Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicago Loosening Grip on Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana to Ease Budget Crunch

Chicago is looking to cut unnecessary spending and free up police and law enforcement by decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The thought is that police will be able to focus on and concentrate their resources on higher crimes. Under the new law set to be introduced next week, people caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana would instead face a $200 fine and up to 10 hours of community service. A pro-marijuana group reported that enforcing marijuana prohibition costs US taxpayers $10 billion and results in the arrests of 853,000 people a year.

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey told reporters that, "It is not time to act tough on crime; it is (time) to be smart on crime. We need our resources spent somewhere else."

How should employers feel about this new proposed law when it comes to pre-employment criminal background screening and drug testing?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mobile Medical Corporation Celebrates National Drug-Free Work Week 2011

National Drug-Free Work Week - October 17-22, 2011

MMC is proud to be part of this year's National Drug Free Work week - Celebrating one drug free week is the first step but MMC believes that every work week should be drug and alcohol free! MMC encourages workers with drug and alcohol abuse related life issues to seek help now!

Substance Use and Abuse Among Workers
Substance use and abuse is a concern for employers. Most drug users, binge and heavy drinkers, and people with substance use disorders are employed. A 2007 survey found that:

• Of the 17.4 million current illicit drug users age 18 and over, more than 75% were employed.

• Similarly, among 55.3 million adult binge drinkers, nearly 80% were employed, as were 16.4 million heavy drinkers.

• Of the 20.4 million adults classified with substance dependence or abuse, over 60% were employed full-time.
2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

Substance Use and Abuse On the Workplace
Workers reporting substance use and abuse have higher rates of turnover and absenteeism, are more likely to have worked for more than three employers in the past year, are more likely to have skipped work more than two days in the past month, and were also more likely to have missed more than two days of work due to illness or injury.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Beyond the Abuser...
The impact of employee substance use and abuse is a problem that extends beyond the substance-using employee. There is evidence of co-worker job performance and attitudes being negatively affected. Workers have reported being put in danger, having been injured, having had to work harder, to re-do work, or to cover for a co-worker as a result of a fellow employee’s drinking.
Employee Assistance Quarterly, JSI Research & Training Institute

Substance Use and Abuse Damaging Small Businesses
Smaller firms may be particularly disadvantaged by worker substance use and abuse. For example, while about half of all U.S. employees work for small and medium sized businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees), about nine in ten employed current illicit drug users and almost nine in ten employed heavy drinkers work for small and medium sized firms. Likewise, about nine in ten full-time workers with alcohol or illicit drug dependence or abuse are employed by small and medium size firms. However, smaller firms are generally less likely to test for substance use.
U.S. Census Bureau, SAMHSA

Mobile Medical Corporation Can Help!
When it comes to compliant and multi-leveled substance abuse testing programs for the construction industry, Pittsburgh Drug Testing firm Mobile Medical Corporation (MMC) offers a vast array of compatible screening solutions designed to meet any Drug Free Workplace initiative nationwide. MMC's certified collection technicians all pass a rigorous DATIA training course. MMC partners with the largest accredited laboratories in the nation which allows us to truly be involved from start to finish on every drug test we perform for our clients. All of Mobile Medical Corporation's laboratory partners are certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to meet all strict government requirements.

Call MMC's Employer Substance Abuse Testing Hotline Today!

Inexpensive Prescription Drugs Gateway to Heroin Use

“Prescription drugs are one of the things that get kids hooked” and lead them to begin abusing heroin, said Naperville police Detective Shaun Ferguson. “When they realize they can pay much less for heroin than for prescription drugs, they turn to heroin.”

Detective Shaun Ferguson — who works in his department’s Special Operations Group — concluded of all drug-related arrests made between 2009 and this year in Naperville, IL, approximately 34 percent involved heroin. That included 24 heroin-related arrests in 2009, 33 in 2010 and 28 so far this year. Prescription drug-related crimes are also on the rise from past years, Ferguson said, going from 13 such arrests in 2009 to 34 in 2010 and 18 to date this year.
Read the full article here

Friday, October 7, 2011

Medicare Enabling Prescription Drug Abuse

The New York Times recently reported that Medicare is subsidizing drug abuse through allowing benefit receivers to search out doctors who will fill their prescriptions for large amounts of painkillers and narcotics.  Congress says that this practice far  exceeds what any patient could safely use.  The General Accounting Office reported that 170,000 Medicare beneficiaries received prescriptions from 5 or more doctors for 14 types of drugs that are frequently abused.

The report states that the most commonly abused drugs by medicare recipients include the painkillers Oxcycodone and Hydrocodone (OxyContin and Percoset)

Case Study:

Georgia - a beneficiary received a 150 day supply of oxycodone in just 27 days by obtaining 7 different prescriptions from 4 different doctors.

California - a California man received over 1,300 fentaynyl patches and pills from 21 different prescribers in one year.

Texas - a beneficiary received prescriptions for over 4,500 hydrocodone pills from 25 different doctors.