Drug-impaired driving is an increasingly critical issue for states and state highway safety offices. In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result, more frequently than alcohol was present (FARS, 2016). NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22% of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekday days (Berning et al., 2015). In particular, marijuana use is increasing.
ASAP has released a 3rd course in its Survey of Psychoactive Drugs series. This one addresses opioids and is written by Reed Morrison, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and our CEO. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the legally prescribed pain relievers oxycodone, oxycontin, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and others. They act on opioid neuroreceptors in the brain to produce pleasure and relieve pain. They are also dangerously addictive.
Mark your calendars! SAMHSA’s next National Prevention Week will be from May 14 to 20, 2017. Each year around this observance, communities and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. The theme for NPW 2017 is: Making Each Day Count. Learn More
ASAP will be joining industry professionals from all over the world on May 16-18 in Orlando, FL. We would like to hear about how we can help YOU. So stop by Booth #500 as we celebrate our 20th anniversary at ASAP. Learn More
With more states legalizing marijuana and record numbers of people dying from drug overdoses, concerns about drug-impaired driving are escalating. While we have made progress in combatting drunk driving in recent decades, drug use by drivers continues to rise. In fact, in 2015 (the most recent national data available) drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers with known test results, appearing more frequently than alcohol. Learn More
ASAP is going to the AAOHN 2017 National Conference. Hope to see you on April 24-27 at Booth 257. We would love to tell you about what has changed and what is up and coming in the industry, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary at ASAP! Learn More
The National Safety Council report also found that while 71 percent of employers believe that abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent also consider it a justifiable reason to fire a worker. Learn More
FRA is expanding the scope of its drug and alcohol regulation to cover MOW employees. MOW employees will become subject to FRA random drug and alcohol testing on June 12, 2017 when the final rule takes effect. Learn More
China will ban the manufacture and sale of four variations of the synthetic drug fentanyl starting March 1, a move that US Drug Enforcement Administration officials call a "game-changer" for the United States' battle with manufactured opioids. Learn More
The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (a.k.a. “Trucking Alliance”) has submitted a set of detailed comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that strongly support a petition calling for motor carriers to be exempt from having to use urinalysis to test for drug use by CDL driver applicants. Four of the six petitioners are member companies of the Trucking Alliance. Learn More
American Substance Abuse Professionals, the nation’s leading provider of Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and drug-free workplace services, is celebrating its 20th year of Saving Lives By Changing Lives. ASAP was founded in 1997 to protect public safety by helping employers and their safety-sensitive employees comply with substance use regulations and employment substance use policies.
For too many in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has ended in tragedy due to drunk drivers getting behind the wheel. Over St. Patrick's Day from 2011 to 2015, a total of 252 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes.
ASAP VP, Cathi Hyde and Marketing Manager, Lynne Leidy lobbied in Washington on February 14 on behalf of Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA), a national advocacy group that promotes research for migraine disease. The effort, called Headache on the Hill, was aimed at garnering congressional support to sponsor a bill to fund much-needed research for migraine treatment and the management of migraine-related pain. The ASAP duo were accompanied by neurologist, Robert E. Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in headache treatment.
The grim faces of the nation’s opioid epidemic—an overdosing parent slumped in the front seat of a car, mouth agape, with a neglected child in the rear seat—have become too familiar in recent years. More babies are now being born with narcotics in their systems, foster care is strained, and growing numbers of grandparents are raising the children of their own addicted children.
America’s opioid epidemic is fueling a startling increase in cocaine-related overdose deaths in recent years, as users mix de
The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its drug-testing program regulation to add four opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone) to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine, (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte. The proposed revision of the drug-testing panel is intended to harmonize with the revised Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the controlled substances random testing rate for regulated motor carriers will remain at 25 percent for calendar year 2017.
Changing marijuana laws aren’t necessarily making weed more welcome in the workplace.
For now, many employers appear to be sticking with their drug testing and personal conduct policies, even in states where recreational marijuana use is now permitted. Others are keeping a close eye on the still evolving legal, regulatory and political environment. Learn More
Old habits die hard. Changing your habits is a process involving several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes turn into new habits. You may face challenges along the way.
But adopting new, healthier habits may protect you from serious health problems, such as diabetes. New habits may also help you look better and feel more energetic. After a while, if you stick with these changes, they may become a part of your daily routine. Learn More
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that its enforcement of federal rail safety rules has led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking rate.
The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences. More here
Responding to the imminent threat to public health and safety, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed U-47700 into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, effective on November 14th. Emergency scheduling of dangerous drugs such as U-47700 on a temporary basis is one of the most significant tools DEA can utilize to address the problems associated with deadly new street drugs. Learn More
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. Learn More
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in impaired driving. Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated the commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or more recently, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Learn More
Observed every November, American Diabetes Month is an important element in the American Diabetes Association's efforts to focus our nation's attention on the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it. Our 2016 theme is This Is Diabetes. We'll showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of the disease. Join as we salute the 29 million Americans with diabetes — as well as their loved ones — to raise awareness and to create a sense of urgency about this growing public health crisis.
Have you ever heard of K2, and Spice or Charge Plus and Hurricane Charlie? They are labels given to substances within two categories of the hundreds of synthetic drugs sold in the U.S. K2 and Spice are two of the many names used for synthetic cannabinoids sold as "herbal incense" or "potpourri." Charge Plus and Hurricane Charlie represent a sampling of the names given to synthetic cathinones sold as "bath salts" or "jewelry cleaner" according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
The opioid antagonist medication naloxone reverses respiratory depression and arrest resulting from an opioid overdose. Because it must be given promptly, often within minutes, to save a life, some jurisdictions and opioid treatment programs make naloxone readily available to anyone who might encounter a person in overdose status.
Following years of declines, the percentage of employees in the combined U.S. workforce testing positive for drugs has steadily increased over the last three years to a 10-year high, according to an analysis of nearly 11 million workforce drug test results released today by Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services.
Nicole and Julia will be at EAPA on Oct 31-Nov 2, Booth #418. Register for the drawing, learn about what's new and don't forget to grab some ORANGE candy! Learn More
The FDA is requiring boxed warnings for nearly 400 medications, including prescription opioid painkillers (e.g., hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone), opioid-containing cough medicines, and benzodiazepines.
When used in combination, opioids and benzodiazepines are associated with risks for respiratory depression, coma, and death.
