Category: Health News

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What to expect when expecting-the effects of alcohol and drug abuse?

Using drugs or drinking alcohol any time in life but especially while pregnant can create several health issues for both the mother and unborn child.

Some examples are an increased risk of stillbirth and miscarriage which are just two of the harsher examples of the potential complications faced by pregnant women that may be already struggling with substance abuse.

Regardless of the negative consequences and all the research to substantiate theses harsh facts, many continue to use these harmful substances regardless. Here are some astonishing numbers to illustrate the ongoing issue:

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from 2012-2013, approximately 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. reported drinking alcohol and, though much of it is done to manage other health conditions, it’s increasingly more common for women to continue using medications while carrying a child.

What are Side Effects of Taking Drugs While Pregnant

Alcohol

No matter how small the amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy can cause a negative impact on the mother and unborn child.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism any amount of drinking is considered at risk alcohol use throughout pregnancy.

The consumption of alcohol may:

  • Increase your risk of miscarriage and
  • may result in several development issues in your child like fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or
  • Alcohol related birth defects

It is important that society understands that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, however, many pregnant women continue to consume at least some amount alcohol with the belief that a small number of drinks will be safe. This is not the case, in fact, half a million children are exposed to alcohol in utero each year.1

Cigarettes

Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that can damage the health of the smoker and damage the brain of a developing fetus.  The chemicals can limit the amount of oxygen being received by the fetus and the impact of nicotine on a developing baby is greater than the impact on the mother. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nicotine concentration is up to 15% higher in the baby’s blood than the mother’s.5

Exposing your unborn child to the tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can also result in many health issues after birth, including:

  • respiratory issues,
  • cerebral palsy,
  • problems with eyesight and
  • possible issues with hearing.

Cocaine

The use of cocaine at any time is harmful but imagine the impact you are having on your unborn child.  Women that use or abuse cocaine oftentimes have poor nutrition and inadequate prenatal care. Oftentimes, cocaine users tend to use the drug in combination with other substances such as alcohol, which makes it more difficult to determine precisely which substance is responsible for the harmful effects on the fetus.5

Heroin

Using heroin while pregnant, will increase the chance of bleeding, especially during your third trimester, as well as preeclampsia (severe high blood pressure).1 This will also place your unborn child at risk for premature birth, dangerously low birth weight, and possibly death. Illicit drug use of any kind, specially heroin will also significantly increase your baby’s risk of developing neonatal abstinence syndrome shortly after birth as well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), commonly referred to as crib death.

Marijuana

Marijuana can be harmful and should be avoided when trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.1,5 Although there is limited data on how marijuana can affect a developing fetus, several studies indicate that using marijuana may be associated with impaired fetal development, rare forms of cancer, premature birth, and low body weight at birth.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

Research has shown that  fetal MDMA exposure during the first trimester may lead to long-term memory problems and impaired learning along with movement and coordination problems in the child.5 There have also been cases where babies exposed to MDMA while in utero developed cardiovascular anomalies and musculoskeletal problems.

Methamphetamines (Meth)

If a fetus is exposed to meth, this can results in long term health issues which may include, increased depression, anxiety, and social isolation have been reported in children exposed to meth in the womb.5 Some studies also suggest that meth use during pregnancy may be associated with congenital abnormalities, such as gastroschisis—a structural defect that can result in a baby being born with their intestines outside of the abdominal wall.

Painkillers

Expectant mothers should be cautious when taking these medication during pregnancy, even if these medications were prescribed by your physician. Opioids are commonly  refereed to as painkillers can be harmful to your developing fetus. A fetus exposed to Opioid painkillers may be linked to excessive fluid in your baby’s brain, abdominal wall defects, glaucoma, and congenital heart defects.

Since many painkillers are chemically similar to heroin, the mother and child can experience many of the same risks. Children may be born with NAS, experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms after birth

For more information call us today at (800)-224-4291 or to click the blue button below schedule a Drug or Alcohol Test Today!

