Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DOT Direct Observation Drug Testing Procedure Ruled Mandatory

Announcement
As of August 31, 2009, the Department of Transportation's Direct Observation collection procedures will be mandatory for all return-to-duty and follow-up drug testing. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit lifted the previous stay on July 1, 2009, following the Court’s unanimous decision to uphold the DOT's position in this matter. The language of 49 CFR 40.67(b) now reverts back to the version that became a final rule on June 25, 2008 which reads as follows:

§ 40.67 When and how is a directly observed collection conducted?

(b) As an employer, you must direct a collection under direct observation of an employee if the drug test is a return-to-duty test or a follow-up test.

Collective Bargaining Agreements
The recent announcement also states that the DOT is aware that some employers and labor organizations may have entered into collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that prohibit or limit the use of direct observation collections in return-to-duty and follow-up testing situations. Employers and employees, of course, do not have the authority to agree to avoid compliance with the requirements of Federal law. When this final rule goes into effect, conducting all follow up and return-to-duty testing using direct observation collections will be a requirement of Federal law. Employers must use direct observation collections for such tests that take place after the effective date of this rule and any contrary provisions of CBAs in the present or in the future will be not be effective.

To read the full Federal Register announcement click here.

Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) is a premier provider of multi-employer collectively bargained drug testing programs and offers affordable and compliant screening solutions. MMC adheres to all Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal and Non-Federal testing guidelines. Contact MMC today for a free program review! 888-662-8358

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Talent Pool Swells as Unemployment Rises... So Why Not Drug Test?

With the national unemployment rate recently rising to almost double digits due to the continuing economic recession, employers now find themselves in a strange situation looking into a vast pool of labor to choose from. Employers who are still looking to add to their payroll can now take the time to seek out talented individuals that are capable of wearing multiple "hats" and in return get more "bang" out of their payroll dollar. To find these workplace heroes, employers should take the substance abuse testing process for granted.

Employers should heavily consider multi-leveled drug testing, background screening, credential reviews and include using various Occupational Healthcare solutions. Proper screening etiquette will allow employers to find the stellar multi-talented candidates that they desire. Drug Screening and Background Investigations enhance workplace safety, negate negligent hiring litigation and provide a clearer picture of candidates overall labor history and performance.

Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) can help you with all of your substance abuse testing needs. MMC works closely with all clients to establish affordable and focused drug testing protocols that comply with both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Non-Federal testing programs. Contact MMC today and ask about our suite of our instant drug testing solutions. Call today for a free program review! (888) 662-8358

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drug Czar: Marijuana Legalization Is Not In President Obama's Vocabulary

While on patrol with the Fresno County Sheriff's department last week, the Director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske exclaimed, "The federal government will not support legalizing marijuana." The patrol was part of Operation SOS -- Save Our Sierra -- which is an effort to eradicate marijuana in Fresno County, California.

The Fresno Bee reported that a recent 10 day round up operation in the foot hills of Fresno County resulted in the capture of more than one million dollars worth of marijuana crops and the arrest of 82 people. Kerlikowske believes that Marijuana is dangerous, addictive and has no medicinal benefits and should not be used as a tax crutch for increasingly cash strapped government agencies in California.

Operation SOS was hatched in February and since then more than 314,000 plants were uprooted in 70 gardens. Agents have also seized $41,000 in cash, 26 firearms and three vehicles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prescription Drug Overdoses Reach 2,000 in Montana

The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation cited that more than 2,000 people died from prescription drug overdoses in Montana between 2001 and 2008. Their were 321 recorded deaths from prescription drugs statewide in 2008 with more than 200 of them involving narcotic painkiller overdoses.

Mark Long, chief of the DCI narcotics bureau said, "Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Methadone and Fentanyl are the four most commonly abused prescription painkillers." OxyContin has become a target for abusers because of the larger amounts of the active ingredient in relation to other previous oxycodone products and the ability of abusers to easily compromise the controlled release formulation. Simply crushing the tablet can negate the timed effect of the drug, enabling abusers to swallow, inhale, or inject the drug, which is water soluble, for a powerful morphine-like high.

Jim Hutchinson, a toxicologist with the Montana state crime lab said "Anti-depressants, sleeping pills and combinations of drugs and alcohol - were also responsible for many of the deaths tallied by the state crime lab.

Contact Mobile Medical Corporation's team of substance abuse testing professionals today for information about substance abuse testing protocols and Drug Free Workplace Initiatives! 888-662-8358

Monday, July 20, 2009

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Launch Employment Eligibility Audits to Deter Illegal Hiring

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently launched a targeted audit on U.S. businesses to check worker eligibility. Notices were sent to 652 U.S. owned businesses to notify them that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John stated, “ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law. This nationwide effort is a first step in ICE’s long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

California Looks To Marijuana For Bail Out

The Associated Press is reporting that California is contemplating legislation to tax and regulate marijuana like it does alcohol. San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced the bill in February. The bill would allow adults to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana. Officials that are for the tax and legalization of marijuana, believe that it would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue. The California State Board of Equalization reported that marijuana retail sales would bring an estimated $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes. Ammiano has promoted the bill as a way to help bridge the state's $26.3 billion budget shortfall. As the bill is written, the state could not begin collecting taxes under the bill until the federal government legalizes marijuana. A spokesman says Ammiano plans to amend the bill to remove that stipulation.