The agency's action follows a citizen petition filed in February by public health officials asking for changes to existing labels.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. Read More
The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issued a notice of intent on Aug. 31, 2016 to temporarily schedule the opioids mitragynine and 7- hydroxymitragynine, which are the main active constituents of the plant kratom, into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
The addiction-treatment industry is most certainly at a crossroads today. With favorable legislation and a growing recognition of addiction as a chronic disease, leaders now have an opportunity to shape the direction of the road ahead. And these are pivotal decisions, according to Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), who spoke at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders in Denver on Sunday.
Every September, SAMHSA sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.
National Health Center Week has been celebrated for more than 30 years to recognize the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers. While there are countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers, among the most important and unique is their long success in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States. Learn More
Sandra Serrano and Nicole Hanratty will be attending SAPAA Worldwide 2016, September 12th-16th. Stop by and see us and learn about the newest industry updates and don't forget to register to win an iPad mini! Read More
ASAP, American Substance Abuse Professionals, supplies drug and alcohol testing, evaluation, treatment compliance monitoring and follow-up testing programs for employers who have drug and alcohol testing requirements for their employees. ASAP specializes in providing these services to employers whose testing programs are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all entities under its jurisdiction to update their information every two years. You are required to provide this update every two years even if your company has not changed its information, has ceased interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business and you did not notify FMCSA.
NHTSA is launching its annual Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign this July, which is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, all across the nation. Vehicle theft is a very expensive crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles pegged at more than $4.1 billion – that’s billion with a "B". And July is one of the months when more cars are stolen than any other month.
A study of opioid overdose cases from the past 10 years points to a history of previous addiction, mental illness and having other chronic diseases among the strongest predictors of which overdose patients are most at risk for death or other serious complications.
The Department’s drug and alcohol testing regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, provides the specific requirements for when and how to obtain written employee authorization to disclose drug and alcohol testing information.
Fatal accidents involving stoned drivers have soared in the state of Washington since marijuana was legalized there, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. But it's difficult to determine whether a high-on-pot driver is too impaired to drive, according to a separate study from the same group.
DOT is determined to keep America’s airlines the safest in the world. It is with that thought in mind that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, issued a final rule on May 13, 2016, prohibiting the carriage of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g. e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage. This includes prohibiting the charging of such devices and batteries aboard aircraft.
Join NSC and thousands of organizations across the country as we work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay SafeForLife. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads and in our homes and communities.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Probuphine, the first buprenorphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant, low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program. Read More
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year.
The FMCSA Portal provides single sign-on access to FMCSA systems via a single password and user ID. It enables Federal, State, and industry users to access the Agency's existing information systems with a single set of credentials and have easy access to safety data about the companies regulated by the FMCSA. Motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers, and cargo tank facilities will have secure access to their company information on file with the F
Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these drugs.
Do you employ safety-sensitive employees who must take drug and alcohol tests regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)?
Most organizations conduct prevention activities throughout the year, culminating in a community-wide event during National Prevention Week. If there are circumstances that make scheduling an event at the end of May difficult, there are other ways to participate. For example, you may choose to hold events during another week in May leading up to National Prevention Week instead. You might also consider scheduling prevention activities before or after the third week of May to accommodate the needs of your community.
The FMCSA Contact Center serves customers via phone, electronic (email, web form, chat), fax and print mail. The Office of Registration and Safety Information’s mission is to provide the best registration and operating authority customer service possible to the CMV industry and to external and internal partners, with a focus that raises the bar for entry into the motor carrier industry.
Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every county across the United States, driven largely by
Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Join AAOHN in Jacksonville, FL, April 11-14, 2016, for an intensive four-day conference filled with continuing education, networking and professional development. Our 2016 conference theme is "Leading the Future: Endless Possibilities in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing," and, as an attendee, you can learn current and cutting-edge best practices and explore the latest technology and resources to improve the management of your occupational and environmental health and safety practice.
Over the last few years, DOT has issued historic consumer rules protecting the rights of the flying public. And today, we took one more step toward ensuring better treatment of passengers by finalizing a ruletha
Kidney Action Day is a free, fun-filled, family-friendly event with a serious purpose: helping people understand their risk for kidney disease and how to prevent it.
Although some states have legalized “medical” or recreational use of cannabis, illicit use remains more common. These investigators analyzed the proportion of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids in 37,606 samples of cannabis plants seized by the U.S.
For fifty years the Department of Transportation has been working to ensure that the nation’s transportation system is safe, efficient, accessible, and environmentally friendly.
Throughout February, you can expect events highlighting the role of transportation in opportunity. Look for feature profiles of DOT employees whose work advances the Department's opportunity goals.
President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the first American Heart Month in 1964. Ever since then, the month of February has been dedicated to cardiovascular health.
The delivery of SAP services is a challenging endeavor. The SAP is a multi-tasking polymath who applies in-depth knowledge of addictionology, psychology, social work, complex federal regulations, legal contingencies, treatment options and substance use testing to the business of helping an individual successfully comply with DOT return to duty requirements. It’s a lot of work and a lot of responsibility. What can easily get lost in the complexity of the job is the fact that lives are being saved. Every day.
Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every county across the United States, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.
The FMCSA monitors and ensures compliance with regulations governing both safety (all carriers) and commerce (for-hire carriers). Companies may find they are subject to both registration requirements (USDOT Number and MC Number) or either one separately. FMCSA has launched a phased rollout of the Unified Registration System (URS).
People experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Many first try drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or in an effort to improve athletic performance or ease another problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Use doesn’t automatically lead to abuse, and there is no specific level at which drug use moves from casual to problematic. It varies by individual. Drug abuse and addiction is less about the amount of substance consumed or the frequency, and more to do with the consequences of drug use.
The USDA has free online app called SuperTracker. It tracks your food, your physical activity, you can look up recipes and count calories. It's a fun free way to test out whether or not you like tracking your food and exercise. So many of us start off the new year by signing up with a gym, or new fitness program and then we are locked into it for months, when we really are ready to drop out after several days. So instead, check this out first.
People who need help with their drug or alcohol use represent all ages,
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in impaired driving.
Every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, every 10 seconds an injury occurs and every 5 seconds a crash occurs. Many of these incidents occur during the workday or during the commute to and from work. Employers bear the cost for injuries that occur both on and off the job. Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles, oversee a mobile sales force or simply employ commuters, by implementing a driver safety program in the workplace you can greatly reduce the risks faced by your employees and their families while protecting your company's bottom line.
Employers concerned about their employees may be able to improve their health and help them be more productive by creating tobacco-free workplaces. Many state and local governments now require workplaces to be smoke-free. Making your workplace completely tobacco-free can have an even greater impact. Both tobacco user and non-user employees may be helped by such policies.
