Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crime & Prescription Drug Abuse 2009

Drug abuse is a large part of crime

RISING TIDE: Abuse of prescription medicine poses growing challenge
By John Davis

Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 10:50 p.m.

Drug offenses are up sharply -- 41 percent compared with the same period last year.

Police are often finding people with painkillers and other narcotics they are not supposed to have during routine traffic stops and domestic violence calls.

"The biggest wave I've seen lately is the diversion of otherwise legal narcotics," Police Chief

One person was found dead June 5 after he snorted oxycodone with his stepfather the night before, according to police. An autopsy showed the painkiller Oxycodone and cocaine were in Block's system.

Another person got prescriptions for 250 oxycodone pills from doctors in Venice and North Port within a matter of days by "doctor shopping," or going to multiple doctors to get prescriptions for the same ailment, interviews with a doctor showed.

Availability has led addicts who once made and used illicit drug to switch to pills like oxycodone.

"It's very conveniently packaged, very easy to distribute," he said. "I don't have to have a grow house. I don't have to have a meth lab."


Meanwhile, police are watching for prescription-drug fraud and abuse, whether from people buying and selling them illegally or committing other crimes to feed addictions.


"It is something we've asked officers to pay a lot more attention to," Lewis said about the connection between some crimes and painkiller addiction.

Monday, June 29, 2009

2009 World Drug Report

World Drug Report 2009 Highlights Links Between Drugs and Crime

Opiates, cocaine and cannabis markets flat or decreasing, synthetic drugs on the rise

VIENNA, 24 June (UN Information Service) - The World Drug Report 2009, launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that global markets for cocaine, opiates and cannabis are steady or in decline, while production and use of synthetic drugs is feared to be increasing in the developing world.

What was once a cottage industry has become big business. Industrial-sized laboratories in South East Asia - particularly in the Greater Mekong Sub-region - are producing massive quantities of methamphetamine tablets, and crystal meth and other substances like Ketamine.

Some countries in the European Union are the main suppliers of ecstasy; Canada has become a major trafficking hub for meth and ecstasy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Prescription Drug Abuse - Oxycontin Vicodin Lortab

Granted, society is 5-8 years late recognizing this serious problem, but at least it is now out in full view.

Prescribed problem Illegal use of medications a growing concern

OHIO - 2009 - The Daily Record - The stereotypical view of drug addicts buying their daily fix in small bags in back alleys is giving way to a new reality of prescription drug abuse where pharmaceuticals come in plastic bottles with a prescription pasted on the side.

Police and drug enforcement are dealing with a growing threat in the form of abuse of pharmaceutical opiates such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet. Typically prescribed for pain through legitimate prescriptions, obtained by deceptive means, or raiding medicine cabinets, the drugs are creating a new culture of addicts and dealers.

Only the OraPoint on-site drug screen effectively screens for these prescription pain relievers.

The problem with pharmaceutical opiates, according to Medway Drug Enforcement Agency Director David Smith, has grown in recent years so much it had to double its pharmaceutical diversion unit.

"If they learn there's an easy mark out there, they'll travel. Within that type of community, that word travels real fast. I'm sure they go to rural areas because they assume no one's watching, (rather) than to go to a bigger city," Smith said. "We have seen people from all over, not just adjacent counties, (but) two, three counties away."

The pharmaceutical diversion unit began May 2008, with aid of grant funding, consisting of former Wayne County Sheriff's deputy Jim Garrett. Bill Hofer, a former Wooster Police officer, came on in May to help with the caseload.

Cases investigated come from complaints filed, whether it's a doctor's office, a pharmacy, law enforcement or anonymous tips.

Medway made seven buys of Xanax in 2008, compared to two buys in 2007, and six buys of Oxycontin in 2008, compared to one buy in 2007. Other opiates purchased in 2008, not seen in 2007, include morphine, Darvocet, Lorazepam, Percocet, Klonopin and Hydrocodone.

