Tag: Accredited Drug Testing

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Accredited Drug Testing Supports Local Community

March 30, 2016

Accredited Drug Testing CentersHelpful Hands, Inc. is a local charity with a mission to enhance the quality of life of children, individuals and families from our community who are in crisis.

Last year, our Fifth Annual Golf Tournament was successful beyond what we dared hope. Keeping to our mission, with the monies raised we initiated many of our programs: ‘Celebration Parties’ honoring milestones for children affected by cancer; sports programs; 4 – H camp; and we also fully-funded the Oviedo Police Department summer camp for at-risk youth in the community.

We also have a fine arts program that offers talented
children identified through the Seminole County Public Schools, the opportunity for piano lessons and a piano by partnering with the Steinway Piano Bank as well as children with a gift for the dramatic an opportunity participate in the Wayne Densch Theater Performing Arts Center camp.

There is more to be done, and this year with your support of our Sixth Annual Golf Tournament we will expand these programs and implement others. Thank you for your support of our community.

” Thank You to Jim Greer and Accredited Drug Testing Inc. our latest Premium Helpful Hands Foursome Sponsor for our 6th Annual Golf Tournament. We appreciate your support of our charitable foundation and all that you do for our community! ” -Helpful Hands, Inc

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ACCREDITED DRUG TESTING

Importance Notice!

Effective January 1, 2018, The Department of Transportation is amending its drug-testing program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. The revision of the drug-testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. This final rule clarifies certain existing drug-testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.

 

On November 10th 2017, The United States Department Of Transportation (DOT)  announced they will be amending the mandatory 5-panel drug screen to include expanded opiates, and expanding on CFR 49 Part 40.

Effective January 1st, 2018, the mandatory urine drug screening for all safety sensitive positions guided under CFR 49 Part 40 will include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone.

This new revision of HS Mandatory Guidelines with which the NPRM
proposed to harmonize Part 40, comes in two parts.

Part 1

Previous to this newly added regulation, the mandatory drug screening was a 5-panel urine which consisted of testing for the 5 most common street drugs.

A  5-Panel Urine Analysis consists of :

Amphetamines (Meth)
Cocaine
Marijuana
Opiates
Phencyclidine (PCP)

As of January 1st, 2018, under the new revisions of CFR 49 Part 40, a DOT drug screening will test for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).  Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.

A 5-panel expanded opiates urine analysis consists of:

Amphetamines (Meth)
Cocaine
Marijuana
Opiates
Hydrocodone
Hydromorphone
Oxymorphone
Oxycodone
Phencyclidine (PCP)

What has caused this new DOT Part 40 Amendment?

Since President Donald Trumps declaration of the Opioid Crisis, America has become much more aware of the rapidly progressing problem of drug addiction.trump opioid crisisOn October 26th, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, striving to take action on this salient soar effecting the lives of American citizens today.

Opioid Addiction Statistics

A governmental account of drug overdose statistics shows that from the year 2015 to 2016 the death toll due to drug overdose rose 22 percent.

opioid statistics

This upwards trend of overdose has been on a steady incline since the year 2000 and was likely to continue until President Trump declared the opioid crisis.

opioid overdose

Knowing the disease of addiction himself through the actions of his brother, President Trump can understand the difficulties those who suffer from addiction face, making it known and urging Americans to remember the phrase “prevention not punishment”.

opioid overdose

Since the Opioid Crisis Americans have been made queenly aware of the consequences and statistics of drug abuse. How the opioid crisis has affected the American economy, the American workplace, and just America as a whole. Many now know that you don’t have to be an addict yourself to feel the effects of addiction.

Policy makers have quickly taken notice of these growing trends and decided to take swift action.

The DOT is one of the most prominent government sectors. The dot itself employs about 55,000 Americans, not including the employees in each DOT regulated agency.

Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) FMCSA
“As the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), FMCSA’s mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) phmsa
“The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) operates in a dynamic and challenging environment. The scope and complexity of our safety mission will continue to grow, requiring that we fundamentally rethink how we will use data, information, and technology to achieve our safety goals.”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
FAA
“Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)  
“The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.”

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
FTA“The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys, and ferries. FTA also oversees safety measures and helps develop next-generation technology research.” “Improving Public Transportation for America’s Communities”.