For the employer
The percentage of American adults who are abusing prescription narcotic painkillers has dipped slightly in the last decade, a new survey reveals.
That's the good news. The bad news: Those who do abuse these powerful drugs are doing so more frequently and they are more likely to become addicted.
Nevada officials are touting as an economic development tool a new state law providing for expedited licensure of a number of healthcare professionals relocating from practice in other states. Licensed alcohol and drug counselors are among the professionals who fall under the new law, which took effect July 1 and allows healthcare providers in good standing in another state to be licensed in Nevada within 60 days.
Join Nicole Hanratty CEAP, SAP- on October 15 at 2pm EST for a 2 hour training that will cover 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and 60 minutes of training on controlled substances. This training is used to help supervisors determine whether to send an employee in for a reasonable suspicion test. This meets specific requirements for Supervisor Training under the following DOT operating administrations: FMCSA, FTA, FAA, PHMSA and USCG. https://go2asap.com/webinar_payment
The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed two bills aimed at fighting opioid abuse and its harmful effects. One bill would reauthorize federal funding to states for prescription drug monitoring programs, while the other would create uniform standards for diagnosing and treating newborns exposed to opioids.
A new survey has found that more than three out of every four U.S. dentists ask their patients about illegal drug use.
The poll also found that more than half of dentists believe they should conduct drug screening of new patients.
Our new training, written by, Reed Morrison, Ph. D., President & CEO of ASAP, "Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders: An Introduction for the Curious SAP" is now available on our training portal. Earn 6 CEUs and learn about the role epigenetics plays in treatment options.
Marijuana is the most common illicit substance used by pregnant women, with prevalence as high as 30% in some communities. With the advent of marijuana's legalization in several U.S. states, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published its position on use of this agent during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate National Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues.
Only a few days left before our new training launches- Are you ready? If you take- "Survey of Psychoactive Drugs: Alcohol" during August, you can earn 20% off our NEXT new training in September- "Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders: An Introduction for the Curious SAP" Don't miss out!
Laura Dashner, LCSW, SAP, SAE, COO & Executive VP at ASAP, is providing DOT SAP Qualification training (12 CEUs) at LIC5 on October 8-9, sign up today! The Lifestyle Intervention Conference provides educational content while building a network of resources for providers who serve those struggling with drug, alcohol and process addictions as well as food disorders and now a special focus on workplace intervention. lifestyleintervention.org
This September, in addition to the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders Conference, you will also have an opportunity to attend a 6 hour DOT SAP Refresher on Thursday September 10th, taught by Nicole Hanratty.
National Health Center Week 2015 will take place this summer, August 9th- 15th. National Health Center Week has been celebrated for more than 30 years to recognize the services and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers.
Join Laura Dashner in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Bellagio on October 8-9th for a Post-Conference Event. This training is designed to provide the student with the information required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and prepare the student for the qualification examination. The course content will cover the nine requirements for training as detailed in the regulations and will conclude with a quiz covering the course materials.
More than 20 states have legalized marijuana use for various medical conditions. To explore the evidence for medical marijuana efficacy, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 79 trials that involved 6462 patients. Four studies were judged to be at low risk of bias, whereas 55 studies were judged to be at high risk, mostly because of incomplete outcomes reporting.
Powdered alcohol was approved in March by U.S. regulators but some states have already banned it, the poll's authors said. The products, which will be sold in pouches, will be available in flavors such as vodka, rum and mixed drinks.
Coping with substance abuse and dependence is a big enough challenge on its own, but balancing both an addiction and a career can pose an even bigger struggle. The impact of drug abuse on workplaces is astronomical. So what are the patterns of substance use across America’s industries?
Addressing chronic drug addiction among unemployed and economically disadvantaged adults is a daunting challenge. Employment is critical in addressing the poverty and economic disadvantage; however, controlled research suggests that employment could play a valuable role in treating drug addiction as well. Contrary to common conceptions, employment alone may not have robust effects on drug use. Employment may have greatest effects on drug use when it is used by employers as an incentive to promote drug abstinence.
Even in one of the country’s most marijuana-friendly states, smoking pot off the job and away from work can still get an employee fired.
New research presented at the American Psychiatric Association's 168th Annual Meeting explored how cultural differences can influence the diagnosis of common mental illnesses, including depression, mania and psychosis. Jhilam Biswas, M.D., was inspired to conduct this research by debates over whether "major psychiatric diagnoses are universal versus unique across culture."
On June 1st, the DOT released a PDF of the updated Employer Handbook. If you employ safety-sensitive workers who must have Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol tests, or you manage a DOT drug or alcohol testing program, this publication can help you understand how to run a program that meets DOT requirements.
The proposed rules would allow federal agencies to collect and test oral fluid specimens as part of their drug-testing programs.
“American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” said Dr. Barry Sample, Director, Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions.
Join NSC and thousands of organizations across the country as they work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.
The Final Rule allows employers, collectors, laboratories, and Medical Review Officer to use the electronic version of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (eCCF) in the DOT-regulated drug testing program.
“Drug incidents and overdoses related to fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States and represent a significant threat to public health and safety,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart
During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, ANA is proud to celebrate the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients. The National Nurses Week 2015 theme "Ethical Practice. Quality Care." recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession. The theme is an important part of ANA’s 2015 Year of Ethics outreach to promote and advocate for the rights, health and safety of nurses and patients.
Baltimore, Maryland- The Johns Hopkins University Center for Learning and Health has been awarded a National Institutes for Health (NIH) grant for a new study and will partner with American Substance Abuse Professionals (ASAP) to provide employment-based substance use testing and substance use case management for study participants.
From Medical News Today
The CDC have reported that drug poisoning deaths involving heroin almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2013 in the US. The report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) states that the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving heroin increased from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 to 2.7 per 100,000 during this period, with the majority of this rise occuring after 2010.
While use of opioid analgesics doubled from 1988 to 1994, from 2011 to 2012 opioid use levels have shown stability. The CDC and the NHANES findings also show that opioid use rates were higher among older adults than younger adults, as well as higher among women than men.
FMCSA will be forming a 26 member advisory committee that will be tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers.
Recreational marijuana became legal in Washington, D.C., allowing adults 21 and over to posses up to 2oz. and grow up to 6 marijuana plants in their homes for personal use. The selling of marijuana still remains illegal and cannot be taxed but the District Council is considering a bill that would regulate and allow marijuana to be taxed.
