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 ensure that each DOT SAP evaluation and case is handled efficiently and according to DOT regulations.