Garrett said he has done a lot of outreach to local pharmacies, hospitals and they have been receptive and cooperative.

"They're on the front lines, they have a keen sense of observation," he said of local doctors. "Red flags will go up. They'll either question it or call us."

In 2008, Wooster Police reported 29 thefts of medication. So far this year, 11 thefts of medication were reported, Chief Steve Glick said.

"It's a tough one for us to do anything in a preventative measure because it's going to be happening inside people's homes," Glick said. "... It's kind of a wide ranging problem. Drugs like cocaine have to be imported and have to get here. Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, those drugs are readily available, and it's not the health profession's fault necessarily, it's just the fact that the drugs are available because they are prescribed."

Millersburg Police detective Sgt. Roger Estill said investigations have turned up instances of trafficking as well as addiction involving opiate-based prescription drugs. The drugs are often obtained through fraudulent means from pharmacies and emergency rooms, prompting physicians and pharmacists to watch for signs that illegal activity is occurring.

"I don't think there is an increase in activity. What's happening is an increase in reporting," Estill said. "The medical community is looking for it more, were getting a lot of cooperation from pharmacies."

Two individuals facing felony charges in Holmes County Common Pleas Court are charged with using deceptive means to obtain the drugs. The cases involve a 48-year-old Millersburg man who tried to get a prescription filled twice after claiming to have lost the first prescription, and a 28-year-old Warsaw woman charged with changing the number of pills on a prescription form.

In both cases, the drugs were legally prescribed by a physician, only not in the amounts requested.

"I find that when you go talk to them, they acknowledge it's a problem, but they don't know how to address the problem," Garrett said of people addicted to opiates. "They're just embarrassed to come to their family and say 'I have a problem.' Unfortunately, it takes us to contact them to admit it."

Monday, June 1, 2009


Source: 2008 Drug Testing Advisory Board Minutes - SAMHSA

Public Question:
“Does it matter whether a substance is legal or illegal, therapeutic or not? Rather, isn't it the concern of whether or not it has impairing affects and hence creates an unacceptable safety risk?”

SAMHSA Response:
This program was established as a demand reduction for illegal drugs. It has nothing to do with impairment or safety risk at work in the context of therapeutic drugs.
Oral Fluid Drug Screening for Safety

2000 ng/ml Opiate Detect in Urine is Unsafe

Source: 2008, DTAB Minutes, SAMHSA

DTAB Panel Discussion Testing Morphine/Codeine Only at 2000 ng/mL Cutoff versus Testing Expanded Opioid Panel at 300 ng/mL Cutoff

Pat Pizzo, Director of Toxicology, Substance Abuse Testing, Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc.

Because of concerns about safety and the abuse of hydrocodone and oxycodone on the job site, a union client requested an extended opiate panel, which included hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone at a 300 nanograms per milliliter cutoff. From January through September 2006 for this client, there were 707 total positive drug results of which five percent were positive for opioids, including codeine and morphine, at the 2000 nanograms per milliliter a cutoff level.

With the 300 nanograms per milliliter cutoff expanded opiate panel, the positive ratio increased to 45 percent.

The client had 200 confirmed and MRO-verified union members who were illegally using either hydrocodone or oxycodone. The union decided the additional cost was justified from a safety standpoint.
Oral Fluid Drug Screening Technology

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Drug Abuse in America is Worse than Ever

Federal surveys reveal cyclical trends in drug abuse — but the number of lifetime users keeps growing.

Reports, such as the Drug Test Index, from Quest Diagnostics, are misleading as they report "positive rates" for urine laboratory drug testing predominantly. This form of testing is little more than an intelligence test for drug abusers, and rarely includes prescription drugs such as oxycontin, vicodin, and lortab.

Overall abuse rates were highest in the 1970s, declined through the early ’90s, went back up and now seem to have stabilized over the past six years.
That said, the increasing abuse of prescription medicines among all age groups has created a serious health hazard.

