Hold your breath - Drug testing just got more advanced

By Darren Sugrue

First fully validated method of detecting drugs of abuse in exhaled breath 

When you hear the term “drug testing”, you would be forgiven if the first thing that comes to mind is urine sample. This is especially true when the media is full of stories about athletes failing drug tests, plans to drug test welfare recipients and even the selling of fake urine to pass drug tests. Urine samples are the gold standard (excuse the colour reference), when it comes to drug testing based on a long and comprehensive experience. However it is not without its fair share of problems. These include spiking, swapping or even privacy concerns when it comes to sample collection supervision.

Other specimens in drug testing include blood, hair, sweat and even oral fluid (saliva). Blood has the obvious disadvantage of requiring trained personnel to take the sample, not to mention that it is far more intrusive for the donor. Drug testing on oral fluid (saliva) is well documented and will even become an integral part of a new drug drive legislation that is coming into force on the 2nd of March 2015 in the UK.

Every Breath you... Exhale 

Now imagine taking this one step further, and having your exhaled breath analysed for drugs? Ever since their unexpected discovery of Amphetamines in exhaled breath several years ago, scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have continued to push the barriers in this method of drug testing.

In their latest paper, published in Elsevier’s Journal of Chromatography B, Professor Olof Beck and his team have successfully developed the first fully validated and robust screening method suitable for the routine measurement of drugs of abuse in exhaled breath, with a simple procedure for specimen collection sample preparation. This was followed by a highly sensitive analytical technique known as LC-MS (Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry). The drugs of abuse identified include: amphetamines, methamphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin.

Professor Olof Beck from Karolinska institutet, Sweden explains how this is possible:  “The underlying mechanism in exhaled breath drug testing is believed to be the formation of aerosol particles from the airway lining fluid by the breathing process. These aerosol particles may become contaminated with drugs present in the body, which enables drug testing using this specimen. A simple collection device is currently available which selectively collects the micrometer aerosol particles on a filter and enables further laboratory investigation of possible drug content.”



When asked if he could foresee this method of drug testing being used routinely for example in roadside tests relating to DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), Professor Beck added:

“Yes, I see many possible applications of breath drug testing. DUID is only one - workplace, criminal justice, accidents and compliance monitoring of patients are others. For DUID the short detection time is relevant since the state of influence is in focus, and this combined with the convenient sampling procedure makes it an attractive solution for roadside testing.”

Businesses are now testing employees for so- called legal highs more frequently.

WASHINGTON -- The government wants businesses to drug test their workers to boost productivity and reduce health care costs, according to the 2012 National Drug Control Report.

Whether your small business already has an employee drug-testing policy or it is considering adopting one, first know this: The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance says small businesses bear the greatest burden of substance abusers. Why? Drug users don’t apply to jobs at large companies, which traditionally have established, companywide policies regarding drug use—instead, they may seek employment at small companies with fewer resources (and motivation) to perform tests.

And if you don’t drug-test employees, your business could be at risk for negligence lawsuits from customers and employees, says Berger. For example, if an employee high on cocaine stumbles and falls, injuring a co-worker or customer in the process, your business could be sued for negligent hiring. “The plaintiff could say, ‘Why didn’t you drug-test?’” he says.

If you’re thinking about drug-testing your employees, here are five legal considerations:

1. If you test one, you should probably test all.

The law does not explicitly say businesses that drug-test must test all their employees. Yet if you don’t, you open up your business to a host of anti-discrimination lawsuits, says Jesse Berger, CEO of Navicus, a Boca Raton, Fla. company that provides third-party drug testing for businesses. Say, for instance, you test only employees you suspect of using drugs—someone might construe this as singling out certain people based on income level, race, gender or other protected status.

2.If you receive federal funds, drug testing is required.

The Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act requires businesses with $100,000 or more in federal contracts to test all of their employees for drug use. This also applies to businesses that receive federal grants.

3. In order to test job applicants, you may be required to first offer employment.

If your business employs 15 or more people, it must follow the Americans With Disabilities Act, which makes it illegal for any employer to test a job applicant without first making a conditional offer of employment. So, it’s OK to test applicants—but only the ones who have a contingent offer on the table.

4. Test honestly.

Don’t try to get a specimen sample from an employee or job applicant without his or her consent—this is unlawful. (So don’t pick up a stray hair from his or her desk to send to a lab.)

5. Don’t forget state-specific laws.

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations regarding employee drug-testing. In Illinois and Virginia, for example, businesses cannot require employees or job applicants to pay for testing themselves. For drug laws specific to your state, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s map. Each state also has its own Drug-Free Workplace program—if you follow the rules and requirements outlined in these programs, you’re afforded certain protections. Tennessee’s program, for example, protects participants from lawsuits surrounding the discharge or discipline of an employee when that employee has violated the drug-free policy.

DOD Adds Synthetic Marijuana to Random Drug Testing

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2013 – The Defense Department has expanded its zero tolerance for the use of illicit drugs to include synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice,” the director of DOD’s drug testing and program policy said here today.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Army Lt. Col. Tom Martin said that in addition to the broad range of drugs for which the military already randomly tests service members, synthetic marijuana will also be included.

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Do you need a drug test right now? You can get a same day drug test now.

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ORDER HEREat our online store
 2. We will come to your location

 3. Receive the results in your email

This is the same testing employers use when drug screening applicants and employees. We can also send results to a company or employer direct from our system.


5 Panel Drug Screen - $75.00

The 5 Panel Drug Screen includes:
Amphetamines (including Methamphetamine, "Crystal Meth")
Cannabinoids (THC, Marijuana)
Cocaine Metabolites(Crack)
Opiates (codeine and morphine)
Phencyclidine (PCP).