December 31, 2014
According to a recent study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) an average of 6 people die on a daily basis from alcohol poisoning. What's even more surprising than that number is the demographic that this statistic is based upon; the CDC said it found that white men between the ages of 35 and 64 are dying most often from alcohol poisoning. This specific demographic accounts for 76% of the deaths.
Painkillers have been prescribed to help people get through the days after a medical procedure or for cancer patients who are suffering. But with a prescription increase of 300% in the past 10 years, prescribed narcotics are getting a lot of light shined on them.
Aimed at teens but full of great useful information for employers and employees alike, National Drug Facts Week 2015 kicks off on January 26th. Download creative flyers and brochures to educate and inform by visiting the link below. Encourge the conversation about what it means to be Drug free to not stop at the workplace but to continue into the home.
In Lancent Psychiatry's September issue, a group of 15 researchers looked at participant-level data from three large, long-running studies in Australia and New Zealand to explore connections between adolescent cannabis use and effects of completing young adult mile stones. The goal of this article is to provide a broad picture of the psychosocial sequelae of adolescent cannabis use.
The NIH has awarded more than $11million over 3 years to three institutes to help support the research into exploring the use of social media to help understand, present and treat substance abuse. According to NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow, " These awards are the result of an active collaboration among three institutes to develop innovative approaches that advance the science of substance use and addiction."
Drug-free workplace has become a common term with human resource and safety managers. Most professionals agree that with drug and alcohol abuse accounting for 65% of on-the-job accidents, there is a need for drug testing to be an integral part of the workplace. But what is the difference between drug testing and having a drug testing program?
Components of a Drug Testing Program:
1. A Written Policy
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Estimates from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Overview of Findings has been published on the SAMHSA site. Key findings include:
1.) An estimated 24.6 million individuals aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users in 2013
August 9th saw some concern for passengers aboard the JetBlue flight from Boston to Buffalo, New York. When baggage handlers smelled smoke, they yanked a smoldering bag from the plane and quickly took a fire extinguisher to it. The cause of the smoking bag? It is thought to have been from an e-cigarette that a passenger had forgotten to turn off and stowed away in their checked luggage.
There's a shortage of drivers in the trucking industry, according to the American Trucking Association. 30,000 drivers short in fact. Higher turnover rate, coupled with an aging driver population has companies revamping their compensation structure and finding ways to try and appeal to a younger demographic. So what's the reason behind the shortage?
Colorado's largest detox network, Arapahoe House, has seen its number of patients double from 8% in 2013 to 15% in 2014. The reason for the increase is due to the legalization of recreational marijuana on January 1, 2014. What Colorado citizens are failing to grasp is the understanding that it's against the law to operate a vehicle while high on marijuana.
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York and Tennessee all have one thing in common; they have all implemented a broad drug abuse prevention program.
Vape shops are popping up all around the country. E-cigarette ads seem to be on every other page of magazines. These two devices are advertised as an altertative to tobacco cigarettes but they are also being used to smoke THC.
A US- based company called Palcohol has had their patent for powdered booze approved by the Treasury Department. According to the product's website, Palcohol is expected to be in the market this fall, launching with six beverage formulations: vodka, rum, four cocktails- margarita, cosmopolitan, lemon drop and mojito.
Revised urine specimen collector guidelines were posted today, July 3rd.
The following are some changes to the revised Urine Speciment Collector Guidelines from the October 1, 2010 version:
-Updated web site addressses/hyperlinks, as needed
The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, with the Office of General Counsel, issued 49 CFR Part 40 Question and Answers. The Q&As explain:
1.) When may a collector give an employee permission to leave a collection site
2.) What happens if an employee leaves the collection site prior to the completion of the testing process
To view all Q&As: http://www.dot.gov/odapc/part40QandA
The NCADD has provided a quick view fact sheet about drugs in the workplace.
Click HERE to view the NCADD's Fact Sheet.
The FDA has approved a hand-held device called Evzio that can deliver a single dose of naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose, commonly used on people who have stopped breathing or lost consciousness from an opioid drug overdose. Until now, naloxone has available only in medical settings, often too late for the drug to be effective.
The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study and found that two medications that could be used to aid in helping people to stop drinking are underutilized. The drugs, Naltrexone and Acamprosate, have been approved by the FDA and have been shown to reduce alcohol craving by altering the brain’s chemical reward system. On the market for more than 10 years, many doctors are not aware of their effectiveness in treating alcoholism.
The 2014 National Safety Month theme, "Safety: It takes all of us," was inspired by the idea of continuous risk reduction – a key pillar in the Journey to Safety Excellence. A successful safety program depends on s
The FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet to discuss the safety and efficacy of MoxDuo, a new morphine sulfate and oxycodone hydrochloride combination. Moxduo will be used to treat moderate to severe acute pain where the use of opioid analgesic is appropriate, according to Pain Medicine News. If MoxDuo is approved, it’ll be the first combination drug to include two immediate-release opioids.
Science Daily reports that in a test study, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that the anti-seizure medicine ezogabine has aided in reduced consumption of alcohol in test participants. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading illnesses in the United States and negatively impacts the work environment and productivity of workers. It also causes health care expenses to sky rocket.
It would seem to make sense that substance use in the workplace, especially when categorized as substance abuse, would negatively affect productivity. However, there has been no definitive correlation between the two in order to demonstrate a positive relationship.
A common question often asked when discussing SAP services is what type of treatment is associated with the SAP process? In his article originially written for the DATIA Focus, Dr. Reed Morrison discusses why sucessful SAP services don't necessarily need to revolve around treatment recommendations, but rather could be considered a part of Contingency Management intervention. To read the full article: click here
Four motor carriers were told to shut-down immediately due to disregard of the federal safety regulations put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Three out of the four companies that were shut-down, did not adhere to DOT Regulations CFR 49 Part 40, also known as the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs.
• 6.6% of Americans employed in full-time jobs report heavy drinking, defined as drinking five or more
drinks per occasion on five or more days in the past 30 days; 4.9% of part-timers and 10.4% of unemployed workers also report heavy drinking; the highest percentage of heavy drinkers (12 .2%) is found among unemployed adults ages 26 to 34.'
• Up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism.'
The 2014 theme for NCADD's Alcohol Awareness Month is Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow. The NCADD hope that with this year's theme, the month with filled with local, state and national awareness initiatives aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alchohol abuse. For more information about National Alcohol Awareness Month, visit the NCADD's website.
The proposed rule would require FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), and consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs) supporting U.S.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has updated it's online heroin research report. The updated report features current statistics as well as treatment options for heroin use disorders.
Synthetic marijuana is causing as alarm in Emergency Departments across the country.