UNITED STATES COAST GUARD (USCG)
  USCGThe Coast Guard does not fall under the Department of Defense. Until recently, the Coast Guard was under the Department of Transportation.

Saftey Sensitive Positions

A safety-sensitive position refers to a job in which the employee is responsible for his or her own or other people’s safety. It also refers to jobs that would be particularly dangerous if performed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For this reason, Safety-sensitive positions are often the focus of drug and alcohol testing.

Generally, DOT regulations cover safety-sensitive transportation employers and employees. Each DOT agency (e.g. FRA, FMCSA, FTA, FAA, and PHMSA) and the USCG have specific drug and alcohol testing regulations that outline who is subject to their testing regulations.

DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

The Director of the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, Patrice Kelley, has been creating government substance abuse policies for many years. Under her jurisdiction, the new amendment to CFR 49 will help serve to uphold the ODAPC mission statement. ODAPC

“Ensure that the drug and alcohol testing policies and goals of the Secretary of Transportation are developed and carried out in a consistent, efficient, and effective manner within the transportation industries for the ultimate safety and protection of the traveling public. This is accomplished through program review, compliance evaluation, and the issuance of consistent guidance material for DOT Operating Administrations (OAs) and for their regulated industries.”

Part 2

HHS Mandatory Guidelines remove
methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte from the existing drug-testing panel and add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte.

What does this mean?

An analyte is by definition a substance whose chemical constituents are being identified and measured. For example, morphine is the target analyte for codeine/morphine testing.  The DOT will now focus on the MDA analyte for its testing analysis, rather than the previous MDEA. This could lead to a test confirming positive due to the difference in the initial test analyte.

Initial test analyte Initial test cutoff concentration Confirmatory test analyte Confirmatory test cutoff concentration
Marijuana metabolites 50 ng/mL THCA 1 15 ng/mL.
Cocaine metabolites 150 ng/mL Benzoylecgonine 100 ng/mL.
Opiate metabolites
Codeine/Morphine 2 2000 ng/mL Codeine 2000 ng/mL.
Morphine 2000 ng/mL.
6-Acetylmorphine 10 ng/mL 6-Acetylmorphine 10 ng/mL.
Phencyclidine 25 ng/mL Phencyclidine 25 ng/mL.
Amphetamines 3
AMP/MAMP 4 500 ng/mL Amphetamine 250 ng/mL.
Methamphetamine 5 250 ng/mL.
MDMA 6 500 ng/mL MDMA 250 ng/mL.
MDA 7 250 ng/mL.
MDEA 8 250 ng/mL

Other recognizable CFR 49 Part 40 revisions 

Creating a name change from the word opiates to opioids now expands the drug testing panel to 6 commonly abused illicit and licit drugs  (Heroin); Codeine; Morphine, Hydrocodone; Hydromorphone; Oxymorphone; and Oxycodone.

  1. The DOT added a new section reiterating that, in the DOT testing program, only urine specimens can be collected and analyzed.
  2. The DOT added language further emphasizing the existing DOT prohibition on the use of DNA testing on DOT drug-testing specimens.
  3. The final rule made minor modifications to certain section headings.
  4. The final rule moved the list of Substance Abuse Professional certification organizations from the rule text to ODAPC’s website.
  5. The final rule moved the MIS instructions from Appendix H to ODAPC’s website.
  6. Outdated compliance dates were removed and links were updated.
  7. Appendices B, C, D, and H were updated.

The revision of the drug testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing.

For any questions regarding DOT Drug Testing, or DOT compliance please visit us at www.Accrediteddrugtesting.com or call (800)221-4291.

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Accredited Drug Testing would like to thank Kim Wheaton and Rebbeca Desir of The American Lung Association for coming and sharing their knowledge with the Accredited Drug Testing Team.

The American Lung Association was founded in 1904.

american lung

For the past 110 years, The American Lung Association has been providing resources for those affected by numerous health issues, including lung disease, asthma, and many more. They also strive to create a healthier environment, sharing their knowledge of air pollution to prevent the spread of lung associated illnesses. Their mission statement is “american lungTo save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.” and their vision is to create “A world free of lung disease”.

Lung Cancer is the number one cancer killer in America.