Friday, July 10, 2009

OXYCONTIN FACT SHEET

As a premier provider of workplace substance abuse testing nationwide, Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) would like to shed some light on the ever growing problem of OxyContin addiction. The information contained in this blog comes from sources within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

OxyContin is a narcotic drug that was approved by FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. OxyContin contains Oxycodone HCl, an opioid agonist with an addiction potential similar to that of morphine. The pharmacological effects of OxyContin, a brand name formulation of the Schedule II narcotic Oxycodone, make it attractive to abusers as it offers reliable strength and dosage levels and may, in some instances, be covered by the abuser's health insurance. Abusers have discovered that the controlled release formula of OxyContin can be easily compromised allowing inhalation or injection for a powerful, morphine-like high.

It has been described by some local law enforcement officials as a national epidemic in the making. National indicators such as DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) and STRIDE (System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence) show recent increases in Oxycodone overdoses and law enforcement encounters. Some jurisdictions report as much as a 75% increase in property and other crimes that they specifically attribute to the abuse of OxyContin. Tazewell County, VA estimates that OxyContin addiction is behind 80 to 95% of all crimes committed there.
Table: Dramatic increase in the number of OxyContin prescriptions from 1998 to 2000.
Source: U.S. DEA - IMS Health: National Prescription Audit Plus

OxyContin has become a target for diverters and abusers of controlled substances because of the larger amounts of the active ingredient in relation to other previous oxycodone products and the ability of abusers to easily compromise the controlled release formulation. Simply crushing the tablet can negate the timed effect of the drug, enabling abusers to swallow, inhale, or inject the drug, which is water soluble, for a powerful morphine-like high.

There have been many instances of pharmacies being robbed strictly for their supply of OxyContin. Investigations have uncovered organized rings of individuals diverting, selling and abusing OxyContin . Intelligence has also shown that foreign diversion is another source of the OxyContin being sold and used illegally in the United States.

Contact Mobile Medical Corporation's team of substance abuse testing professionals today for more information about OxyContin and other substance abuse testing protocols! 888-662-8358

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oxycodone, Pain Killer Abuse - A New Wave of Drug Addiction

In the state of Florida last year Oxycodone abuse caused more deaths than any other drug - 941 deaths were attributed to the opioid. Almost One third of those deaths occurred in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Hernando County Detective Cody Silagyi compared the current pain killer problem to the cocaine epidemic of the 1970's. Cody commented, "This is like legalized cocaine." The National Institute on Drug Abuse speculates that legal but highly addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants are increasingly in demand because they're readily accessible. The institute reported that an estimated 6.3 million Americans in 2004 used prescription medications for non-medical purposes.

Contact Mobile Medical Corporation's team of substance abuse testing professionals today for more information about Oxcodone and other substance abuse testing protocols! 888-662-8358

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Breathe Alcohol Testing Needed

Shaun Campbell faces criminal DUI charges as he was arrested after an accident in New Jersey. His blood-alcohol level tested at .288 percent which is more than triple the state's legal limit. No one was seriously hurt in the accident. DUI incidents like the one involving this New Jersey driver happen way too often but the glaring facts in this story focus on Mr. Campbell's drivers license and how it was previously suspended 78 times and this is also Mr. Campbell's 15th drunken driving offense! Prosecutors are seeking a maximum prison term of nearly three years at Campbell's sentencing and he will lose his license for at least 10 more years.

Drug Addicted Firefighter Charged With Theft of Pittsburgh Firehouse

A suspended Pittsburgh fireman will be facing criminal charges including theft once he exits his currrent drug rehabilitation program. Suspended firefighter Vincent Manzanella repeatedly called in false alarms from local pay phones in order to empty out a city firehouse located at Penn Avenue and East Liberty so he could pillage while the other firemen were out on the false alarm. Manzanella used a city pass code to enter the firehouse to steal money. Manzanella is undergoing drug treatment for heroin addiction and was receiving workers compensation. Public Safety Director Michael Huss would like to begin a drug-testing program for all Pittsburgh firefighters and is a discussion that needs to take place with union officials.

When it comes to quality drug testing solutions, employers, contractors, union officers, hiring managers and risk mitigation professionals should solely rely on a professional drug testing firm like Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC). Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) can help you with all of your substance abuse testing and Occupational Healthcare needs. MMC works closely with all clients to establish focused policies and testing procedures that comply with both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Non-Federal testing programs.


Call our team of substance abuse testing professionals today for a free program review! 888-662-8358