emplymentdrugtestingPositive Pre-Employment Drug Tests on the Rise

A recent study by Quest Diagnostics shows that the number of positive pre-employment drug tests is on the rise. Their study showed that the number of employees pre-testing positive for drugs has increased for the first time in a decade. The study further indicates that the majority of the increase is due to the legalization of marijuana in many U. S. states. Legalization of marijuana puts employers in a tough situation. Although marijuana is legal in some states, it is still illegal under Federal Law. For that reason, if employers choose, they can still ban the use of marijuana for their employees, whether it is bought and used legally or illegally.

The New York Times reported recently that the increase in applicants testing positive for drugs at pre-employment drug tests does not reflect the amount of prospective employees who simply turn away at the mention of a drug test prior to employment. They indicated that at a job fair for equipment manufacturer JCB in Georgia, half of those present left and gave up employment opportunities prior to taking drug tests. They further point out that the issue is particularly widespread in the transportation and construction industries.

Although marijuana is often the primary culprit in positive pre-employment drug tests, the study showed that heroin and other opiates use coincide with the positive tests.

FingerprintDrugTestingFingerprint technology used in drug testing

A team of researchers from the Netherlands and England at the University of Surrey recently found that fingerprint technology can be used in drug testing. Drug testing is generally an uncomfortable experience, using hair, blood, or urine. But with this new technology, drug testing can be accomplished using nothing more than a person’s fingerprints.

Researchers believe that the applications for this test could be far-reaching. For instance, the University of Surrey reports that, “drug testing is used routinely by probation services, prisons, courts and other law enforcement agencies. However, traditional testing methods have limitations. For example, blood testing requires trained staff and there are privacy concerns about urine testing. Where bodily fluids are tested, there can be biological hazards and often a requirement for particular storage and disposal methods. Often these tests also require analysis off-site.”

However, as the researchers point out, “The beauty of this method is that, not only is it non-invasive and more hygienic than testing blood or saliva, it can’t be faked. By the very nature of the test, the identity of the subject is captured within the fingerprint ridge detail itself.”

This breakthrough will be make police officers jobs much easier. Often, an officer would like to test a driver for drug use, but it’s pretty impractical. With the fingerprint technology, testing for drugs can eventually be done even out on the road. The University reports that, “this technology could see the introduction of portable drug testing for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade.”

Although fingerprint technology drug testing is not yet available to the public, it is exciting that the researchers propose that the technology will be ready for public distribution and use within the decade.

Source: www.surrey.ac.uk

Spotting the signs of addiction in your teen


Getting your teen to tell you about their day can be difficult enough, even when they aren’t trying to hide anything from you. However, when it comes to addiction development, it is imperative that as a parent you stay vigilant and be on the lookout for any warning signs.

In 2012, the NIDA (The National Institute of Drug Abuse) estimated that just over 14 percent of high school seniors in the United States abused prescription drugs. That figure doesn’t include the drugs which were not prescription drugs.  Although abuse of non-prescription drugs has declined in recent years, the abuse of those drugs (such as ecstasy or huffing) still proves to be a problem as well.  The abuse of any drug can have the potential to harm teens and compromise their bright and promising futures.

Some symptoms to watch for in suspected teens include: a disheveled appearance because of a decreased interest in the way they look, dilated pupils and red cheeks, burn marks on their fingers, (though possibly caused by cigarettes, could indicate that they are experimenting with a more dangerous substance like meth), excessive sweating, and frequent teeth clenching.  These characteristics may be cause to bring up the subject of drug abuse with your teen.

Although many parents are aware of the warning signs of drug abuse, many parents may not catch on to their child’s drug habit before it has developed into an all-consuming addiction. It is critical to be on the watch for any signs or symptoms and to always have an open line of communication with your teen about their behavior, activities and friends.

PoliticianPoliticians and Drug Testing

Many politicians have admitted to drug use in their past.  However, it seems that some are actually using drugs while in office.  This raises the questions as to whether or not politicians should be required to submit to drug testing.

The huge show that Toronto Mayor Tom Ford has made with the discovery of his cocaine abuse use while in office has many people wondering.  Congressman Trey Radel has also been charged with cocaine possession.  The Florida Republican was sentenced to one year of probation.  Some are concerned that others that they may have elected to office are participating in illegal drug use.

Fox news reports that, “Toronto, a city of 2.7 million people, has been abuzz with the Ford melodrama since May, when news outlets reported that he had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine.  Recently released court documents show the mayor became the subject of a police investigation after those reports surfaced. Ford, who denied there was any incriminating video, now acknowledges the reports were accurate.”

At Central Michigan University a column was recently posted by Tyler Langley.  Langley points out that many are experiencing concern regarding drug use and politicians.  He poses the question as to whether or not politicians should be forced to participate in drug testing and concludes that, yes, they should be tested.  His argument is interesting.  He indicates, “The concept of letting Americans decide the fate of their elected officials should always be the norm. The problem with this, however, is that a politician who has been elected can easily use drugs without the knowledge reaching the public. This unknown use could end up having drastic effects.  This is why drug testing is needed for American politicians. Although it should ultimately be up for the American people to decide whether a politician stays or goes when a re-election is due, it is within the right of all voters to know if the people representing them are using drugs.”

The debate about politicians and drug testing is an interesting one and may change some of the policies in place regarding politicians.  The public needs to trust and depend on public officials and having politicians engage in drug testing in lieu of recent events may allow people to feel safe and secure

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