Accredited Drug Testing believes in the change of America. That what one person can not complete alone, we can do together.

Accredited Drug Testing own workplace wellness program focuses on Drug-Free Workplace. How becoming a Drug-Free Workplace can benefit the Employer and Employee. This has become a very popular program for businesses big and small. Most states provide a mandatory 5% discount on workers insurance. That is only one of the benefits becoming a Drug-Free Workplace can do.

Today, knowledge is power.

By teaching each other about our industries, and working with one another to create a change, is the foundation America was founded on. The visions of each company, The American Lung Association hoping to see a world without lung cancer, Accredited drug testing preventing substance abuse in the workplace are not just visions- but goals that will benefit America in numerous ways.

Accredited Drug Testing would like to recognize the efforts of The American Lung Association, in all that they do to make America a better place. President James A. Greer would like to commend their drive and motivation towards their company vision.

If you are a company that is interested in becoming a Drug-Free Workplace, visit our site at www.accrediteddrugtesting.net, or call (800)221-4291.

 

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Danny Duffy has been in the MLB for 6 years with the Kansas City Royals, but this is the first year he has been called for 12 random drug tests… and it’s only July. The MLB has not made a comment about it yet but firmly stands behind its’ random drug testing policy.

Why does he think this?

He can’t help but think something is up and took to twitter to talk about the subject:

Danny Duffy Tweet

It’s happened before…

Duffy isn’t the first player questioning why they’ve been submitted to so many drug tests this year.Brewers slugger Eric Thames, who returned to the majors from Korea and has hit a plethora of dingers, wasn’t so sure the drug tests were as random as the league claims.

“I went the long way around to come back here. This whole thing is surprising me, as well. I really have no goals for this year. I wasn’t trying to break any records or set anything. I just wanted to apply what I learned in Korea to see how it would fare here. I’m shocked at all the results. I’m just here to play ball, and do my best to stay healthy, and stretch as much as I can. So, yeah, if people keep thinking I’m on stuff, I’ll be here every day. I have lots of blood and urine.” Thames said in an interview addressing the drug testing.

How can ADT Help?

While the MLB can claim the tests are random, there is a difference between random drug testing, and drug testing under a “Reasonable Suspicion” claim. Accredited Drug Testing Offers “Reasonable Suspicion Training” for any supervisors or HR Managers that want to be able to test under reasonable suspicion, or send an employee to get a drug test when a supervisor believes they may be using or under the influence of drugs. Only companies that have at least one employee that have gone through Reasonable Suspicion Training are legally allowed to test for reasonable suspicion.

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Medical and recreational use of marijuana has become a growing trend in America. It is an extremely hot topic and has become the center of many biased discussions among US politicians.

Where is Marijuana Legal?

The use, possession, trade, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana is still illegal under federal law in the United States. Because of this, some states are have implemented their own regulations with regards to marijuana use.

 

States with legal recreational marijuana: 

1. Alaska

2. California

3. Colorado

4. Oregon

5.Massachusets

6. Nevada

7. Washington

States with medical marijuana: 

1. Alaska 2. Arizona 3. Arkansas
4. California 5. Colorado 6. Connecticut
7. Delaware 8. Florida 9. Hawaii
10. Illinois 11. Maine 12. Maryland
13. Massachusetts 14. Michigan 15. Minnesota
16. Montana 17. Nevada 18. New Hampshire
19. New Jersey 20. New Mexico 21. New York
22. North Dakota 23. Oregon 24. Pennsylvania
25. Rhode Island 26. Vermont 27. Washington

 

Cannabis is categorized under Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It is because of this reason that cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.

Marijuana in the workplace

Image result for Marijuana in the workplace

While some point out advantages of marijuana use and its effectiveness treating medical issues, others point out the high-risk effects marijuana may have. Some proven effects of medical marijuana in the workplace include

1.Loss of productivity
2.Absenteeism
3.Increased risks of workplace injuries and accidents.

Loss of Productivity

Scientists have confirmed cannabis really does make people lose motivation. Research has confirmed long-term use of the drug affects the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine, also known as the “happy” “feel-good” chemical of the brain is what inspires a person to get up and go. Levels of dopamine in a part of the brain called the striatum – found towards the side of the brain and involved in motivation – were lower in regular cannabis users. A recent study has suggested that individuals who have participated in long-term marijuana usage became more withdrawn, lethargic, and apathetic.

