What Is A Dilute Drug Test?

Water In A Drinking Glass

Have you ever received a drug test result that said dilute? Applicants and employees who know they are going to test positive may attempt to tamper with their sample to pass the test. The most common way of doing this is by diluting their urine, leading to a dilute drug test result.

Diluting urine means that the donor drinks a significant quantity of water before providing a specimen, and their body is overly hydrated. However, it is possible that a donor doesn’t do this with the intent of cheating the system and simply drinks a lot of water in general.

It is widely known that some donors try to dilute their urine because they consumed drugs and are trying to flush out their system. This practice will result in a dilute drug test result.

What can be done?

A dilute drug test result can still be used. If it is positive dilute, then it is positive and the employer should proceed accordingly. However, If it is negative, the employer does have a few options to help in making the best determination.

An employer can require that anyone who has a negative dilute drug test be retested. The employer can specify that the donor retest via another urine drug test or can choose another testing method that may be harder to cheat. Keep in mind that when testing a DOT donor, it may be necessary to retest that donor under a Non-DOT policy if choosing another testing method. This would mean that the test, if positive, would not report to the clearinghouse as DOT only allows for DOT urine samples. The employer can choose other options like a hair follicle or saliva drug test, which are both conducted under direct observation. Contact our office for help in developing a testing protocol for a dilute drug test.

Illicit drug users who test negative dilute often slip through the system and get hired more often than one would think. Sometimes, these users will get caught through random testing or reasonable suspicion testing. Don’t risk it! The safety of the workplace should come first! We are here to help provide the resources needed to promote safety in the workplace. Contact us for answers to any questions!

Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Employment

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., has over 37 years of experience assisting companies in making informed decisions. Our nationwide solutions for drug and alcohol testing, compliance services, and background screening are industry-leading. We pride ourselves on our host of full turnkey programs. All of our programs are customized to exceed both our client’s expectations and state and federal guidelines. Our high standards and our emphasis on a customer-first program has set us apart from our industry.

Pre-employment testing is the most common type of drug testing and is a way for employers to make the best hiring decisions possible. When an applicant applies to a job, they may be subject to a pre-employment drug test after a conditional offer of employment has been made. To ensure that the applicant is suitable for the position, most companies conduct a pre-employment drug test. Studies show a correlation between employee drug abuse and Increased absenteeism, higher workplace accident rates, decreased productivity and increased turn over.

When implementing pre-employment drug testing or employment drug testing, it is important to consider your business. What is right for you? Urinalysis? Hair Testing? Oral Fluids? Blood? Each of these testing methods has a different set of benefits. Pre-employment testing is only part of a full turnkey program! It is recommended to pair pre-employment testing with a random selection testing plan, as employees can begin drug use after the initial pre-employment test has been passed.

Contact Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., to discuss which nationwide drug testing program would be best for you! We will work with you to enhance your workplace safety! Discover the difference today!

Non-DOT Drug Testing: What to Consider

Non-DOT Drug Testing

In today’s workplace, government-mandated drug testing and the industry-standard “5 panel” drug test may not be enough. Over the past several years, our communities have seen a significant increase in the abuse of:

In addition, the US market is constantly flooded with a stream of ever-changing drugs of abuse from foreign markets: Kratom, Flakka, Salvia, and Khat are just a few examples.

When you are creating your Non-DOT Drug Testing Program, it is important to consider what drugs you want to screen for. Don’t choose a one size fits all option. Customize your program to meet your specific needs.

So how do you combat these risks in today’s workplace? These four important steps are necessary:

  1. Review and evaluate your current substance abuse policies. Once revisions are determined, distribute in writing to all employees subject to the policy, and obtain signed and dated acknowledgment of receipt form.
  2. Update your test panel to include a more comprehensive and current configuration.
  3. Provide updated information to employees on current trends in substance abuse and the dangers of substance abuse.
  4. EDUCATE YOUR SUPERVISORS! Provide education to supervisors on not only the classic drugs of abuse, which are still alive and well, but on the new drugs of abuse and how to handle reasonable suspicion situations legally and effectively.

Contact us today to discuss the numerous options for enhancing the effectiveness of your workplace testing program!

Electronic Cigarettes & Vaping in the Workplace

Vaping

As the use of e-cigarettes grows, employers are faced with a new question: Do you allow vaping in the workplace? E-cigarettes are devices that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the user. Recent trends show a significant increase in e-cigarettes being used to vape THC.

If a workplace vaping policy isn’t something your organization has addressed yet, consider making it a priority for the future. As an employer, you will want to consider the pros and cons of e-cigarette use and examine how it fits into your company’s culture and goals.

If you choose to implement a smoking/vaping policy, you should evaluate your current smoking policy for consistency with state and federal laws. Consider your company insurance plans (if applicable) when determining if a smoking/vaping policy is right for you!

If you make any changes to your policy, be sure to communicate them clearly and in advance with your employees by updating your handbook, posting, and distributing the new policy to employees. When you introduce the policy to your employees, have a discussion with them and provide them a resource within your organization that they can go to if they have questions.