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References:

  1. Forray, A. (2016). Substance use during pregnancy. F1000Research, 5(F1000 Faculty Rev), 887.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Medications and Pregnancy: Treating for Two.
  4. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2013). Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Pregnancy.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Substance Use in Women.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

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How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your System?

July 11 2016

How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your System?

 

Some open-minded, liberal experts would agree that drug use should not be a punishable offense, the fact is that if you happen to be an athlete, a DOT regulated employee, working for a company with a drug free workplace program or just the child of  concerned parents, you could be subjected to a drugs test. So How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your System?

Once drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream – which can occur via the lungs, the digestive tract, or even a syringe – the only way to get them out is by excretion. Depending on what you’ve taken, some may pass straight through you relatively quickly, coming out in your poop. Much of the rest will eventually be released in your urine and sweat. However, before this can happen, drugs have to be metabolized into water soluble molecules, or metabolites.

This process mostly occurs in the liver, which contains catalysts like cytochrome P450 enzymes that cause drugs to become oxidized. As a result, non-polar molecules – which have no overall charge and are therefore not soluble in water – become negative, much like a drug user on a comedown. Normally, these metabolites will then be ionized as well, ensuring that by the time the liver is through with them, they are well and truly ready to dissolve – just like the ego of someone on LSD.

By this stage, the acute effects of any drug will have worn off, and the soluble metabolites in a user’s system will dissolve into the water in their blood, before being filtered out by the kidneys and excreted as urine. This process can take a while, however, giving drug testers the chance to catch people with drug metabolites in their pee and blood.


For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
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Which One is Better For You?

Urine Drug Testing

There are many pros and cons of urine drug testing, however urine drug tests are by far the most common test that dates back to 1966 invented by Germen biochemist Manfred Donike. Urine drug tests are one of the least inexpensive drug tests and you are able to get your results back quickly usually between 3-5 business days. This test is noninvasive and can detect for a variety of different substances.

Some of the most common use of a urine drug test today is for pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post accident and many more. As mentioned, different substances can be detected in urine and at different times. Here is a guide of some of the substances and detection times urine can discover: (This is a guide only)

  • Alcohol: 3-5 days in urine
  • Amphetamines: 1-3 days in urine
  • Barbiturates: 2-4 days in urine
  • Benzodiazepines: 3-6 weeks in urine
  • Cannabis: 7-30 days in urine
  • Cocaine: 3-4 days in urine
  • Codeine: 1 day in urine
  • Heroin: 3-4 days in urine
  • LSD: 1-3 days in urine
  • MDMA (ecstasy): 3-4 days in urine
  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth): 3-6 days in urine
  • Methadone: 3-4 days in urine
  • Morphine: 2-3 days in urine

Despite the pros of urine tests there are some cons. To begin with, urine tests can be easier to alter the results and, in some ways, cheat the test. For example, certain substances can only be detected between 1-5 days, it is feasible to be able to “flush” out the substance(s) from your system.

However, an over consumption of water to flush out the toxins in your body can cause a “Diluted” result on your test that will show up. Along with other ways individuals might try to skew urine test results, some may administer monitored urine tests and randomized tests to obtain the most effective results.

Hair Follicle Test

A hair follicle test or more commonly known as a “Hair drug test” also has some pros and cons. One of the primary advantages of a hair test is that substance(s) can be detected on a larger time scale going back as far as 90 days. This is because the chemical in the drugs gets into the blood stream becoming part of the hair cells as your hair grows. Another advantage of a hair test is that it illuminates essentially all possibilities to cheat. Hair tests are slightly more costly than urine tests, however the results can’t be altered or can’t be “flushed” out of your system. Many people prefer a hair test because the accuracy compared to a urine test is substantially higher.