Survey after survey shows the vast scope of illegal drug use — deep-rooted in all regions, among all races and socio-economic groups. Big cities indeed have severe problems, but the states with the highest overall abuse rates include Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana and Alaska.

“There’s this assumption that drug abuse is more common in racial minorities, especially blacks,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, a division director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “It’s not true. Either the rates are lower or at least no higher.”
OraPoint Oral Fluid Workplace Drug Screening Technologies

Prescription Drug Abuse Dealths - Second leading cause of accidental deaths in America

If you don't believe that prescription drug abuse, especially pain relievers is a health and safety threat, read on.

May 27, 2009 - New drug czar wants states to monitor prescription abuse

More Americans die from drugs than from gunshot wounds.

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says one of his top priorities is curtailing abuse of prescription drugs such as the addictive painkiller OxyContin that are readily available in the United States.

"We get overly concerned about drugs coming in, but the pharmaceuticals are here already," - Gil Kerlikowske - White House

Kerlikowske said he'll push for more states to adopt prescription-monitoring programs in which doctors and pharmacists log prescriptions for addictive drugs so law enforcement can track them.

Kerlikowske, a former Seattle police chief who became director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy on May 7, said drug abuse is a "public health problem."

"Legalization isn't in the president's vocabulary, and it certainly isn't in mine," he told 300 law enforcement officials last week in Nashville.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prescription Drug Abuse - The Real Threat to Workplace Safety

Prescription Drugs And Alcohol

If the underlying purpose of drug testing is safety, there is no
reason why drug testing should be limited to illicit drugs. In
terms of the number of people who abuse alcohol and prescription
drugs, and the fatalities, injuries, and property
damage caused by their effects in the workplace, legal substances
pose a much greater threat than illegal drugs.

Improperly used prescription and “over the counter” drugs
present a significant problem in the workplace. Policies for
these substances should be incorporated into a comprehensive
drug testing program.

Prescription drugs may be harmful to the user, other employees, and the public, if they are abused. Prescription drugs can present legal problems for employers if drug testing programs do not take into account the fact that employees may be using them, properly or improperly.

There are several practical methods available toobtain the necessary information about prescription drug use which would affect job performance.

• Incorporate in the testing consent form a space for employees to list all prescription drugs they are currently taking.
• Provide a separate form for employees to complete whenever they are asked to submit to a physical which includes a drug test.
• Develop and post a rule requiring employees returning to work from an illness to indicate whether he/she has been given a prescription, and if so, for what.
• Develop and post a rule requiring employees to inform a supervisor any time they take a prescription or overthe-counter drug, and provide that management will determine whether the employee is fit to perform his duties while on that drug.
• Require employees returning from illness or layoff to submit to a physical to determine fitness for duty.
Oral Fluid Drug Screening for Prescription Pain Releivers and Illicit Drugs

Prescription Drug Abuse / Pain Relievers on the Rise Across the Country

State of Washington

The St. John Medical Center has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-related emergency-room visits and that adolescents are trying prescription opiates and moving quickly to heroin.

“The human brain doesn’t stop developing until 26 or 27 years old,” McCrady said. “When you introduce a drug into a developing human being, that’s what leads to that quicker addiction.”

State of North Carolina

Prescription drug abuse among area juveniles is on the rise and local officials say solving the problem should be a community effort.

"The major issue is the unauthorized possession of prescription drugs,".
The prescription drug problem "is a major uprise for not only the schools but for the state."

"The abuse and the issuance of prescription drugs ... is one of the key problems in today's society and that is and has been on the increase for a while now in the schools," he sad. "Most of it has to do with prescription drugs that they have access to either through their parents or another family member in the house. Some of these drugs are drugs that the child themselves may be legally taking and then taking them to school and sharing them with their friends and selling them to their friends."

Trudy Allen, a JPD detective in the juvenile division, said the accessibility of prescription drugs is a major part of the problem.

"It's easily accessible; we all have drugs in the cabinet," she said. "Any child can go into the cabinet and get drugs that are readily available. ... They can easily go into mom and dad's medicine cabinet that may not be secured and take out whatever they want to use."

