be legal and just in one state might be illegal and unjust in another.
  2. Don’t practice double standards. Treat your employees fairly, especially when it concerns random drug testing. Don’t drug test one employee because he is of a different race or color. Otherwise, you might end up in court due to a racial discrimination claim.
  3. Don’t fail to train your supervisors. Don’t assume that your supervisors have already read and understood your company’s drug testing policy. More often than not, these professionals haven’t even opened it yet. How will they know which employees should undergo random drug testing if they don’t know the signs to look for? 
  4. Don’t perform random drug testing in the workplace without first informing your employees. This is a huge mistake that may lead to a court case. You must inform the persons who need to take a drug test on the same day. If you don’t, your employee can sue you.
  5. Don’t forget to make everything private. If an employee tests positive, share the results with him as discreetly as possible. The least an employee would want is to have his condition divulged in front of his co-workers.

These are the do’s and don’ts of random drug testing in the workplace. We hope you can use them when creating your company’s drug testing policy.

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If you need more information on this topic, visit the Ovus Medical Blog.

 

What is an EAP and Why is it Important?

An Employee  Assistance Program (EAP) is a work-based program that provides free and private evaluation, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees undergoing personal or work-related issues.

However, an EAP is not only limited to assisting employees suffering from SUD. It can include assistance for mental health issues, family problems, workplace troubles, and so on. Depending on the plan, it can also cover qualified family members.

Will this program benefit you and your employees? How? Read on and find out.

 

 

What is an EAP? How Beneficial is it to Employers and Employees?

Not all employers provide an Employee Assistance Program. Some overlook it or deliberately ignore it due to the additional time, money, and effort it entails. Employers who offer EAPs provide it to their employees at no extra charge. Plus, they assure confidential access to workplace drug testing programs and counseling.

How beneficial is it to your employee?

All people make mistakes and succumb to stress. But different people deal with these things differently. 

To some, airing out their problems to family and friends is enough. However, some people take drugs or alcohol to help them cope with pressure and frustrations. And studies show that stress can increase vulnerability to addiction. 

This is why some employees refuse drug testing. What if the test detects his recent use of a drug or alcohol? Will his boss terminate him?

 

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How will you, the employer, benefit from this?

First, let’s talk about productivity in the workplace.

Studies show that people suffering from SUD can affect productivity in the workplace. They are frequently absent. If they are at work, they might look dazed, so his co-workers might find it challenging to communicate with him. Worse, he might come to work after taking amphetamines, which can make him tense and irritable.

Such scenarios in the workplace can affect the productivity of employees.

So why not drug test the concerned employee?

Some employees refuse drug testing because they’re worried about getting positive results. They’re afraid to get sacked. On the other hand, employees who need to take prescription drugs would rather keep their illness to themselves.

Knowing that his company will help him rehabilitate instead of being terminated can give him the feeling of being cared for, assure him of work stability, and, consequently, less financial woes.

How the EAP Benefits Employers

Increased bottom line

An employee who feels cared for becomes more productive. Love begets love. He’ll do his best to pay you back for your concern and kindness. You can expect fewer absences, better, more harmonious relationships in the workplace, and an overall camaraderie that makes work more fun and exciting.

And we all know that happy employees are productive employees! The more productive they are, the better is it for your company’s morale and profitability.

Lower Employee Turnover

With all the benefits the EAP can offer to your employees, who would want to leave? They’ll stay for as long as you need them, thus minimizing the need to replace and train new employees. They’ll even talk positively of you to their friends and relatives and refer you to them. Consequently, you’ll have a roster of applicants to choose from if and when the need arises.

What is an EAP?

An Employee Assistance Program involves additional expense to employers. But the enhanced employee performance, lower employee turnover, and increased bottom-line can more than makeup for the cost. You’ll have a company culture that your employees will love.

Want to learn more about this topic? Visit the Ovid Medical Blog. We have a lot of information you will find beneficial.

Get Rid of Your Drug Testing Program Problems Once and For All

Still on the fence on how to establish an effective drug testing program for your business? 

Many business owners wonder how to create a drug testing program to maximize their employees’ productivity and safety in the workplace while minimizing absenteeism, errors, and insurance premiums.

What do you need to create such a program? How can you make a drug testing program that won’t turn out to be a long-term nightmare due to employee complaints and legal issues?

Below are a few tips to help you out.

 

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Drug Testing Program: 6 Tips for Creating it Effectively

1. Know why your company needs it

Is your company offering transportation services? Then, you’re in a safety-sensitive industry. The Department of Transportation requires you to have a stricter drug testing program in place. It’s because people’s lives and properties are at stake. One bus driver who uses an illicit substance a few hours before his shift can endanger himself and his passengers.

It’s the same with construction businesses. You should have a drug-free workplace all the time. Imagine if two of your employees are high on illicit drugs. Say, amphetamines. These drugs are known to cause mood swings and heighten alertness. 

What if the two employees disagree? And since they’re on a construction site, where they can quickly grab sharp tools, fatal consequences might occur. 

2. Method to use

There are different types of drug tests: urine, hair, saliva, blood, and sweat. Which will you use?

If you’re low on budget, urine drug testing cups or test strips might be your best option. They’re handy, cheap, 99% accurate, and easy to use too.

If you don’t have enough space to build additional restrooms for drug testing, you can opt for saliva drug tests. You can test your employees in your office. They’re simple to use and affordable too.

3. When to perform drug testing

Up to now, drug testing in the workplace is still a sensitive issue. Antis believe that it’s against human rights. Proponents say that it can ensure health and safety in the workplace.

Either way, you need to inform job applicants that your workplace does drug testing. And yes, your employees need to know, too, if you decide to create a drug testing program.

So when should you drug test?

  • Pre-employment
  • Random drug testing
  • Post-accident or reasonable suspicion
  • Follow-Up Testing
  • Return-to-Duty (RTD)

4. Spread Awareness

Your employees might know that your company does drug testing before you hired them. But do they know when you do drug testing when you’ve already hired them?

Make them aware. Put “This is a drug-free workplace” posters in the dining area, lounge room, parking area, and even in restrooms.

Inform those who need to undergo random drug testing as soon as you can. 

This way, your employees know that you are bent on keeping your workplace safe and healthy for everyone.

5. Educate your supervisors

Your top-level employees must be aware of the physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of substance abuse.

They must be quick to note employees that show:

  • sudden mood swings
  • changes in behavior
  • bloodshot eyes
  • slurred speech
  • restlessness
  • unexplained sweating
  • angry outbursts
  • withdrawal from others
  • acting dazed with no reason

6. Consult a lawyer

A drug testing policy is a complex document. You and your organization can be liable for every statement written there. Drug testing laws vary from state to state. Additionally, those laws get updated. Most of the time. Updates and other relevant information are first shared within lawyers associations. This is why when creating a drug testing program, it would be best to consult a lawyer.

Your company’s drug testing program should be well-written. It should comply with the standards set in your industry. At the same time, it should also consider your employees’ welfare.

Do you need affordable but top quality drug testing cups, strips, or swabs? Visit the Ovus Medical Store. We have a wide array of drug testing supplies you can choose from.

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