Absenteeism

Cannabis contains at least 60 types of cannabinoids, chemical compounds that act on receptors throughout our brain. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuanas effects, including the euphoric high. THC resembles another cannabinoid naturally produced in our brains, anandamide, which regulates our mood, sleep, memory, and appetite.

Injuries and Accidents

Marijuana impairs attentiveness, motor coordination, and reaction time. It also impacts the perception of time and speed. A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that marijuana negatively impacts driving performance, and other researchers have found that acute use of the drug increases the risk of crashes and fatal collisions. The drug has also been known to alter decision making, creating a disillusion of one’s morality, and knowing right from wrong.

Whats Next?

The legality of medical marijuana in the workplace continues to be an endless debate. Although the medical, or recreational use of marijuana is legal- most workplaces are still upholding their Drug-Free Workplace Policies. The most common reason for this being the safety aspect of allowing the use of marijuana among employees, knowing the potential risks.Policy makers are developing new regulations to uphold company values while new state laws are put into effect.

If you are interested in becoming a Drug-Free Workplace or need help writing a Company Substance Abuse Policy, visit us at www.accrediteddrugtesting.net.

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A private high school in Kentucky signed off on randomly drug testing their students on July 4th, this past week. The board at Trinity High School has been attempting to officially implement this for years with 2 years of testing under their belt.

How long have they been doing it?

Six hundred students were tested during their initial year of drug-testing, with 24 students (4 percent) testing positive. During the just-completed school year, they tested 800 students – with just 3 percent testing positive (24 students). While the rates are low, the school considers one positive test a test too high, and is doing everything they can to enforce their stance on drugs and binge drinking.

What’s it costing?

Including using a hair drug test, which can detect any drug use of up to 90 days prior. The standard in the industry is a urine 5 panel drug test, which can test for up to a week prior. Adopting a hair test as the random test of choice is very expensive, one test usually goes for $139.99. This price will be covered by the tuition the families are paying for their students to attend Trinity, at $13,700 a year when paid in full and the price goes up for payment plans.

When a student tests positive, their first reaction is not punitive. The school meets with the parent(s) and student, review the results and encourage them to use community counseling resources to interrupt this risky behavior. During this phase of drug testing, no school consequences occur. School counselors are available for support and guidance. If a student tests positive, he will be tested every 100 days until further notice. If he tests positive again school consequences begin. This has been rare so far.

Parents love it!

Parents support the program because, the school says, they understand it empowers their kids to make better decisions. At parties or in unsupervised homes, teens often are pressured or forget good advice from parents, school and church. A parent told us “we hear frequently that it really does help in peer situations to be able to say, “I can’t. My school tests.””

Though Trinity wasn’t the first school to test in this area, several other schools have visited them to learn more and adopted their policy as their own.

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The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) has awarded Accredited Drug Testing, Inc. the National Accreditation For Administration of Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs Status. This accreditation means that our facility, operations, and personnel meet the highest standards in areas such as regulatory compliance, client confidentiality, accountability, company service standards, operational practices, business ethics, and professional competency for drug and alcohol testing program management.

A primary requirement of the NAADATP Program is that principal(s) of Accredited Drug Testing, Inc. have attended comprehensive training on standards of program management and have passed an industry developed exam on these policies and procedures. This accreditation is awarded to a limited amount of companies each year and the selection for the award is competitive and rigorous.

According to DATIA’s Executive Director, Laura Shelton, “as a Nationally Accredited Institution for the Administration of Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs, Accredited Drug Testing, Inc.’s clients can be assured that they are committed to offering superior program services while adhering to the highest professional standards. We congratulate them on this achievement.”

The Nationally Accredited for Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Management (NAADATP) program was created by quality-minded leaders in the drug and alcohol testing industry interested in raising the level of proficiency in drug testing as well as alcohol testing program management. This program aims at upholding the highest standards of program management. This program aims at upholding the highest standards of program management in the company’s operations and personnel.

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A study from Quest Diagnostics revealed that 4.2 percent of the U.S. workforce tested positive for illicit drugs in 2016, the highest rate since 2004. Substance Abuse in America is on the rise.