In order to deter the presence of drugs on Onslow County School's campuses, prevention is key, Baldwin said.

"It may be in the form of assemblies, small group or individual discussions about using, possessing or distributing drugs on campus," Baldwin said, explaining that it is also addressed in the healthy living curriculum.

Intervention comes next, he said, explaining that it may involve small groups of students that may be "at risk of possessing, using or distributing drugs."
Oral Fluid Screening for Prescription Pain Releivers and Illicit Drugs

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Teen Drug Abuse on the Rise

Police say teen drug abuse is on the rise in the Desert Southwest, as the number of hospital visits for drug abuse is increasing nationwide. Police say kids are having "pharming" parties; they show up with their pharmaceutical drugs, dump them in a bowl, and have at it. Yuma Police Department School Resource Officer Erick Resendiz held a presentation Wednesday night at City Hall as part of the Yuma Education Series. His message is if you abuse drugs, you're taking your life in your hands.

"We don't want to be responding to your house for an overdose when we can be responding to your house for advice on how to stop it," says Resendiz. Drugs can take a perfectly normal person, and turn them into a zombie. Resendiz says more kids in town are potentially throwing their future down the drain. He says police are seeing "over the counter and prescription drug abuse. Kids are trying any drug, if they have a drug that affects them somehow they think well if I take it more, can it help, will it help me." Resendiz also says more kids are inhaling toxins. Why are they doing drugs? To get high, deal with problems, change their body, help with school work, and a slew of other reasons. Resendiz says kids can find information on how to abuse drugs with the click of a mouse. "There's also experiment websites; sites they (kids) can go on-line that tell them how to abuse these drugs to get better highs safer. They even have rules like they're supposed to have a watcher; someone who can standby them when they're getting high in case something goes wrong." Resendiz says once a kid starts abusing drugs, they'll become a completely different person. Signs and symptoms of look out for: "Changes in behavior, changes in appearance, drastic things that don't normally happen in juveniles. Kids are giving away their belongings, they're losing an inappropriate amount of weight."

Resendiz says you can potentially save a loved ones life by getting them help before it's too late, and also studies show that if you talk to your child about not doing drugs, they'll be more likely to stay away from them. His advice for anyone is "don't even try them, don't even abuse them, don't take them any way, you shouldn't take them unless prescribed by a doctor. If you're already taking them get help, before you get past that addiction point where you can't get help anymore." For more information on Wednesday night's presentation, or for ideas on future presentation topics for the Yuma Educational Series, contact Officer Resendiz at the Yuma Police Department.
Oral Fluid Drug Tests

2009 Federal Government Survey - Prescription Drug Abuse #1 Problem in America

Prescription Drug Abuse

Despite the prevalence of prescription drug abuse, especially pain releivers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, most organizations.. including federal mandated DOT drug testing do not monitor their use.

A recent Federal Survey* says prescription drug abuse by teens and young adults continues to be a serious problem in the United States.

Today, teenagers are not using as much marijuana, cocaine, crack, LSD, and ecstasy as the adolescents of the 1960’s. American kids have a new favorite way to get high; painkillers and other prescription drugs are being abused at record levels.

This group of young adults has been given the name “Generation Rx.”

For the first time, national studies show that today’s teens are more likely to have abused a prescription painkiller than any street drug.

Surveys shows, that kids as young as 12 years old are trying or using prescription drugs -- to get high or for "self-medicating." The pharmaceuticals are often more available to kids than street drugs because they are often found in their very own homes. Also, pills may regarded as safer because they are professionally manufactured in a lab.

The survey also shows that painkillers are the most common pharmaceutical abused by teens with stimulant abuse more common among older teens and college students than younger teens.

Many young adults think these drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses, but taking them without a prescription to get high or to “self-medicate” can be as dangerous – and as addictive – as using street any drug they find on the streets.