According to a recent performance study, the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) is more effective at identifying high risk operators than the previous measurement system.
Two years of pre-SMS data was taken from a subset of carriers. The historical data was then compared to future crash data and tracked for a period of 18 months. The resulting analysis indicated that the algorithms used by the SMS would have identified risks and the need for interventions such as road side inspections, on-site investigations and warning letters.
Department of Transportation (DOT) safety sensitive employees are required to comply with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations according to 49 CFR Part 40. An employee is in violation of those regulations when he or she tests positive for a prohibited substance or when their behavior is determined by a DER or MRO to be a refusal to test.
The Return to Duty SAP Process is required when a DOT regulated safety-sensitive employee is found to be in violation of a DOT mandated drug and/or alcohol test. A violation occurs when an employee fails a mandated DOT drug test for a prohibited substance or refuses to take the test. In the event of a violation, the employee must immediately be removed from all safety-sensitive functions and is required to successfully complete the Return to Duty SAP Process in order to regain eligibility to return to safety-sensitive duty for a previous or future employer.
As part of its continued efforts to promote and improve public safety, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a national drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse for all commercial truck and bus drivers on February 12, 2014. The proposal was part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The clearinghouse aims to help identify safety sensitive bus or truck drivers that are in violation of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. According to the FMCSA,
The Department of Transportation released the minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates required by each of the operating administrations. The mandatory testing requirements apply to employers with staff who perform safety sensitive duties within the DOT agencies (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) and the United States Coast Guard.
On January 10, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of intent to temporarily schedule four synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I. The action has been deemed necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety. The substances are quinolin-8-yl 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (PB–22QUPIC); quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (5-fluoro-PB–22; 5F–PB–22); N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB–FUBINACA); and N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobuta
Bus or truck companies with patterns of safety violations are at risk of being shut down by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA published a Patterns of Safety Violations Rule that gives the agency the authority to completely revoke a motor carrier’s authority to operate, if the company (or company officer) has a history of deliberately violating federal safety regulations. These high-risk carriers endanger public safety by avoiding or covering up their negative history of safety compliance. This rule will be an enforcement tool in the c
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice of intent to temporarily schedule 10 synthetic cathinones into Schedule I. The final order will be published in the Federal Register and may not be effective prior to February 27, 2014. Any final order will impose the administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions and regulatory controls applicable to schedule I substances under the CSA on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, exportation, research, and conduct of instructional activities of these synthetic cathinones. The 10 substances are:
The week of January 27 to Feb 2, 2014 is National Drug Facts Week. Originally launched in 2010 by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the week long health observance aims to educate and inform teens of the realities, threats and myths associated with drug abuse and addiction. Community based and social media events are planned to raise awareness.
When an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol, many employers will require the completion of a return to duty process or will terminate the employee all together. With DOT mandated companies, employees in violation of DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations are required to complete a return to duty process with a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and pass a return to duty drug and alcohol test before being eligible to return to safety sensitive duties. After returning to work, they must also complete a follow-up testing program consisting of a series of dr
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has undertaken proposed changes and enhancements to its Safety Measurement System (SMS) website. The SMS website allows companies and the public the ability to find safety information on motor carriers. The proposed changes were based on stakeholder feedback of the current site. It features a one-stop shop for FMCSA safety information and a more user-friendly navigation. Motor carriers seeking to improve their safety performance may also find important information more easily on the revised site. The
On November 15, 2013, the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final order to temporarily schedule three synthetic phenethylamines into the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of 21 U.S.C. 811(h). The three substances are 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe. The order will be in effect for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one additional year, pending completion of the permanent or regular scheduling process.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) scientists recently published a study on a breath test that can detect recent marijuana use. According to the study the test is able to detect whether a person used marijuana within the previous ½ hour to 2.5 hours, depending on the frequency of use. In an attempt to determine the time period and window of detection of cannabinoids in breath - THC, THCCOOH and cannabinol were measured after a controlled amount of marijuana was inhaled.
Many people binge drink as they partake in holiday celebrations. This activity has proven to be dangerous. According to the CDC, "binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers."
As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is "a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 gram percent or above. For the typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours."
Earlier this month the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration distributed an email reminding carriers that every two years, they are required to update their information as part of the Unified Registration System (URS) regulation. The requirement applies to all entities under the administration’s jurisdiction including companies that have not changed their information, has ceased interstate operations since the last update, or are no longer in business and have not notified the FMCSA.
Krokodil or desomorphine is a homemade, heroin-like drug with gruesome side effects. It is believed that the injectable opioid which originated in Russia around 2002 may have since found its way to the US. Cases have recently been reported by health care providers in Arizona and Oklahoma with symptoms similar to those of patients that have used Krokodil in other countries.
This week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the Behavioral Health, US 2012 report. The 400 page biennial report features mental health and substance abuse statistics at the national and state levels from 40 data sources. The current issue focuses on three key chapters - Behavioral Health Disorders across the Life Span; Mental Health and Substance use Disorders: Impairment in Functioning; and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Treatment Landscape.
According to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), there has been some confusion among transit employers as to the actions which can be taken against employees that test positive for alcohol at any level. The FTA has written “It is imperative employers know the regulation prohibits any action under the regulation against an employee based solely on confirmation test results showing an alcohol concentration less than 0.04. However, employers should also be aware there is nothing in the regulat
As reported by SAMHSA it is estimated that 22,904 visits to hospital emergency departments in 2011 were linked to “bath salts.” Bath salts are a combination of synthetic cathinones which are man-made chemicals related to amphetamines. Synthetic cathinone products often consist of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and methylone.
According to the report 67% of these ER visits also involved the use of another drug. There were nearly 2.5 million emergency department visits involving drug misuse or abuse in 2011.
For many employers it can be a stressful and confusing time when an employee tests positive on a DOT mandated drug or alcohol test. Does the employer now have to “DO” anything? Must the employee be fired? How long will the driver be out? Can the driver be re-hired? The key is to precisely follow the DOT regulations in order to handle the situation correctly and maintain regulatory compliance.
This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week running from September 15-21, 2013. Events are being held nationwide to honor the 3.1 million men and women who do their part in keeping businesses moving. According to the American Trucking Association professional truck drivers "log close to 398 billion miles each year and in 2012 delivered 68.5 percent of the U.S. freight tonnage – or over 9.4 billion tons of freight."
September is National Recovery Month the observance is in its 24th year and is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
People who use prescription pain medication non-medically are more likely to initiate heroin use. According to a report by SAMHSA, “people aged 12 to 49 who had used prescription pain relievers non-medically were 19 times more likely to have initiated heroin use recently (within the past 12 months of being interviewed) than others in that age group (0.39 percent versus 0.02 percent).”