For assistance developing a policy, contact us!

 

 

Fentanyl – What the Employer Needs to Know

Fentanyl

By now, most employers are aware of the Opioid Epidemic. But are they aware of another dangerous epidemic that is growing? Fentanyl- a potent opioid has been steadily on the rise. And even more disturbing, is the combination of Fentanyl and Cocaine, and the combination of Fentanyl and Heroin. The City of Baltimore, a city heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, recognizes that most of the heroin on the street is now almost always laced with the highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Public Health Challenges

A recent study highlighted some public health challenges caused by fentanyl-adulterated cocaine:

  1. First responders and those present at the scene of a cocaine overdose may consider administering Naloxone even if the patient denied using opioids.
  2. Fentanyl is very dangerous and powerful and dramatically increases the risk of lethal overdose.
  3. Opioid-naïve individuals that have been using fentanyl-free cocaine lack a potentially life-saving tolerance for opioids. Adding fentanyl to their drug of choice puts this group at an even higher risk of fatal overdose.
  4. Opioid-naïve cocaine users are typically not targeted by current harm reduction strategies and public messages concerning opioid overdose. A lack of education and access to critical resources, including naloxone —the lifesaving overdose reversal drug— render this population more vulnerable to a fatal overdose.

What Steps Can the Employer Take?

Consider adding Fentanyl to your current non-DOT testing program. But even more important is educating your management team and employees on the dangers of substance abuse. An effective substance abuse policy paired with employee education will not only enhance your testing program but may save a life.

Citation

*Nolan, M. L., Shamasunder, S., Colon-Berezin, C., Kunins, H. V., & Paone, D. (2019). Increased presence of fentanyl in cocaine-involved fatal overdoses: implications for prevention. Journal of Urban Health, 1-6.

What Happens to a Specimen after Collection?

Beakers & Test Tubes

What happens to a specimen immediately after it is collected?

1. From the point of collection, the specimen is packaged & sent to the laboratory via carrier or FedEx.

2. Specimens are processed in a strategic fashion by the certified laboratory. Once the specimen arrives at the lab, the specimen and the accompanying COC are unpackaged. The COC and the specimen vials are scanned at multiple points in each process for record keeping & also to guarantee accuracy.

3.The specimen is divided into equal parts for the testing process & the first immunoassay test is conducted. If the preliminary finding suggests that the specimen is positive, it is sent to another part of the lab for GC/MS confirmation testing. Another primary reason for dividing the specimen is to also reserve a portion in the event that a split specimen test is requested by the donor.

4. The specimen is then tested via the GCMS or Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) combines the features or gas-liquid chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) & makes it possible to identify different substances within the sample. Initial (immunoassay) and confirmatory (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry [GS-MS]) tests are the methods most frequently utilized for drug tests. Implementing these tests allows a high level of sensitivity and specificity. The approach also reduces the chance for false positives or false negatives greatly.

5. The exact findings of the screening test are confirmed and the laboratory generates an official report to record their findings. The report will include the specific test performed, the panels or drugs that the specimen was tested for, and the final verdict for each panel (positive, negative, or a cancelled specimen as a whole). Positive results will also feature the appropriate quantitative level for the verified substances and corresponding panels listed.

6. Normal negative results are reported immediately by the applicable reporting arrangements determined by the lab account profile.

7. If a result is positive, it is sent to the MRO or Medical Review Office for a final review. Multiple attempts are made to contact the donor in an effort to obtain a valid medical explanation. Quality and accuracy are of utmost importance to NTA, Inc. as the valid medical explanation is determined. Since drug tests are based on the detection of drug metabolites, it is of primary importance that the correct medication causing the positive is identified. In short, the goal of the Medical Review process and steps is to verify that the prescription serving as the contributing factor was legally prescribed to the donor prior to the drug test collection date. The Medical Review Officer or Medical Review Assistants attempt to contact the donor adhering to a high-level of procedural standards and practices based on the type of test being processed, for example;

7a. DOT Results are processed in accordance of DOT Regulations and federal guidelines and with respect to the Medical Review Officer’s responsibility.
7b. NON-DOT Results are processed according to NON-DOT procedures and are generally processed by our highly-qualified Medical Review Office Assistant Staff.

8. If the laboratory determines that a result is cancelled, the MRO Office will review the result and attempt to make contact with the donor as outlined above. A cancelled result can be attributed to a multitude of scenarios and findings. Examples of Cancelled Result causes or contributing factors include fatal flaw detection or rejection, abnormal PH, immunoassay interference, or abnormal creatinine level.

9. Once the full medical review process has concluded, the result is reported to the client as a verified result, negative result, or cancelled result.

  •          Normal Negative tests are usually reported within 24-48 hours from the time they enter the laboratory for analysis.
  •          Positive or Cancelled tests are usually reported from the laboratory within 5-7 business days from the time they are received for processing.

NTA, Inc. has one of the best Medical Review Offices in the country and we guarantee that diligent care is taken for each result that we review and process!