Today more then ever, people are aware of the negative impact substance abuse has on the economy.

Some say this trend is due to the opioid epidemic President Donald Trump has declared as a public health emergency. Blaming large pharmaceutical companies for pushing these products upon doctors and patients.

donald trump opioid epidemic

It is not just opioids that have been on the rise as the culprit of a positive drug test. A study done by Quest Diagnostics revealed that positive urine tests for cocaine increased for the fourth consecutive year, reaching a 12% increase in 2016.

FACT Image result for check mark

Drugs are negatively affecting the economy.

FACTImage result for check mark

You do not have to use drugs to feel the negative effects of a drug user.

FACTImage result for check mark

There are ways to stop this epidemic.

Substance Abuse and The Economy

Productivity losses are calculated as work that would be reasonably expected to have been done if not for drug use (a loss of potential income and output and therefore GDP) as a result of a reduction in the supply or effectiveness of the workforce. Lost productivity in the United States as a result of labor non-participation is a significant $120 billion dollars.

substance abuse

Drugs in the workplace have an extremely high cost for the employer. It is often the cause of workplace injuries and accidents. Drug abuse costs employers 81 billion dollars per year.

Effects of Substance Abuse

One of the main reasons why a potential employee is not able to become hired is the fact that they can not pass a drug test. This reason has lead employers to hire refugees that have come to America, to take the place of U.S citizens. Most refugees that come to America don’t even know what drugs are. In the United States, drug use is often talked about and almost glorified through music, social media, and other aspects of life. The percentage of American workers testing positive for illegal drugs has climbed steadily over the last three years to its highest level in a decade.

refugee workplace

Pictured above is Talib Alzamel, a 45-year-old Syrian refugee who works at Sterling Technologies, a plastic molding company based near the shores of Lake Erie.

This is just one of the major effects substance abuse has brought to America.

Preventing Substance Abuse

We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”. words that were spoken by President Donald Trump when he declared the Opioid Epidemic a public health emergency.

There are many ways to prevent drug abuse.

Stay up to date with your workplace substance abuse policies.
workplace substance abuse policy

As an employer, you can create a drug-free workplace program, that in most cases will benefit not only you as an employer but your employees as well.

Prevention not punishment

The key to ending this epidemic may just be to prevent further drug use. Knowledge of addiction and substance abuse help plays a key factor.

Drug Test Employees Regularly

The largest, most well-known companies in America all do one thing in common. Pre-employment drug screenings. As well as pre-employment screenings, most companies do random drug testing and reasonable suspicion drug testing.

Drug abuse in America is on a rise. What ways do you think you can help?

 

 

 

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Attorney General Sessions and Acting DEA Administrator Patterson announce new efforts being made by the United States Government to follow through with the fight against the deadly Opioid Crisis in America.

On Wednesday, November 29th, 2017,  at a press release held in Washington DC, Attorney General Sessions announced three major efforts being set forth by the United States Government to combat the Opioid Crisis.

“Today we are facing the worst drug crisis in American history, with one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  “That’s why, under President Trump’s strong leadership, the Department of Justice has been taking action to make our drug law enforcement efforts more effective. Today we announce three new initiatives to do just that.  First, we will invest $12 million in funding for our state and local law enforcement partners to take heroin and methamphetamine off of our streets. Second, we will restructure DEA’s Field Divisions for the first time in nearly 20 years. Third, we will require all of our federal prosecutors’ offices to designate an Opioid Coordinator who will customize our anti-opioid strategy in every district in America. These steps will make our law enforcement efforts smarter and more effective—and ultimately they will save American lives.”

The hope of these efforts is to ultimately put a stop to opioid addiction, and substance abuse that has so illy affected so many Americans today.  Many independent and private sector businesses have come together in an attempt to make a change in the statistics. Despite their efforts, the number of overdoses, relapses, job loss, and so many other negative consequences substance abuse has on the lives of US citizens has continued to grow.

President Donald Trump’s strong investment in the Opioid Crisis may be exactly what America needs to overcome the battle against substance abuse.

The DEA is pouring millions into funding for newly enstated programs and task forces throughout the US to help battle the exportation and consumption of illegal drugs.