On August 16, 2013 PHMSA published a proposal to amend the pipeline safety regulations. The Administration’s aim is to incorporate all parts of the new, updated or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards available online. The proposal also includes initiatives to clarify regulatory language and make non-substantive edits.
On August 26, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched a nationwide two-week strike force of surprise passenger bus safety inspections and visits to new bus companies to assess safety levels. The strike force is part of the FMCSA’s Motorcoach Safety Initiative to removed high risk drivers and buses from the roadways.
The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule combining 16 forms for registering and updating information. The forms are currently used by brokers, carriers and freight forwarders - the new system will combine the forms into a single, electronic “smart” form.
On June 25, 2013 the Federal Transit Administration issued a rule revising sections of the Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing regulations in an effort to reflect recent amendments to the law. The rule provides the Secretary of the DOT with the discretionary authority to bar a recipient from receiving Federal public transportation funds (in an amount deemed appropriate by the Secretary) for non-compliance with the FTA’s Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing regulations (49 CFR Part 655).
On July 12, 2013 the DOT invited public comments on their intended request for approval to renew an information collection involving DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing. The data collected will be used to document testing conducted and actions taken to ensure workplace safety and/or is necessary to comply with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.
The public is asked to comment on any aspect of the information collection process including:
Originally launched in 2008, World Hepatitis Day provides “international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity around which interested groups can raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.” This year World Hepatitis Day is Sunday July 28th.
In a recent study, researchers were able to prevent addicted animals from seeking and consuming alcohol. Scientists at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco identified and deactivated in the brain “the neural mechanism responsible for the reactivation of the memory of the alcohol -- a molecular pathway mediated by an enzyme known as mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1).”
A relatively new practice among mostly young adults, who want to avoid the calories associated with drinking alcohol, is to "smoke" or inhale alcohol vapors.
Employers required to comply with DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations must keep records of their testing activities. This list provided by the DOT states that the following documents must be kept:
The initiative is a proposed California state ballot measure that would require doctors to be randomly subjected to drug and alcohol testing, in the same way DOT safety sensitive employees are. The “Pee in the Cup” campaign is being pushed by former AOL and NetZero executive Bob Pack- whose children
The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) created a post accident flow chart to help supervisors trained to make post-accident determinations in the most efficient manner. The FTA aims to help supervisors make the right decisions after an accident, by simplifying the decision making process.
On April 18, Congressman Steve Cohen introduced a legislation to create the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act, H.R.
In the US, 20% (about 1 million) of pregnant women smoke cigarettes; another 18% (about 750,000) women drink alcohol during pregnancy; another 6% (225,000) women use an illicit drug at least once while carrying a child to term.
In April, SAMHSA submitted a proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting approval for the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form for federal agency and federally regulated drug testing programs, and for the information provided by laboratories for the National Laboratory Certif
A recent study published by Quest Diagnostics revealed that the positivity rates for oral testing of marijuana, has seen an increase in recent years. According to the study, “the oral fluid marijuana positivity rate was 70% higher than that of urine (3.4% vs.
Synthetic cannabinoids - popular drugs of abuse, have been recently linked to acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI is marked by a rapid loss of kidney functions.
Alcohol Awareness Month is a nationwide campaign intended to raise awareness of the health and social problems that excessive alcohol consumption can cause for individuals, their families, and their communities.
The FMCSA submitted for approval the Unified Registration System (URS) rule to the US Office of Management and Budget (OMD). If approved, the FMCSA will move forward with establishing a national clearinghouse of all commercial drivers, who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol or have refused to take a mand
In an effort to protect consumers from bus companies that are providing interstate transportation illegally, the FMCSA launched the SaferBus app for consumer use. App users will have easy access to the data that the FMCSA has made publicly available online on its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) website. The data includes up to 24 months of safety performance records of bus companies as well as U.S.
March 17-23, 2013 is National Poison Prevention Week. The observance is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a group of public and private partners committed to reducing unintentional poisonings, promoting poison prevention, and coordinating annual activities to promote National Poison Prevention Week.
A recent report by the Federal Transportation Admininstration (FTA) indicated that positive random test results have increased over the past few years in the transit industry. In 2011 the rate was .85% - according to the FTA, “It is the second straight year that the positive rate has increased, and is the largest single year increase in what has become a trend of increases, albeit small.” At this time, the reason for the increase is unknown. Some suggest that the increase is due to the DOT regulatory ruling of October 2010 which stated,
Preventable and controllable, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The CDC reported, that an estimated 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack and about 600,000 people die from heart disease each year in the US.
Did you know?
ASAP CEO, Reed Morrison, Ph.D. in collaboration with Robert L. DuPont, M.D. co-authored an article on The New Paradigm and the DOT/SAP Process. The feature article proposes that the DOT SAP Process “could improve its already good outcomes by intensifying and extending follow-up testing where clinically appropriate…Substance Abuse Professionals can exploit the full potential of the DOT/SAP process by increasing the frequency of unannounced follow up tests and using the full 5-year testing term.”
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulant medications are resulting in an alarming increase in trips to the emergency department. In a period of five years the figure has more than doubled from approximately 13,000 in 2005 to 31,000 in 2010. The increase is evident among patients aged 18 and older, while rates for younger patients has remained relatively constant. The astounding increase between 2005 and 2010 is as follows; 282% increase in people aged 18-25, 247% increase in people aged 26-34, and 216% increase in people aged 35 and older.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on the health benefits of a smoke-free environment yielded dramatic results. The risk for hospitalization due to myocardial infarction (heart attack) decreased in several locations after the implementation of smoke-free workplace ordinances in Olmsted County, Minnesota.
During the 2012 holiday season ASAP along with very special contributors donated much needed toiletries and personal care supplies to the men at the Helping Up Mission located in Baltimore, MD. The organization offers programs for men, designed to meet their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. Helping Up Mission is both an overnight shelter and a destination for long-term addiction recovery. ASAP also donated a check to the organization, with funds raised by ASAP staff members who donated $2 each week during for “casual Friday.”
A sincere thank you to:
Prescription drug misuse continues to be one of the nation’s most prevalent illicit drug problems. It is second only to marijuana. According to a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 22 million people in the US have initiated nonmedical pain reliever use since 2002. SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde believes the data which indicates geographic variations in use from state to state, “should help with the development of more targeted and effective prevention and treatment programs.”
