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Drug Testing

Bath Salt is Detectable in Drug Tests

There has been a craze, of new synthetic drugs hitting the market. The newest and most dangerous, also seems to be the most popular.  This drug is called “bath salt”, but it also is known as: Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.

Since this is a newer type of drug on the market most users feel that traces of bath salt cannot be detected on drug tests. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Although bath salts do not appear on the standard home drug test, there is another screening device out there that can detect bath salts thru a person’s urine.

Laboratories are able to identify the psychoactive ingredients contained in bath salt.  The two harmful synthetic compounds in it are mephedrone and methylenedioxpyrovalerone (MDPV).  Although these are legal compounds they are not meant to be consumed by humans and are sold as dangerous research chemicals.

The effects from consuming bath salt is  a heightened sense of reality that is similar to ecstasy as well as an energy high similar to cocaine.  The dangerous effects from these substances include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, chest pain, seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, dizziness, vomiting, profuse sweating and temporary psychotic just to name a few.

In one instance of a drug high turned violent, one Neil Brown of Pennsylvania become psychotic after snorting bath salts.  Only he knows what he saw that day, but the visions were so maddening that it made him grab a knife and repeatedly slashed his face and stomach. He has survived this horrific incident, but others have not been so lucky when it comes to a bath salt overdose.

Traces of mephedrone and mdpv bath salts were first detected in 2009, in police laboratory testing from seized evidence.  Although in 2009 no cases were filed with regard to bath salts, it has drastically changed since 2011.

In 2010 there were approximately 236 cases of bath salt overdose calls to poison control centers. Records indicate that within the first three months of 2011 there have been 248 cases.  So in only three short months, the sheer amount of cases have over lapsed last years numbers.

As company’s find new ways to create synthetic or designer drugs, the drug testing companies are having to keep up, with new methods of screening to continue fighting this war against substance abuse and addiction.

Hopefully with more employers and officials using bath salt drug testing, this will create a deterrent for use, and it brings down the popularity of this horrible synthetic drug.

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Drug Testing

Do Home Drug Tests Screen For Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a very powerful analgesic, or pain killer, that is estimated to be 100x more potent than morphine. The narcotic drug is administered to patients through a variety of methods including Intravenous lines (IV), pills, patches, and sometimes even lollypops. Fentanyl is a synthetic derivative of traditional opiates and acts on the body’s natural opiate receptors, yet it is far more difficult to test for. Like Oxycodone and other synthetic pain killer molecules it cannot be detected through traditional drug tests, but luckily there are more advanced versions drug testing kits that can screen for Fentanyl.

At home drug tests for opiates analyze the metabolites, or the leftovers, created after a body has consumed and broken down a particular drug. When a person ingests Fentanyl the metabolites created are not the same as those created by more natural opiates like Heroin and Opium. Contrary to popular belief a person will not “test positive” on an opiate drug test, like Heroin, just because he/she consumed Fentanyl or other synthetic opiates. It simply doesn’t work that way, in order to show a “positive” one needs a much more advanced laboratory Fentanyl drug test.

Tests for Fentanyl are not commonly available for home drug testing and thus are rarely used. To be tested for Fentanyl a person is usually ordered to urinate into a small cup as if it was a traditional test. However no normal “dipstick” test can be used at this time, instead the sample must make its way from the test site to lab. Here scientists will have to separate and examine the metabolites left within the urine, many times resorting to gas chromatography. These Fentanyl drug tests are extremely costly and in result not usually done or available by the general public. While it is unlikely that a person would be tested at home for Fentanyl it is possible; recently over the counter products advertising “lab testing” has become available.

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Drug Testing

What Does THC Nanogram Mean for Drug Testing?

As drug tests continue to be used the clarity of the results and the types of testing has evolved. One of the new forms of testing gaining popularity is “Nanogram testing”. A nanogram is the measurement of the level of metabolites, or the byproducts of drug use, in a person’s body. Essentially this form of drug testing analyzes the nanograms of a particular substance, like THC, in a person’s urine. Previous tests only render a “positive” or “negative” reading of use; however this form of marijuana drug testing is more specific. Nanogram testing delivers an almost exact number of nanograms present in the person’s urine which indicates the level of use, if any, within that person.