*The Monitoring the Future survey – now in it’s 33rd year – is a series of classroom surveys of eight, tenth and twelfth graders. It is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the national Institutes of Health (NIH), and US Dept. of Health of Human Services (HHS).

The survey indicates a continuing high rate of prescription drug abuse among teens, with little change seen in the past six years. In fact, seven of the top 10 drugs abused were prescribed or purchased over the counter. The most common drugs used were Vicodin and Oxycontin.
Drug Free Workplace Solutions
- Orapoint oral fluid drug screen
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meth showing a comeback in 2009

Meth showing a comeback in '09


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From the same people who brought words like pseudoephederine and meth-cookin' into the public's vocabulary, comes a new term: smurfing.

"Smurfing" describes the process used by methamphetamine manufacturers as they try and bypass laws that restrict the amount of pseudoephederine products they can purchase at one time.

Pseudoephederine is an ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine.

"Five or six people get together and go from one store to another to another, with each one purchasing the legal limit at each location," said Tom McNamara, Southern Illinois Enforcement Group's special projects coordinator. "They'll cover a large area, as far as 150 miles away."

"Smurfing" was one of the hot topics under discussion at the Southern Illinois Methamphetamine and Other Drugs Conference Tuesday at John. A. Logan College.

Now in its sixth year, the annual conference gathers together those people who deal most intimately with the effects of the drug war - like law enforcement officers, drug treatment specialists, educators, medical professionals, social service workers and child advocates, according to Michelle Hamilton, chairwoman of the Williamson County Coalition Against Methamphetamine Abuse.

When the conference first began, its focus was on the then-explosive growth of methamphetamine use in the region. While new laws helped put the damper on its manufacture for several years, the drug is showing a comeback this year, McNamara said.

"We had our lowest number of labs (seized) in 2008, but we're seeing a resurgence in 2009. We're finding more labs now than at any time last year," he said.

The conference also addresses other illicit substances, Hamilton said, such as prescription drug abuse, which is on the rise in Southern Illinois.

The 500 conference participants also learned about the latest trends, treatments and tactics used in fighting drug abuse during breakout sessions led by experts in the field.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Drug Deaths Exceed Traffic Fatalities

Drug Overdoses Exceed Traffic Fataliies

Recent report by the Ohio Department of Health showed that drug overdoses topped traffic crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio in 2006 and 2007. Prescription pain medicines and heroin played a major role in the fatalities.

"The drug problem is moving from the streets to the medicine cabinet," said Kenneth Hale, the Ohio State Assistant Dean for Professional and External affairs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prescription Drug Abuse in Arkansas

Police, parents and teachers in Springdale have teamed up to fight teen drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise with 10% of 12-17 year olds having abused prescription drugs.

The Springdale School District and several parent groups hosted a Reuse Abuse talk Thursday night.

One of the best ways to avoid the abuse is to get rid of all old prescription drugs - to help - May 30th the Springdale Police department will host a drug turn-in from 10 to 2pm at the police station.

Substance Abuse - Important Court Case for Teachers

Opposing view: Safety takes precedence
Educators need wide range of tools to protect students in their care.

By Francisco Negrón

Schools have a responsibility to ensure students are safe. When it comes to preventing drug abuse, educators have to make tough, on-the-spot decisions to stem the distribution of potentially harmful substances. Next week, the Supreme Court will consider whether educators can be held personally liable for money damages for searching the person of a middle school student believed to have unauthorized prescription drugs. At issue in Safford v. Redding is whether the search was reasonable.

The wisdom of zero-tolerance policies is not at issue in the court case, and such policies are up to local communities. Working with their elected school boards and school leaders, communities should decide what strategy works best for them. Schools are some of the safest places for students because school boards have policies to prevent and eliminate the dangers of drug abuse and weapons. The real question is whether educators will be able to use a wide range of tools to ensure the safety of the students in their care. Those tools may sometimes include searches based on reasonable suspicion to look for weapons or drugs.