Designation of Opioid Coordinators

Every U.S. Attorney will designate an Opioid Coordinator by the close of business on Dec. 15, 2017

Each USAO Opioid Coordinator will be responsible for facilitating intake of cases involving prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl;  convening a task force of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to identify opioid cases for federal prosecution, facilitate interdiction efforts, and tailor their district’s response to the needs of the community it serves; providing legal advice and training to AUSAs regarding the prosecution of opioid offenses; maintaining statistics on the opioid prosecutions in  the district; and developing and continually evaluating the effectiveness of the office’s strategy to combat the opioid epidemic.
View the full Attorney Generals memo to the United States here.

COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Grants and Anti-Meth Program

Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF)  
AHTF provides two years of funding directly to law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids. This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities related to the distribution of heroin or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.

The complete list of Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF) award recipients, including funding amounts, can be found here.

COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP)
The state agencies receiving funding today have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures. State agencies will be awarded two years of funding through CAMP to support the investigation of illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

The complete list of COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP) award recipients, including funding amounts, can be found here

How does the Opioid Crisis affect you?

Related image

If you have not already experienced the impacts of the opioid crisis or substance abuse through yourself, another, be expected too. With the increase of work-related accidents due to drug or alcohol consumption, many companies are re-writing their substance abuse policies with stricter guidelines, These guidelines typically tend to include random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and also a change to the standard 5-panel urine test to an expanded opioids drug test. Some companies are even switching to hair testing, which has proven to be more accurate.

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT), effective January 1st,  will require all employees to take a 5-panel expanded opioid drug test. The DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy issued its revision to The DOT Part 40, drug and alcohol compliance, to try to minimize the consumption of illegal substances by employees who work a safety-sensitive position.

Many states are implementing a drug testing program for recipients of food stamps, or on welfare.

In states like Michigan and California, Police have administered a program that tests for drivers on drugs. The program uses a portable saliva-testing device that can tell officers if a driver has certain drugs in his systems, such as marijuana or opiates.

Many State and Local Legislators are looking into implementing similar guidelines.

Apart from rules and guidelines due to the Opioid Crisis, many Americans are experiencing an emotional toll.

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths involve an opioid, such as prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl. The number of overdose deaths involving opioids quadrupled since 1999. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. In 2016, a reported 64,000 deaths were due to overdose.

Opioid Crisis

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Last Thursday afternoon in a press conference the 45th President of the United States declared the Opioid Epidemic a “National State of Emergency”.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” he told reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. “It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”

What is a State of Emergency?

For those of us who don’t work in government, a “state of emergency” can sound frightening, but what does it actually mean? A government or division of government (i.e. on a municipal, provincial/state level) may declare that their area is in a state of emergency. This means that the government can suspend and/or change some functions of the executive, the legislative and/or the judiciary during this period of time. It alerts citizens to change their normal behavior and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans and frees up disaster funding for cities and states dealing with the epidemic.

Refresher on the Opioid Epidemic

A lot of people don’t know that the gist of the has been happening in the early 1990s when doctors came more aware of chronic back and muscle pain many Americans were facing. And because of this need pharmaceutical companies created opioids to meet this demand but the public and doctors were vastly unaware of the long term side effects these pills could cause.

Fast forward to early 2010s where addiction and abuse of opioids are at an all time high, especially in the United States. And once users started seeking out a stronger high, or move on to other kinds of opioids, heroin abuse was on a huge upswing.

There is a lot of speculation as to why this happened, many believe doctors were getting paid to prescribe these highly addictive drugs, others believed pharmaceutical companies knew of the addictive elements of opioids early on and wanted to get people hooked but regardless on average 90 people die every day from opioid abuse. And by 2027, as many as 650,000 people will die from this prescription drug abuse if it is not stopped.

What can we do?

From a citizens’ perspective, all we can do is help those we see in need by directing them to the nearest substance abuse counseling program and helping them kick this deadly habit. From a government perspective, declaring the opioid crisis a national state of emergency is the first step in a long series of pieces to fix this disaster before we lose any more of our fellow Americans.

Did you know Accredited Drug Testing now offers testing for expanded opiates? If you are or know of a loved one in danger of opioid prescription abuse, call 800-221-4291 to schedule your test today and take the first step on the road to recovery.