Although, hair tests have many pros there are a few disadvantages. Hair tests can take up to 7-10 business days to get the results back. Also, in order to do a hair test you must have at least 1.5-inch of hair to be cut off in person and sent to the lab. Due to the rate of hair growth, drugs won’t be able to be detected until 5-7 days after use. The hair follicle is taken from the root of the scalp and a 1.5-inch follicle can date back up to 3 months. Over all a hair test can offer a cheat-proof alternative to a urine test to get the most effective results.

Which test is better for you?

Always keep in mind that all non-negative tests that are sent to the lab go under further review and confirmation tests are done before given a confirmed result. The end result is given by the MRO (Medical Review Officer) who evaluates drug test results and confirms what the final result is. If you are looking for a faster result and want to detect drugs in a short time period, a urine test might be better for you. However, always keep in mind of all the possibilities someone can alter the results in a urine test. If you are looking for more accurate results that can detect drugs dating back months at a time and are able to provide a hair sample of 1.5-inch, a hair follicle test is better for you.

If you need a urine test or hair follicle test for any reason occupation, personal, medical or legal, we can provide that for you nationwide! If you want more information or would like to schedule a Urine test click here or if you would like more information or would like to schedule on a Hair Drug Test click here.

For more information on drug tests, results or would like to order a test over the phone give me a call today at (800) 221-4291 or email us at  info@accrediteddrugtesting.com.

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Brazil Olympic team’s number of drug-test samples questioned

Aug 10 2016

Olympic Drug Test Samples Questioned
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Brazil’s Olympic team gave about a third as many samples as normally expected in the crucial month before the games began, CNN can reveal — an “unacceptable practice” according to the world anti-doping watchdog.

The host nation has already been sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, over concerns its testing of its own athletes ahead of the Games was delayed, and perhaps compromised. Yet CNN has learned there may not actually be enough samples to test to give the team — the second largest at the games — a clean record for July. This is because Brazilian athletes gave a significantly reduced number of samples in the first three weeks of July.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said the gap in samples collected by Brazil’s anti-doping agency was “unacceptable practice … particularly at such a crucial time before the Olympic Games.” It added: “These numbers are not in line with an effective program.” The spokesman said it may have left a “big gap.”
A spokesman for the Brazilian Ministry of Sport, Paulo Rossi, told CNN the Brazilian team of 477 athletes gave a total of 110 samples in the first 24 days of July. He described the average amount they would be expected to give in that period “as I think about 300,” or possibly less.
The reduced number of samples is a serious issue for Brazil, the host nation of an Olympic Games swamped in the geopolitical and moral impact of doping. The Russian Paralympic team has been banned. The Russian Olympic team has faced calls for a ban, and, while nearly all its track and field athletes have been banned, a lengthy International Olympic Committee mechanism to vet their remaining team members led to the vast majority of them being allowed to compete.
The Brazilian Ministry of Sport said the “allegation is absurd and makes no sense.” They added the Brazilian National Anti-Doping Organistaion, NADO, “under the Ministry of Sport, follows international codes to the letter and is committed to consolidating anti-doping policy in Brazil.”
Brazil’s problems began with the nearly monthlong suspension of the only laboratory in the country accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency to carry out anti-doping tests, causing delays in the testing of samples the team did give. It was unclear why the laboratory was suspended. Yet the greatly reduced number of samples the team gave in July means there is now a hole in the samples that can be retrospectively tested for the month ahead of the Games, a period the doping watchdog deems “crucial.” The Brazilian laboratory has since had its accreditation by WADA restored and will process 6,000 samples from all countries competing during the Games.
A spokesman for WADA, Ben Nichols, told CNN in an email: “We wrote to the ministry pressing our concerns and demanding to know why testing had stopped. The response was not satisfactory, and the situation was unacceptable.” Nichols confirmed 110 samples had been collected for testing in the July 1-24 period.
However, Rossi said Brazil’s anti-doping agency was struggling to process samples because its laboratory had been suspended. He said WADA was aware of the issue, and blamed the problems on WADA suspending the laboratory. The Brazilian Ministry of Sport said in its statement that 2,227 tests had been done in Brazil between January 1 and June 22, when the laboratory was suspended.
WADA said the Brazilian anti-doping authority should have — as part of established practices in sport — sent all Brazil’s samples to another laboratory during the period in which the main laboratory in Brazil was suspended. The Brazilian Ministry of Sport said the partner laboratories their anti-doping agency could have used included one in Spain — which was also suspended by WADA — and laboratories in Portugal and Colombia, which Rossi said were unable to take on the task.
WADA spokesman Nichols said the agency had repeatedly told Brazilian officials the situation was unsatisfactory and notified Olympic officials in “the pre-Olympics task force with our concerns, and requested that there be increased testing on Brazilian athletes.”
The International Olympic Committee said, through spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau, that its task force was meant to assess which athletes might need extra scrutiny, but not carry out the tests itself, as that was the job of doping agencies. She did not comment on the reduced level of sampling.