As the Supreme Court held in Morse v. Frederick in 2007, the danger posed by drugs to our students is "serious and palpable." Indeed, the federal government's Office of National Drug Control Policy reported just last year that prescription-drug abuse among youth is increasing at an alarming rate. And, the accessibility of over-the-counter drugs can have harmful, unintended consequences for impressionable teens and adolescents. At a time of crucial emotional and psychological development, a student can quickly fall prey to the scourge of drug abuse.

Everyone agrees that if there is no threat to students' safety, highly invasive searches are inappropriate. But, that does not mean that when they have a reasonable suspicion, educators should stop looking for harmful drugs simply because they cannot find them in a student's backpack or pockets. The more a student's conduct poses a potential safety threat to herself and others, the greater the need for educators to prevent it — for her sake and the sake of her fellow students.

Francisco Negrón is general counsel to the National School Boards Association and its Council of School Attorneys.
Posted at 12:21 AM/ET, April 17, 2009 in USA TODAY editorial | Permalink

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Save Your Company Money By Assuring Access to Substance Abuse Treatment

By investing in substance abuse treatment, employers can reduce their overall costs. Substance use disorders cost the nation an estimated $276 billion a year, with much of the cost resulting from lost work productivity and increased healthcare spending.1

Given that 76 percent of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed,2 employers have a major stake in ensuring that employees have access to substance abuse treatment.


Replacing an employee costs from 25 percent to almost 200 percent of annual compensation— not including the loss of institutional knowledge, service continuity, and coworker productivity and morale that can accompany employee turnover.4

The average cost per visit for outpatient substance abuse treatment (by far the most frequent form of treatment) in 2002 was $26.72.5

Savings from investing in substance abuse treatment can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.6 About 19.2 million U.S. workers (15%) reported using or being impaired by alcohol at work at least once in the past year.3

♦ About 63% of people with substance abuse problems receive outpatient treatment, which minimizes time away from work and costs much less than inpatient treatment.13
Brief intervention among heavy drinkers in one workplace study yielded a three to one return on investment (See chart).14
Providing comprehensive substance abuse health benefits costs just $.06 more per member than imposing a $10,000 limit on those benefits.15

Offer employees health insurance that provides comprehensive
benefits for substance abuse treatment, including therapy, medications, and recovery support.
Ensure that company wellness or Employee Assistance Programs* include substance abuse screening, education, and support for recovery.
Drug-Free Workplace Solutions

1 H. Harwood, D. Fountain, and G. Livermore, “The Economic Costs of
Alcohol & Drug Abuse in the U.S. 1992,” Rockville, MD: National Institute on
Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1998. . (Accessed 5-9-08).
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
Office of Applied Studies (OAS), National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2005 and
2006, Table 5.8A, Rockville, MD: 2007.
nsduh/2k6nsduh/tabs/Sect5peTabs1to13.pdf . (Accessed 5-7-08).
3 M.R. Frone, “Prevalence and distribution of alcohol use and impairment in the
workplace: A U.S. national survey,” J Stud. Alcohol, 67, 1: 147-156, January 2006.
4 F. Leigh Branham, “Six Truths about Employee Turnover,” NY: American
Management Association.
(Accessed 5-19-08).
5 SAMHSA, OAS, The DASIS Report. Alcohol and Drug Services Study (ADSS) Cost
Study, 2004. (Accessed 5-23-08).
6 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A
Research-Based Guide, FAQ11, Bethesda, MD: NIDA, 1999. http://www.nida. . (Accessed 5-9-08).

Costs of Workplace Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Every employer has a major stake in promoting employee access to substance abuse treatment. That’s because:
♦ 76 percent of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed.11

Drug and alcohol problems in the workplace cost American employers billions of dollars each year.1

Understanding the impact of substance abuse on the workplace—and the benefits of facilitating workers’ access to treatment—can help employers build a healthier workforce and a healthier bottom line.

Substance Abuse Imposes Significant Burdens on the Workplace

While some of the costs associated with employee drug or alcohol problems are easy to quantify, others are much harder to measure. All, however, are real.

