Mobile Drug Testing Labs Bring On-Site Workplace Testing

“A growing drug problem (in a community) shouldn’t affect the ability for area workplaces to remain safe and drug-free.” This is the philosophy on which the newest mobile drug testing lab was founded by a couple in Avon Lake, Ohio. USA Mobile Drug Testing is a company that was established in an effort to save employers both time and money by minimizing the productivity lost when employees must drive to and from an off-site lab. Instead a trained drug testing technician comes to the business to collect samples, which are then sent to a lab for processing. Negative results are reported within one day, but positive results go through more testing which takes an extra day to verify.

USA Mobile Drug Testing can test for a variety of drugs including:

- cocaine

- opiates

- marijuana

- PCP

- amphetamines

In the Avon Lake area, most results come back negative, but the most common positive result is for marijuana usage. Unfortunately, cocaine, opiates, prescription medication and heroin are becoming more common in the area. Since drug testing is not likely to go away with drug use increasing in many areas, mobile drug testing facilities is an effective, efficient business option for those interested in helping people and creating a safer community.

Caribbean Islands Look at Decriminalisation of Marijuana

Chief Justice Ivor Archie, of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, has recently suggested that the use of marijuana is small quantities should be decriminalised. His suggestion has been met with both support and condemnation from island residents, responses similar to the same debate in the U.S. The suggestion was made in an attempt to minimize the negative effects of treating as criminals a great many people who would otherwise be considered solid citizens and who are guilty of harming no one but themselves. There is also a growing concern over the cost to taxpayers and society of the “war on drugs” against a substance that clearly does not create the serious health conditions and damage to society that many other illegal substances do. Many people consider marijuana to be classified in the same category as a controlled substance, such as alcohol or tobacco and question why it is still criminalised.

In terms of cost, decriminalisation makes the most sense. The Economist, an internationally published magazine, recognizes the production, distribution and sale of illicit substances as one of the world’s major industries, comparable to big oil and the automotive industry. Success of the “war on drugs” is measured by the rise and fall of street prices of New York City. Drug prices have held steady over the decades, in spite of millions of dollars spent in the “war” against them. Decriminalisation of marijuana would cut those costs dramatically, though it is only one of many ilicit substances in question. Regulation and taxation of the substance could also bring in some much needed revenue to counter the expense of continuing the war against other illicit substances.

One last point to be made: it is important to remember that decriminalisation is NOT the same as approval. Once can disapprove of the consumption of alcohol without supporting prohibition, and one can disapprove of the use of tobacco without supporting its criminalisation. Similarly, marijuana can be decriminalised while still educating citizens about the potentially damaging effects its usage can have on the human body.

October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month!

Yes, it’s finally here! October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and the challenge to be explored today is this: what are YOU doing about it? It’s easy to forget sometimes, as the holidays are approaching and many people are also focused on Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink or red ribbons, which will you be wearing? Maybe both! But right now, before the holiday season kicks in full-force, is the time to ramp up efforts to PREVENT substance abuse. The holidays are a time of year when many people struggle with depression, loneliness, and loss. And the other extreme exists as well, with holiday parties, family celebrations, and winter vacations, alcohol consumption- especially- can increase dramatically.

While the need for intervention exists year-round, prevention efforts are focused at this time of year, thanks to the establishment of Red Ribbon Week as a national event in 1988, in response to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of an American DEA agent by a Mexican drug cartel several years earlier. Nancy Reagan, 1st lady at the time of the events, had already been working on several nationwide drug prevention programs for kids and happily supported the Red Ribbon Week activities created by students at Calexico High School in CA.

Many communities hold Red Ribbon Week parades, special programming and events for kids at schools, and contests and fundraisers to support substance abuse prevention and intervention efforts in the community. A new activity that is taking place around the nation is “prescription drug take-backs.” Residents in the community are urged to “take-back” or turn in unused prescription drugs that are in their home medicine cabinets at a designated central location- often a lab, doctor’s office, or rehabilitation facility. The facility, in turn, safely disposes of the medications. This limits access of prescription medications to teens and anyone else who may be tempted to try them.

This is the month to focus our efforts and work together to prevent substance abuse. What is your organization doing to help prevent substance abuse today?

What is the Role of the Internet in Drug Addiction?