For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here

Brandon Rains
Director Of Online Marketing
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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Two synthetic drugs pose threat to public health. What are they?

Sep 19 2016

Two synthetic drugs pose threat to public health. What are they?

Cannabinoids and Cathinones are the latest synthetic drugs to bring on warnings issued by the Federal Government. 

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids is often referred to as synthetic marijuana, K2 or Spice and can be found in legal retail outlets sold under “herbal incense” or “potpourri”.

  • Synthetic cannabinoids, contain approximately 120 known chemical variants with 50 or so of these chemical either regulated by U.S. law, or that are illegal in the United States.
  • China produces the bulk of synthetic marijuana where the “recipe” is altered to circumvent U.S. Law.
  • Cannabinoids are typically sold in packets which carry one of more than 500 brand names commonly referred to as Spice, Ace of Spades, Demon, King John Pot Pourri, Mojo and Mr. Bad Guy.
  • These products are labeled “not for human consumption” therefore, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Cannabinoids and other synthetic drugs can also be purchased via internet
  • click here. To view a detailed list of over 500 Cannabinoids.

What are the risks of cannabinoids?

Some side effects of synthetic cannabinoids consist of severe agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, tremors, seizures, hallucinations and dilated pupils. In some cases, suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or actions have also been reported.

Cathinones

Cathinones, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the leaves of khat (the leaves of an Arabian shrub, which are chewed (or drunk as an infusion) as a stimulant. Khat is used in combination with other chemicals to make a drug similar to amphetamines.

  • Synthetic cathinone products often consist of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and methylone.
  • Similar to cannabinoids, most cathinones are produced in China. They are referred to as “bath salts,” and distributed under trade names such as ‘Ivory Wave’, ‘White Lightning’ and ‘Vanilla Sky.’ They are also labeled as “not for human consumption” to avoid penalty under the Analogue Enforcement Act.
  • Generally, Bath Salts are snorted, but some smoke it, inject it or ingest it as a pill.

What’s the risk of cathinones?

• The risk in the synthetic cathinones come from a complete lack of knowledge as to what and how much of any substance is in the drug.  It is very easy for someone to overdose on a cathinone.

Similar to the adverse effects of cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine, synthetic cathinone use is most commonly associated with an increased heart rate, blood pressure, chest pain, extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and violent behavior.

What is the government doing?

The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which is part of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, placed 26 types of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)  – meaning they are illegal to possess or distribute. The problem with legislating against synthetic drugs is that they are altered so quickly.


For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here
 

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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Random Drug Testing Program in Missouri Schools

Oct. 3 2016

Random Drug Testing Program in Missouri Schools

Belton School District is the latest district in Missouri to start randomly testing its students for drugs.  This policy was created by the district’s students who came up with the idea.

Under this policy, students with a permit to drive to school are now considered fair game to be randomly tested. Furthermore, any student in Grades 7-12 who is involved with an extracurricular activity would be required under this policy as well.

The school district provided the parents with letters discussing the policy during open enrollment.

Some parents were strongly on board with the decision, while others challenged the policy.

