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Why the Trump Administration may look harder at marijuana legalization

By Ken George @ 1:17 pm on September 5, 2017

Data Shows Escalating Drug Use in the U.S. Workforce

By Ken George @ 10:26 am on February 21, 2017

New Quest Diagnostic report shows increase in drug use in the US Workforce.

Cocaine Positives Spike 33% After New Government Rule for Safety-Sensitive Workers By Quest Diagnostics Posted: 3:06pm on Mar 13, 2012; Modified: 3:10pm on Mar 13, 2012

By Ken George @ 7:56 pm on March 14, 2012

How bad can smoking salvia affect you?

By Ken George @ 4:58 pm on January 20, 2012

Check out this video of a couple smoking salvia.


Salvia high

Teens on Heroin

By Ken George @ 12:26 pm on November 1, 2010

ABC 20/20 aired a fantastic segment on teens and heroin. This is a must see available on the ABC website:

Ken George

Youth Heroin Epidemic

By Ken George @ 7:15 pm on October 28, 2010

Way too many high school students are using heroin. The heroin dealers are targeting this group of income.  This is a must watch from ABC:

New Custody and Control forms for DOT testing interim Final Rule

By Ken George @ 9:47 pm on October 7, 2010

Posted for display in today’s Federal Register for publication Monday September 27, 2010 is a Department of Transportation Interim Final Rule:

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs:

Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form; Technical Amendment

The IFR provides instructions to employers, collectors, laboratories, and Medical Review Officers (MROs) for use of the new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF), and it offers a technical amendment to laboratories regarding mandatory reporting of confirmed positive drug / drug metabolite quantitations to MROs.  The effective date of the IFR is October 1, 2010.

Regarding Use of the CCF:

1.  DOT- regulated employers and their service agents are authorized to begin using the new CCF on October 1, 2010.

• A copy of the new CCF can be found thru the HHS web site at:

2. The IFR provides instructions for:

a. Filling out Step 1-D on Copy 1 of the new CCF, which now includes the Federal testing authorities – HHS; DOT; and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with further specificity for the DOT Agencies – FMCSA; FAA; FRA; FTA; PHMSA; and the USCG;

b. Filling out Step 5-A on Copy 1 of the new CCF, which now lists MDMA, MDA, and MDEA, as well as “Δ9-THCA” after “Marijuana Metabolite” and “BZE” after “Cocaine Metabolite” to specify the drug analytes;

c. Filling out Step 6 on Copy 2 of the new CCF, which now has a line for the MRO to note the drug(s) for which a positive result is verified, and a new line item “other” for documenting other “refusal to test” situations – for example, when there is no legitimate medical explanation for the employee providing an insufficient amount of urine;

d. Filling out Step 7 on Copy 2 of the new CCF, which now has a box the MRO is to check if a split specimen is reported as cancelled; and

e. Revised instructions for completing the CCF are on the reverse side of Copy 5.

3. Use of old CCFs is permitted through September 30, 2011, because of the large number of existing supplies.  If the old CCF is used on or before September 30, 2011, collectors and laboratories will:

a. Collector: Write in the specific DOT Agency under which the specimen is collected in the Remarks Section in Step 2 on Copy 1 of the old CCF.

b. Laboratory:  Before transmitting a confirmed positive drug test for MDMA, MDA, or MDEA, as appropriate, to the MRO, check “positive” box and write in the specific MDMA, MDA, or MDEA analyte in the “Remarks” section in Step 5-A of Copy 1.

Other Items:

· In harmonizing with HHS, Part 40 will require mandatory reporting of confirmed positive drug / drug metabolite quantitations by laboratories to MROs.

· A new section §40.14 was added to spell-out, in one place, the information employers and their C/TPAs must routinely provide to collectors.

NOTE:  Comments to the IFR are due by October 27, 2010.  The Department seeks your comments about the actual implementation of the new CCF, and not on the form itself.

You will find the full text of the IFR in the attached document.

Quest Diagnostics reports post accident opiates results on the rise

By Ken George @ 10:05 am on September 23, 2010

Post-accident tests find opiates up to four times more than pre-employment tests

More American workers and job applicants are testing positive for prescription opiates, according to U.S. general workforce data in the 2009 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing IndexTM (DTI). Results from more than 5.5 million urine drug tests reveal an 18 percent jump in opiate positives in the general U.S. workforce in a single year (2008 to 2009), and a more than 40 percent climb from 2005 to 2009.

In addition, 2009 post-accident drug tests found opiates up to four times more often than pre-employment tests (3.7 percent in post-accident as compared to 0.78 percent in pre-employment tests in the case of hydrocodone), suggesting that these drugs may be playing a role in workplace accidents.

"Evidence of increased opiate use is now appearing in the workplace as well as the ER," said Dr. Barry Sample, director of science and technology for Employer Solutions, Quest Diagnostics. "Because more U.S. workers are performing their duties while taking prescription opiates, employers, particularly those with safety-sensitive workers, should note this trend and take appropriate steps to ensure worker and public safety."

The new DTI findings are consistent with a June report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The DAWN study reported a 111 percent increase in the estimated number of emergency department visits for nonmedical use of opioid analgesics from 2004-2008 (from 144,600 to 305,900), and a 29 percent jump from 2007-2008. The highest numbers of emergency department visits were recorded for oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, some of the same drugs showing increased use by the U.S. workforce in Quest Diagnostics’ DTI data. Possible opiate side effects include drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and depending upon the drug taken, depressed respiration. They are known for their potential for addiction as well for the euphoria they can induce owing to their effect on regions of the brain that mediate what the body perceives as pleasure.

"The HHS report on nonmedical use of opiates – and its consistency with DTI findings – is notable and of concern, but it’s important to remember that prescribed pain medication plays an important role in patient care and improved health," said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Quest Diagnostics. "Because both prescribed use and misuse of opiates appear to be on the rise, employers will want to address this issue comprehensively as they work to ensure employee health and safety."

Within the opiate category, semi-synthetic opiates showed higher numbers. Hydrocodone – which, according to a 2010 Drug Topics report, has been the most prescribed generic drug for the past three years – registered a 1.3 percent positivity rate in 2009 general U.S. workforce DTI data. Oxycodones showed a 1.0 percent positivity, while hydromorphone reached 0.82 percent. Naturally occurring opiates, codeine and morphine, were found at far lower positivity rates, 0.21 percent and 0.48 percent, respectively.



Kens Blog

By Ken George @ 1:29 pm on June 4, 2010

Ken George Associates Blog

By Ken George @ 12:13 pm on August 11, 2009

News and discussion about drug and alcohol testing soon to come.  If you have questions regarding drug and alcohol testing please post a comment.

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