5 Panel Drug Screen + Alcohol testing - $100.00

The 5 Panel Drug Screen + Alcohol testing includes:
Amphetamines (including Methamphetamine, "Crystal Meth")
Cannabinoids (THC, Marijuana)
Cocaine Metabolites(Crack)
Opiates (codeine and morphine) 
Phencyclidine (PCP)

10 Panel Drug Screen - $115.00

The 10 Panel Drug Screen includes:
Amphetamines (amphetamine and methamphetamine)
Cocaine metabolite
Marijuana metabolites 
Opiates (codeine and morphine)

Hair Follicle Drug Screen - $165.00 *plus shipping*

The Hair Follicle Drug Screen includes:


Hair testing for drugs of abuse is the only drug-testing method available that provides up to a 90-day drug use history. This makes hair testing an ideal solution for pre-employment and random testing protocols. Using FDA-cleared testing reagents, this lab-based test offers the advantages of easy specimen collection and highly accurate results that meet the same reference standards as urine testing. In addition, there are no known methods for sample adulteration (hair washing will not dilute the sample). Because specimen collection can be directly observed, the risk of adulteration is even further reduced.

Pre Employment Drug Testing   Court Ordered Drug Testing Substance abuse testing

One Smart Question...Many Correct Answers


Q: Why should a company conduct drug testing?

 A: There are millions of drug abusers in the United States


According to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) approximately:

15.9 million Americans aged 12 or older admit to current (in the last 30 days) illicit drug use;

36.0 million Americans aged 12 and older admit to abusing prescription drugs in their lifetime;

12.9 million Americans aged 12 and older and 12.4 million adults admit to "heavy" drinking (5 or more drinks on at least 5 or more occasions in the past month); and

2.1 million Americans 12-20 years of age admit to being heavy drinkers.


A: The Vast Majority of Adult Drug Users are Employed

 According to the government's annual Household Survey on Drug Abuse in America, more than three-quarters (76.4%) of all illicit drug users 18 and older are employed full or part time… that's approximately 16% of the working population (full- and part-time workers combined).


A: Drug Users Are Not the Best Employees

 The federal government reported that drug abusing employees, when compared to non-using workers, are:

  More likely to change jobs frequently (turnover)

  More likely to be late or absent from work

  More likely to be less productive employees

  More likely to be involved in a workplace accident; and

  More likely to file a workers' compensation claim.


A: Drug Users are Unsafe Workers

 A study by the U.S. Postal Service found that substance abusers, when compared to their non-substance abusing co-workers, are involved in 55 percent more accidents, and sustain 85 percent more on-the-job injuries.

 Further more, the National Safety Council reports that 80 percent of those injured in "serious" drug-related accidents at work are not the drug abusing employees, but non-using co-workers and others.

 A: Drug Users are Very Costly to Employ

 Q: How much does drug abuse cost employers?

The U.S. Navy estimates each drug user costs his or her employer an average of $6,600 annually more than non-substance abusing co-workers.

A: Employees Favor Drug Testing

According to a Gallup survey, employees typically favor drug testing of workers in safety-sensitive jobs (95%), office workers (69%), health care workers (92%), and factory workers (81%)… they even favor drug testing of people in their "own occupations" (78%).

A survey of business executives underscored the benefits of drug testing from a company's perspective. For example, 77 percent of the respondents said that since implementing drug testing they were seeing a better caliber of job applicants. A "better public image" was cited by 58 percent, while 56 percent said they were experiencing fewer workplace drug problems. Also noteworthy was that 54 percent had noticed an improvement in employee morale.

 A: According to Drug Users, Drug Testing Works

According to a federal government study of full-time employees who admitted that they used illicit drugs, 40 percent said they were less likely to work for a company that conducted random drug testing and 30 percent said they were less likely to work for a company that conducted pre-employment drug testing.

 A: Drug Testing Saves Money

The U.S. Navy claims that its drug-free workplace program, which includes random drug testing and costs approximately $20 million a year, has reduced the number of sailors who use drugs and abuse alcohol by more than 57 percent. That equates to a savings of more than $210 million every year. In other words, the Navy claims it realizes a savings of approximately $10 for every dollar it spends on drug testing.


1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Office of Applied Studies, NHSDA Series H-17, DHHS Publication No. SMA 02-3758. Rockville, MD; 2002.

2. Current, WF. In favor of a drug-free workplace: Why Drug Testing?. Coral Springs, FL; 1999.

3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Office of Applied Studies, NHSDA Series H-17, DHHS Publication No. SMA 02-3758. Rockville, MD; 2002.

4. Current, WF. In favor of a drug-free workplace: Why Drug Testing?. Coral Springs, FL; 1999.

For every half inch (.5 inch) sample of hair you would get a 30 day history of substance use. For instance, we usually require a 1.5 inch sample be sent. This would give you a 90 day history of substance use. The sample is measured from the root end out to a length of 1.5 inch. If you needed a 6 month history of substance use you would need to submit a 3 inch sample.

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) was founded in 1995 as the National Association of Collection Sites, and has grown to represent over 1500 members, and expanded its scope. DATIA now represents the entire spectrum of drug and alcohol service providers including collection sites, laboratories, consortiums/TPAs, MROs, and testing equipment manufacturers.

This group serves to connect drug and alcohol service providers and provide them with the latest news and updates in the industry. Feel free to network and discuss!

Access our company page here: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2075226?trk=tyah&trkInfo=tas%3Adatia%2Cidx%3A1-2-2

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Employee Drug-Testing: 5 Legal Considerations You Should Know About.

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