Many parents, interviewed were surprised that it was the district’s students that created and developed the idea.

Belton School District Superintendent Andy Underwood. Stated that “There was concern from students in meetings in regards to fellow students being addicted to drugs,”

This latest rollout will be in addition to 160 other school districts in Missouri.

The logistics for Belton County consist of 25 students in both middle and high schools that will be required to give a urine sample and be randomly tested each month.

If a student fails a test, they are immediately suspended from their activity, lose their parking pass and are offered counseling.  Also as a results of a failed test, the student will be automatically tested again the following month and if there are three positive drug tests, it would result in the student getting permanently suspended from the activity.


For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here
 

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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OSHA Issues Final Rule Improving  Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Oct. 25 2016

OSHA Issues Final Rule Improving Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA’s proposed new post-accident rule has been delayed until November 1, 2016.   As the date rapidly approaches, OSHA’s FAQ page states that the new rule “does not prohibit drug testing of employees. It only prohibits employers from using drug testing, or the threat of drug testing, as a form of retaliation against employees who report injuries or illnesses.”  

Here are some checklist items all businesses should take a moment to review:

  • Does my policy require an automatic blanket testing of anyone involved in an accident?  Yes/No
  • Does my policy use post-accident triggers such as a dollar amount in relation to damage?  Yes/No
  • Does my policy require drug testing after any workplace accident, no matter the scale?  Yes/No

If you answered yes to any of the items above, then your policy could leave you open to a high risk of OSHA citation.  As always, there are exceptions to the rule.

Employers that are complying with state or federal drug testing requirements are not affected.

Here’s another checklist.  Take a look and see how it compares to the one above.

  • My policy has been reviewed recently for OSHA compliance issues?  Yes/No
  • My policy limits post-accident testing to situations and individuals where there is reasonable cause to believe impairment played a role?  Yes/No
  • My supervisors and managers are trained to recognize signs of substance abuse and document them for reasonable suspicion purposes?  Yes/No

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have already taken steps to ensure OSHA compliance.  Until the final rule is passed on November 1 please click the link below to view the information on OSHA’s website.

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/finalrule_faq.html


For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here
 

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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Methamphetamine Drug Use On The Rise

Nov 8 2016

Methamphetamine Drug Use On The Rise

Billings Montana – Methamphetamines (Meth) has overtaken marijuana as the most common drug found in addition to alcohol in DUI samples sent to the state crime lab this past year.

Meth has also been detected more frequently in other types cases handled by Crime lab’s toxicology division, per a summary report from the Montana Department of Justice’s Forensic Science Division.

“I think that’s the real take-home of this summary, is the massive increase in methamphetamine,” said Scott Larson, toxicology supervisor at the crime lab.

Even after the spike in Methamphetamine positive results, alcohol remains the most frequent substance found in DUI toxicology cases.

For example, in 2015, alcohol was the only substance detected in 2,277 out of 3,380 total DUI cases tested calendar year.

The lab had 294 DUI cases involving meth, and the drug concentration of the samples screened increased 123 percent. These numbers are up from 2011, when state toxicologists administered 73 DUI samples that tested positive for meth.

These results illustrate that Marijuana used to be the most common substance after alcohol discovered in DUI blood tests. However, in 2015, meth became more prevalent in DUI blood tests, as per the lab.

The toxicology division of the state crime lab in Missoula also performs postmortem drug screens for medical examiners and examines drug and alcohol test results for cases that involve drug-endangered children. The lab also examines urine tests for the Department of Corrections on inmates and individuals on probation.

The lab analyses specimens for a variety of different drugs — such as marijuana, prescription narcotics, hallucinogens and inhalants. Over the years the overall number of positive drug findings has decreased.

DUIs continue to make up the largest caseload which account for more over half of the 6,139 cases handled in 2015. In most DUI test results, alcohol is the only substance present in the blood sample.

However, meth has increased in other test areas. One area includes postmortem drug screens, in 2011 the lab had 20 confirmed positive cases for meth but the rate has increased to 73 positive cases out of a total 801 cases in 2015.