Arming employees with important information about the DOT drug and alcohol testing program will help to promote public and workplace safety. When hiring an employee to perform DOT Safety-Sensitive duties employers must provide employees with materials that explain the DOT requirements. Here is a list of recommended items suggested by the DOT:
A key component of the ASAP core values system is SERVICE. ASAP values exceptional customer service that recognizes the client’s priorities and exceeds their expectations. One way in which ASAP fulfills this commitment is to encourage continued learning within the organization.
On November 28th the Department of Transportation released the minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates required by each of the operating administrations. The mandatory testing requirements apply to employers with staff who perform safety sensitive duties within the DOT agencies (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) and the United States Coast Guard.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting its Drunk Driving Prevention campaign to help raise awareness and reduce traffic accidents involving drugs and alcohol. To promote awareness the NHTSA is encouraging local law enforcement organizations to launch a special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired driving and save lives on the roadways. It is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC)
The DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued a statement in response to inquiries about whether state initiatives to permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes will impact the DOT’s regulations applicable to safety-sensitive transportation employees regarding marijuana.
In July of this year the Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Act of 2012 was passed and signed into law. The purpose is to "provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs, and for other purposes." Also enacted was the National Clearinghouse for Controlled Substance and Alcohol Tes
In the November 6th General Election, citizens in Colorado and Washington voted for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use for adults aged 21 and older; and the people of Massachusetts and Montana voted in favor marijuana usage for medical purposes. The states will be required to set up controlled means by which to produce, tax and manage the sale of marijuana.
The 37th Great American Smokeout will be on Thursday, November 15th. The annual event sponsored by The American Cancer Society aims to encourage smokers to kick the habit. Nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. Smoking can lead to numerous health problems including cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) is an annual campaign which focuses on the fundamental skills necessary to being a safe work-place driver. Each day of the campaign, which goes from October 1st – 5th, highlights a key area of importance including seatbelt safety, driver fatigue, distracted driving, parking, and collision prevention.
The FMCSA announced new updates to its Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) enforcement program. The goal is to more quickly identify and address the “high-risk” truck and bus companies with compliance concerns. The changes to be implemented in December 2012 are aimed at providing the FMCSA with more precise information when assessing a company’s over-the-road safety performance. Some of the updates include:
This year, the Annual World EAP Conference sponsored by the Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA) will be held in Baltimore, MD on October 17-20th. ASAP is a proud Silver sponsor at this year’s conference and will exhibit at booth #220. ASAP is hosting the Breakfast in the EAPA Marketplace on Thursday morning. Our team will be on hand to share information and answer questions about ASAP products and services. Also, ASAP is excited to show off a bit of Baltimore by hosting private tours of Camden Yards. Attendees can sign up at the ASAP booth #220
Smiles or 2C-I is one of the latest synthetic drugs that has gained popularity and has been associated with the recent deaths of two teens in North Dakota. The synthetic drug which has no approved medical use in the US is taken orally in tablet form, on blotter paper or snorted for its hallucinogenic effects. The chemical substance, 4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine, produces stimulus effects similar to those produced by LSD and MDMA (a common ingredient found in Ecstasy).
For nearly 28 years, American Substance Abuse Professionals has made its home in the historic Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. With the change of the season, the time has also come for ASAP to make a change. The company is packing up and moving to a new location. The distance is a short four miles away but the scenery will be quite different. So, making the adjustment to a more quiet and private location may take some getting used to. ASAP is excited for the move and hopes to have many successful years in the new location. After this week, ASAP can
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently amended the Conforming Products List (CPL) for two types of alcohol testing devices.
In June 2012, the NHTSA updated the CPL for instruments that conform to the Model Specifications for Screening Devices which measure alcohol in bodily fluids. The new instruments for screening devices include: AlcoMate SafeGuard Model AL-2500 (AlcoScan AL-2500), DRIVESAFE, BACTRACK Element, BACTRACK S75 Pro, Alcovisor MARS, CA2012, AT577, AT578, AT579
ASAP CEO Reed Morrison, Ph.D. was a participating panelist on the SAE Panel Discussion presented to the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Access Authorization and Fitness-for Duty Workshop. The workshop is an annual event that was held this year in Miami, FL, July 23 -25.
In their most recent newsletter the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) offered clarification regarding a “refusal to test” on a pre-employment drug screen. The article stated thatall persons applying for or being transferred to a safety sensitive position under the FTA are required to submit to pre-employment drug screening. Prior to the test, employers are required to inform the applicant in writing about the testing requirements (§ 655.17). Applicants may decide to withdraw from the hiring process before the test commences without being considered to have r
In June 25 ASAP welcomed guest speaker Dr. Kristine Hitchens. Dr. Hitchens presented on the impact of substance abuse on the family. With extensive experience in the field of substance abuse and social work, Dr. Hitchens delivered first-hand accounts of the damaging effects that addiction has on a family. ASAP team-members gained insight on current treatment techniques and counseling used to help families deal with substance abuse addiction.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on July 2, 2012. According to the Federal Register, “This rulemaking would allow air carrier operators and commuter or on-demand operators that also conduct commercial air tour operations to combine the drug and alcohol testing required for each operation into one testing program.”
Addressing the threat of synthetic drugs, the US Congress passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. It is part of the larger Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. The act classifies synthetic drugs as Schedule 1 in the Controlled Substances Act. The list of banned synthetic substances includes mephedrone, mdpv (commonly found in Bath Salts), cannabimimetic agents and nine synthetic pyschedelics. On Monday, July 9th the act was signed into law by President Obama.
In May ASAP welcomed drug testing industry veteran Dr. Christian Jensen. Dr. Jensen shared with ASAP team members, details on the DOT drug testing procedures and his insight on the progression of the industry over the years. Dr Jensen is an experienced Certified Physician Executive and Clinician. He served as Medical Director of the Western Integrity Center for Computer Sciences Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of the Delmarva Foundation.
In recent years, opioid painkillers have emerged as a major cost driver. The high costs impact employers, who endure increased worker’s compensation claims and decreased productivity. According to a NYTimes.com article citing a 2010 analysis by Accident Fund Holdings (a Workers Compensation Insurance TPA), “when medical care and disability payments are combined the cost of a workplace injury is nine times higher when a strong narcotic such as OxyContin is used than when a narcotic is not used.”
Morphine, an alkaloid found in opium can be detected in the body after the use of opioids such as codein, heroin and morphine sulfate. 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM) is a metabolite that is unique to only heroin. Its presence in urine indicates recent use of the drug.
On May 17, 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) to add potentially impairing non-controlled substances to its standard post-accident testing panel.