♦ Healthcare costs are excessive. Healthcare costs for employees with alcohol problems are twice as high as those for other employees.2

♦ Risk increases. People who abuse drugs or alcohol are three and one-half times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, resulting in increased workers’ compensation and disability claims.3

♦ Other workers suffer. Fourteen percent of employees in one survey said they had to re-do work within the preceding year because of a co-worker’s drinking.4

♦ Employed relatives pay. More than half of working family members of alcoholics report that their own ability to function at work and at home was negatively impacted by their family member's drinking. 8 Absenteeism increases. Alcoholism is estimated to cost 500 million lost workdays annually.9 Employment is less stable. Individuals who are current illicit drug users are more than twice as likely (12.3 percent) as those who are not (5.1 percent) to have changed employers three or more times in the past year.10


Xerox workers who participated in a wellness program and limited their alcohol consumption enabled the company to reduce its costs for both healthcare and health insurance over four years, achieving a five to one return on investment. 5

One company found that workers who used its Employee Assistance Program (EAP)* for help with mental health and substance use problems had fewer inpatient medical days than those who participated only in the company’s medical insurance plan. In addition, the company averaged $426,000 in savings each year on mental health and substance abuse treatment as a result of employees’ participation in the EAP. 6

Research has shown that savings from investing in substance abuse treatment exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.7

By promoting substance abuse education and access to treatment in the workplace, employers can realize many money-saving benefits:

Reduced absenteeism and job turnover;

Improved worker productivity and job performance;
Reduced healthcare costs
; and
Fewer workplace accidents and disability claims14
Drug-Free Workplace Solutions
Accurate Oral Fluid Technology

1 H. Harwood, D. Fountain, & G. Livermore, The Economic Costs of
Alcohol & Drug Abuse in the U.S. 1992. Rockville, MD: National Institute
on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
1998. http://www. index.html .
(Accessed 5-9-08).
2 Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Brandeis University, Substance
Abuse, The Nation's Number One Health Problem, Princeton, NJ: Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, February 2001: 70.
3 US DHHS, SAMHSA, 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse,
Rockville, MD: US DHHS, 2000.
4 T.W. Mangione et al., “New Perspectives for Worksite Alcohol
Strategies: Results from a Corporate Drinking Study,” Boston, MA: JSI
Research and Training Institute, 1998.
5 S. Musich, D. Napier and D.W. Edington, “The Association of Health
Risks with Worker's Compensations Costs,” Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine. 43, 6: 534-541 (June 2001).
6 T.C. Blum and P.M. Roman, “Cost-Effectiveness and Preventive Implications
of EAPs,” U.S. DHHS, SAMHSA, Pub. No. RP0907, 1995.
7 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment:
A Research-Based Guide, FAQ11. Bethesda, MD, 1999. http://www.nida. podat/PODAT6.html#FAQ11 . (Accessed 5-9-08).
8 Al-Anon Family Groups, Inc., “1999 Al-Anon/Alateen Membership
Survey and Al-Anon Membership Assessment Results: Final Report,”
March 2000.
9 U.S. DHHS, SAMHSA, Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and
Programs: Results from the 1994 and 1997 National Household Survey on Drug
Abuse. Rockville, MD: U. S. DHHS, 1999.
/NHSDA/A-11/TOC.htm . (Accessed 5-23-08)
10 S.L. Larson, J. Eyerman, M.S. Foster, and J.C. Gfroerer, Worker
Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs. Rockville, MD:
SAMHSA, OAS, 2007).
work.htm#6.1 . (Accessed 5-16-08).
11 SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and
Health 2005 and 2006: Table 5.8A. Rockville, MD, 2007. /2k6nsduh/tabs/Sect5peTabs1to13.pdf .
(Accessed 5-7-08).
12 Chart: Harwood, Fountain, & Livermore, 1998. Op Cit.
13 Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, analysis of 2001 National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse data from SAMHSA, 2002.
Washington, DC: DHHS.
14 SAMHSA, CSAT, “Substance Abuse in Brief: Effective Treatment
Saves Money,” Rockville, MD: SAMHSA CSAT, January, 1999.