The study also showed that Urine tests conducted on probationers and parolees have seen a dramatic spike in positive results in regards to meth.

For example, there were 1,192 urinalysis cases handled by the lab in 2015 and more than 550 turned up positive for meth. In 2011 there were fewer than 200 confirmed cases and no other drug has spiked so rapidly.

Amphetamines are classified as a stimulant and an appetite suppressant that targets the central nervous system by increasing the release of certain chemicals (“neurotransmitters”) in the brain.

Amphetamines are a Schedule II drug that can be prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Physical symptoms may include restlessness, tremors, rapid breathing, confusion, panic and seizures. Due to its high risk for potential for abuse and addiction, physicians prefer using other treatment methods. Common trade names of amphetamine-containing drugs are Adderall®, Dexedrine® and Vyvanse®.
Methamphetamine, often referred to as meth, crystal, crank and ice, is an extremely addictive stimulant drug. Meth can be taken orally, smoked, snorted, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, even small amounts of methamphetamine can cause increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure.

Methamphetamine is also available by prescription for limited medical uses (treatment of obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) under the trade name of Desoyxn®.

See Article


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John Burgos, CPC
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(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc

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New FRA Rules Expand Drug and Alcohol Testing

Dec 1 2016

New FRA Rules Expand Drug and Alcohol Testing

Separate rules increase protections, add Maintenance of Way workers to drug and alcohol testing policy

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it has issued two final rules to better protect railroad employees working on or near railroad tracks.

One rule amends the existing Roadway Worker Protection Regulation, while the second rule, Control of Alcohol and Drug Use, amends the FRA’s current drug and  alcohol testing regulations expands the requirements to now cover maintenance of way (MOW) employees.

The second rule fulfills a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

The Roadway Worker Protection final rule amendments will:

  • Resolve various interpretations that have developed since the rule went into effect almost 20 years ago;
  • Implement FRA’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee’s (RSAC) consensus recommendations;
  • Organize certain FRA Technical Bulletins;
  • Codify a FAST Act mandate by adopting new requirements governing redundant signal protections;
  • Address the safe movement of roadway maintenance machinery over signalized non-controlled track (not under a dispatcher’s control); and
  • Amend certain qualification requirements for roadway workers.

The most recent amendments require that job briefings include information for roadway worker groups on the following:

  • Accessibility of the roadway worker in charge
  • Standards for how “occupancy behind” train authorities (when the authority for a work crew does not begin until the train has passed the area) can be used; and
  • Require annual training for any individual serving as a roadway worker in charge.

“These new rules add another layer of protection for workers who work along and near railroad tracks and will help us reduce preventable worker injuries and fatalities,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg.

These updated changes came in response to a congressional mandate and recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  These changes allow the FRA to broaden the scope of its existing drug and alcohol testing regulation to include Maintenance of Way (MOW) employees.

Currently, a MOW employee is only drug and alcohol tested when he or she has died as a result of an accident or incident. MOW employees will now be fully subject to FRA’s drug and alcohol testing that includes random testing, post-accident testing, reasonable suspicion testing, reasonable cause testing, pre-employment testing, return-to-duty testing and follow-up testing.

“Whether you are an engineer, conductor or someone working alongside the tracks, safety requires alertness. Any reduction in awareness caused by drugs or alcohol use can often be the difference between life and death,” Feinberg added.

The final Roadway Worker Protection rule is effective April 1, 2017. The Control of Alcohol and Drug Use goes into effect one year after publication.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L17465

http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17467

For information regarding the effects of drug abuse – Click Here
For  information on a drug free work place – Click Here
For  information on substance abuse programs – Click Here
For information on DOT Drug / Alcohol Testing requirements – Click Here

John Burgos, CPC
Business Development Manager
https://www.AccreditedDrugTesting.com
(800) 221-4291
Accredited Drug Testing Inc
Health Screening USA Inc