Like previous tests these levels are different for every person and every lifestyle. Water intake, exercise, metabolism, and consistency of use all effect the level of nanograms reported for a person. Of these, metabolism plays perhaps the most crucial role; since THC is a fat soluble chemical (meaning it stores in fat) it can actually be “burned” off quicker or slower depending on the body’s metabolism level. For example an athlete would on average have a lower level than someone of less physical activity with the same amount of use.

Does this really change anything? Amazingly yes, now instead of person simply being labeled an “addict” the drug test will reflect a more accurate portrayal of that person and their substance abuse. Now a potential employer can tell whether a person uses everyday, not at all, or just every once in a while. Many have suggested that the use of this drug testing might actually be positive for most people who use looking for employment. Statistics have shown that employers’ at most low skill jobs (like cleaning, delivery, and other tedious work) don’t really care if a person uses recreational drugs like Marijuana as long it happens infrequently. This test may prove to be revolutionary, for in the past it was not possible to really differentiate between a casual user that will be productive and a true substance abuser.

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Drug Testing

Are Pre-employment Drug Tests A Violation Of Privacy?

In the corporate world there has long existed a divide between the employers and employees over the issue of drug testing both before and after hiring. Many feel that asking a perspective employee to participate in a drug test is a blatant invasion of privacy; yet employers have always maintained these tests are justified, but are they? Are pre-employment drug tests a violation of privacy?

Corporations have traditionally seen drugs tests as necessary to maintain optimal productivity and as the ideal method to “weed” out the “underachievers”. However this logic is sometimes flawed as many drug users are not unproductive, underachieving, losers but in fact hardworking and responsible people. When hired employees have very few rights in the business world being that their time, energy, and personal talents all belong to the corporations that employ them. It seems that the only thing employees have control over is what goes into their bodies, which is perhaps why studies have shown that employees more often view drug abuse as a personal problem (not an issue of the corporation) and the tests for them as an invasion of their privacy. While employees that are already employed may have reason to feel invaded recent studies have shown the majority of people favor drug testing pre-employment. Since the testing is done at a time when the employer has little to no idea what he productivity of the given person is, drug use is perhaps the only thing that can identify someone as a “bad” applicant. Being a productive hired drug-using employee is one thing, but being unemployed is another. The fact that a person is both unemployed and a drug user casts serious doubt upon the work ethic of that particular person.

However issues have arisen over the applicants that are so called “randomly” drug tested. Many studies have shown that more often than not those chosen to be tested are done so not randomly, but handpicked based on racial and stereotypical views. In addition employee rights advocates have cited the large racial and hieratical disparity in the amount and type of people that are tested. Research has shown that African Americans and other minorities applying for lower level jobs are far more likely to be “randomly selected” than whites applying for upper level jobs that are often rarely selected. This hypocrisy is one of the main reasons pre-employment drug testing remains so controversial and considered by many as both unethical and an invasion of privacy.

Regardless of charges of racism and discrimination surrounding it, pre-employment drug testing is here to stay. Although many people who use recreational drugs may be hard working and talented individuals, the negative connotation of the drug user will forever deter an employer from hiring them.

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Drug Testing

The Hair Follicle Drug Test

While the number of employers across the country which conduct drug testing on employees has increased, a new study has shown that fewer people are actually testing positive for drug use. While this trend may signal a growing reluctance by the workforce to engage in risky drug activity, the numbers may also tell a different story. Because we know that casual drug usage over the last 20-30 years has actually increased, in all likelihood, the reduction in positive tests is due in large part to cheating. The commonly administered urine-analysis, or urinalysis, test can only detect a single instance of drug use dating back 1 to 3 days, which makes it vulnerable to employees who simply abstain for a few days before each test occurs.

Fortunately for vigilant employers, there is a new drug testing option available which is far more powerful than simple urinalysis testing. The hair follicle drug test eliminates the problem of drug-users altering their habits to evade detection, because hair follicle drug testing can establish drug usage patterns over a period of up to 90 days. In order to truly pass a hair follicle drug test, a current or prospective employee’s only option is to quit using drugs entirely. To ensure that your office or workplace is 100% completely drug-free, the most effective and efficient drug testing option is the hair follicle drug test.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/business/13count.html