Drug Abuse Rising, While Alcohol Use Declines

SAMHSA and the White House improperly use statistics to show a decline in substance abuse, electing to point to lower "positive" rates as determined from urine-based drug testing. This defies logic, as most people are aware that prescription drug abuse is at an all time high, and a component of a worldwide problem.

In reality, drug abusers easily "cheat" urine based testing, and most urine drug tests do not target prescription drug abuse such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and benzodiazepines.

On the other hand, treatments episode data show a different story. The number of people seeking treatment for drug abuse continues to rise, while those seeking treatment for alcohol misuse is declining.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

False Positives with Urine Drug Tests?

The following have been noted to react and cause "false positive" results with urine drug screens.

Amantadine Amantadine Parkinsonism
Bupropion Wellbutrin & Zyban Antidepressant&Smoking cessation
Chloroquine AralenTreats Malaria
Chlorpromazine Thorazine, Largactil Psychotic disorders
Desipramine Norpramin Antidepressant
Dextroamphetamine Dexedrine Narcolepsy "sleep
Ephedrine Ephedra and Ma Huang Amphetamines
Fenfluramine Fen Phen Diet pill outlawed by FDA Labetalol Labetalol Blood Pressure
Mexiletine Mexitil Cardiovascular
n-acetyl procainamide Procainmide Cardiovascular
Phentremine Adipex/Obenix/Oby-Trim Diet Pills
Propranolol Inderal Cardiovascular

Dextromethorphan Dextromethorphan Cough treatment
Diphenhydramine Benadryl Allergies
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse in Schools

SAMHSA Report - United Stated Department of Health and Human Services

12.4 percent of young adults age 18 to 25 used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year.

How did these young adults get these medications?
According to a recent report from SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies, among young adults age 18 to 25 who used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, over half (53.0 percent) obtained their most recent pain reliever used nonmedically from a friend or relative for free.

Among young adults age 18 to 25 who used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year and met the criteria for prescription pain reliever dependence or abuse, 37.5 percent obtained their most recent prescription pain relievers for nonmedical purposes for free from a friend or relative, 19.9 percent bought them from a friend or relative, and 13.6 percent obtained them from one doctor.
Oral Fluid-based Drug Free Workplace Solutions

Workplace Drug Testing Primer

Drug tests in the USA can be divided into two general groups, federally and non-federally regulated testing.

Federally regulated drug testing started when Ronald Reagan enacted executive order 12564, requiring all federal employees refrain from using illegal substances in specified DOT regulated occupations. Drug testing guidelines and processes, in these areas exclusively, are established and regulated (by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, formerly under the direction of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA) require that companies who use professional drivers, specified safety sensitive transportation and/or oil and gas related occupations, and certain federal employers, test them for the presence of certain drugs. These test classes were established decades ago, and include five specific drug groups. They do not account for current drug usage patterns. For example, SAMHSA / DOT tests exclude semi-synthetic opioids, such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, etc., and other prescription medications that are widely abused in the United States

Non-federally regulated or General workplace drug testing allows for far more effective drug testing procedures. While SAMHSA / NIDA guidelines only allow laboratories to report quantitative results for the " NIDA-5 " / " SAMHSA-5 " for their official SAMHSA-approve tests, many drug testing laboratories and on-site tests offer a wider, " more appropriate " set of drug screens to better detect current drug use patterns. As noted above, these tests include synthetic pain killers such as Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Oxymorphone, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Hydromorphone. Some also include benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Restoril) and barbiturates in other drug panels (a "panel" is a predetermined subset of tests run). The confirmation test (usually GC/MS, or LC/MS/MS) can tell the difference between chemically similar drugs such as methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy). In the absence of detectable amounts of methamphetamine in the sample, the lab wold report the sample as negative, or report it as positive if present.