According to FRA research, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug use has become prevalent among railroad employees. Specifically targeted in the proposal are sedating antihistamines and tramadol which is a synthetic opioid. It is believed that the use of these substances can cause impairment while performing safety sensitive functions.
On April 17th the Obama Administration released the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy. The goal of strategy is to be a blueprint for reducing drug use and its consequences. According to the document, “Illicit drug use in America contributed to an estimated $193 billion in crime, health, and lost productivity costs in 2007.” The 2012 National Drug Control Strategy is based on the premise that drug addiction is a treatable and preventable chronic brain disease. It focuses on addressing the problem through a public health approach ba
The New Paradigm for Long Term Recovery was the buzz at this year’s DATIA annual conference in San Antonio, TX. The crowd was engaged by keynote speaker Dr. Robert Dupont, the former White House Drug Czar, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and currently president of the Institute for Behavior and Health. Dr. Dupont co-authored the influential editorial, “A New Paradigm for Long Term Recovery”, that introduced the January – March 2011 edition of the journal, Substance Abuse.
On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, the DOT issued a reminder about important 40 CFR Part 40 regulatory requirements to Medical Review Officers (MROs), Consortia/Third Party Administrators (C/TPAs), collectors and employers. The following are the key points.
Molly, derived from the word molecule is commonly used as a recreational drug. The chemical make-up is 4-Methylmethcathinone (4-MMC) and 4-Methyl-N-Ethylcathinone (4-MEC) or MDMA. 4-MMC and 4-MEC are controlled substance analogues of methcathinone, a Schedule I controlled substance. Molly, is MDMA that is sold in powered or crystallized form. When MDMA is sold as a tablet it is commonly sold as “Ecstasy.”
Companies that are required to conduct random drug and alcohol testing under the DOT are subject to many rules to ensure compliance throughout the process. Listed below are a few tips to help complete the random testing process successfully.
Reed Morrison, Ph.D. will deliver a presentation on Thursday, April 19th to the attendees of this year’s annual DATIA Conference. The conference which will be held on April 18th - 20th in San Antonio, TX is a gathering of drug and alcohol testing industry professionals and vendors. Dr. Morrison’s workshop is entitled “The New Paradigm and the DOT SAP Return to Duty Process: An Interview with Sandra Sapp.”
Scientists have been testing a new treatment for alcoholism.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final rule extending the temporary placement of five synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Along with the banned cannabinoids are the salts, isomers and salts of isomers related to the substances. The extension of this temporary placement comes at the expiration of a previous temporary scheduling which expired on February 29, 2012. The ruling will extend the scheduling to August 29, 2012 or until rulemaking proceedings are completed, whichever is shorter.
ASAP VP of Business Development, Laura Dashner will co-present during a BIG Initiative SBIRT Education webinar. The one-hour webinar entitled EAP, SBIRT and DOT-Covered Employees will outline methods for recognizing special considerations for following SBIRT protocols with DOT-covered employees, action steps to take in the event of a DOT rule violation, and strategies for dealing with voluntary disclosure of substance use problems with DOT-covered employees. The online event is scheduled for Thursday, March 29th from 3PM to 4PM.
American Substance Abuse Professionals® will conduct a training at an Occupational Health Conference on March 3rd in Dallas, Texas. The training will cover new DOT regulations and trends with a special focus on schedule I drugs, refusal to test, and actual knowledge. Also covered will be the updated information about increasingly popular designer drugs like K2 Spice and Bath Salts. The audience which will be comprised of occupational health nurses and professionals will learn about impact of designer drugs on DOT safety sensitive duties and the workplace in general.&nb
According to SAMHSA publication, more than 6 million children live with at least one parent who abuses or is dependent on alcohol or an illicit drug. Children of alcoholics (COAs) are four times more likely than non-COAs to develop alcoholism or drug problems. Additionally, they are at a higher risk than others for problems with cognitive and verbal skills, anxiety disorders, depression and parental abuse and neglect.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance recently released a statement clarifying an issue regarding Medical Review Officers (MROs) contacting an employee’s treating physicians. In short, HIPAA rules do not apply to MROs carrying out their verification process duties under 49 CFR Part 40.
In part, the rule states:
Effective, February 29, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule for drivers regarding physical qualifications, drug/alcohol testing and inaccurate use of the term actual knowledge.
Schedule I Drugs Prohibited
According to a study conducted by SAMHSA1, adults on average wait 15 years between the time they first use drugs and the time they are admitted for treatment. In 2010, among the nearly 670,000 adults admitted for substance abuse treatment for the first time “an average of 15.6 years had elapsed since the first time they started using the substance they were primarily being treated for.” On average men (16.5 year average) are waiting longer to seek treatment than women (13.8 year average). Alcohol had the longest lag between first time usage and treat
Methamphetamine also known as Meth, Crystal, Crank and Speed is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. Chronic use can lead to paranoia, hallucinations and violent behavior. Long-term use and/or high dosages can lead to toxic psychosis, stroke, heart attack and death.
In an effort to raise awareness about the growing epidemic of people addicted to Meth and the dangers associated with it, The Meth Project Foundation was established in 2005 by Thomas M. Siebel chairman of First Virtual Group.
During the 2011 Holiday Season ASAP partnered with some of our local clients and associates to collect care packages for America's veterans in need at the MCVET outreach facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
Soap, toothpaste, hats, gloves and several other personal care products were collected. The efforts yielded over 100 care packages for veterans in transition some of whom are dealing with substance abuse issues.
ASAP would like to thank all the volunteers and contributors at the following sites:
The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program which establishes a nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public recently released a new Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet series. “Generally CSA affects carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), carriers transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce, and carriers of hazardous materials in intrastate commerce, but may also include carriers whose State requires that they obtain a U.S.
In late 2011, SAMHSA announced a working definition of recovery from substance use disorders and mental disorders. The definition was developed as a result of the efforts of SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative. SAMHSA worked with behavioral health leaders, mental health consumers and individuals in addiction recovery to develop a draft definition and principles of recovery. The aim was to develop terminology that commonly reflected the recovery experience for individuals with substance use disorders and/or mental health disorders.
Drug Testing Advisory Board’s (DTAB), July 2011 recommendations have been approved by the Dept of Health and Human Services SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. J.D. The recommendations are as follows:
On July 8, 2011 a petition to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II or III drug was rejected for the third time in US history.
ASAP offers quality DOT SAP evaluations and case management services. Our trained and knowledgeable staff work to ensures that each DOT SAP evaluation and case is handled efficiently and according to DOT regulations.