I’ve wondered for a while if the internet has impacted the age-old problem of substance abuse and addiction. Where else to find the answer but through an internet search? It’s clear that I’m not the only person who has questioned whether there is a connection. Addiction in any form follows a fairly distinct pattern of behavior, and people can be addicted to anything, really. With the advent of modern technology, psychiatrists are identifying a new addiction: online or internet addiction. While it is most common in teens and young adults, it can be seen in every culture that has computer technology, and across a broad age range and in many economic groups. Recent studies have shown that compulsive, or addictive, internet users experience similar physical damage and changes to their brains as that of cocaine addicts. Similarly, when prevented from online activity, internet addicts experience similar withdrawal symptoms, such as increased irritability and mood swings.

Also, there are a few other ways that the internet increases or encourages drug addiction, including:

- increased knowledge of drug usage and manufacturing. The increased knowledge gives teens and young adults more confidence when using drugs and makes it more likely that they will experiment.

-increased access to prescription medications from rogue, online pharmacies. With easy, anonymous access to the drugs, much of the fear of getting caught is removed, decreasing the perceived risk. And since the drugs in question are available by prescription, many teens perceive them as “safe.”

On the flip side, there are many organizations and resources available online to help someone who wishes to go into recovery from any addiction. Resources include information on free-standing clinics and treatment centers to help addicts find help in their local area, online support groups and forums where members can discuss issues and successes in their recovery, and articles or print material to provide structure, planning, or support throughout recovery. So, although the internet CAN contribute to the encouragement of drug addiction, there are many ways that it can also provide support through intervention and recovery.

Recovery Requires Willingness

September is National Recovery Month. As this month draws to a close, it might be helpful to examine the number one characteristic that many professionals identify as being the most important to ongoing recovery: willingness. But exactly what kind of willingness does recovery require?

- Willingness to change.

- Willingness to work hard at recovery.

- Willingness to try new things instead of repeating the same self-destructive activities.

- Willingness to turn it over to God and let him work in your mind, your life, and your actions.

Self-help author, Robert Anthony sums it up best: “Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” Facing all of the changes necessary to maintain sobriety and long-term recovery can be a very scary thing to do, but if you are willing to work your way through the fear and keep changing anyway, then you have mastered true courage. And courage will get you through the hard part to a successful and positive life beyond addiction.

Today’s post is based on p. 191 of Past Tense: 365 Daily Tools for Putting Stress Behind You – for Good!  To enjoy more daily tools for creating a stress-free life, order your copy of the book today!

Fewer Teens in Cars Under the Influence of Alcohol

This is some good news coming from the American Journal of Public Health in the recent survey completed by over 17,000 high school seniors. According to the most recent survey, there are still more than 1 in 4 high school students driving after drinking alcohol or riding in vehicles driven by a teen who has been drinking. BUT this is down total of 4% from last year. The news was not so good for marijuana use. The number of teens who drove after smoking marijuana, or rode in a car with a driver who had been smoking actually increased 2% this year. Even with this increase, the overall number of drivers and teen passengers on the road while under the influence has dropped a measurable amount this year. Statistics from this study also confirm what had been proven in previous studies, that males are more likely to drive after drinking or using drugs, but there is no significant gender difference between those who rode in cars with drivers who had been using drugs or alcohol.

Parents and schools can help decrease these numbers further by talking to teens openly and often about the consequences of driving under the influence and available alternatives in their community. Parents can also request or require breathalyzer tests of their teens if they suspect that a teen has been drinking and driving. ASC has several varieties of home drug tests available to fit any budget and provide accurate, fast results. Let’s work together to reduce the number of teens under the influence even further!

 

National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month! In 1990, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) established Recovery Month in an effort to educate the public and to let people know that:

1. Prevention works.

2. Treatment is effective.

3. People can fully recover.

In many public arenas, such as law enforcement and criminal justice, addiction is treated as a crime instead of as the disorder or disease that it is. It is important to remember that although addicts’ behavior is often illegal and criminally prosecuted, the disorder itself should not be. It can be classified as an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. In order to eliminate the criminal behaviors that can accompany addiction, the disorder must be treated as such. Many jurisdictions fail to provide intervention, treatment, or recovery programs of any kind. Just as diabetes can not be cured by incarceration, neither can addiction.

According to the website established for the annual event: “Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.” For more information, and to find out if there are any events taking place in your area, visit the website this week!