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Drug Testing Takes A Hit
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Drug testing on the job, once a controversial practice at a few companies, has become so pervasive that it now seems as common as filling out a W-4 form or punching a time clock. Want that high-profile new job at a Fortune 200 company? Here’s your cup, there’s the bathroom. Give us a urine sample, then we’ll talk stock options, pal. Want to stay employed in that construction job? Better watch what you ingest over the weekend because you may be randomly selected to give a sample before firing up the bulldozer Monday morning. In 1986, only 21.5 percent of companies tested employees, according to a survey by the American Management Association. By 1996, 81 percent did. The number of… Read More
Drawing The Line On Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
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The case for testing employees, students and those applying for government benefits for drug use seems obvious. Drug testing can deter people from using illegal drugs. It can catch people who are breaking the law. And it can help detect those who are using drugs and make sure they are treated and/or punished. That logic has encouraged the massive expansion of drug testing throughout the United States—first of employees, then of athletes, and now of students and many other categories of Americans. Tens of millions of Americans now urinate into jars or pluck a few hairs so their employers or school authorities can determine whether they have consumed a detectable drug in the past few days or weeks. Many now… Read More
Hemp-Urinalysis “Myth” Probed
Posted by A. Shapiro
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A hefty Kentucky dinner of hemp-fed beef washed down with hemp-brewed beer will in no wise endanger the diner’s employment prospects, researchers for the Kentucky Hemp Growers’ Cooperative Association were delighted to report recently. After all the urinalysis tests came back negative, hempster Andy Graves exulted, “We dispelled a myth! We’re glad we can gloat.” The myth under investigation, promulgated nationwide by the multi-billion-dollar drugtesting industry, holds that just about any ingestible dietary item which contains preparations from the dreaded cannabis plant will leave incriminating “cannabinoid” traces in the ingester’s urine, bound to show up deceptively on their less-than-perfect urinalysis gimmicks as “THC.” Last year, after several professional chemistry journals had published studies showing how this misidentification has occurred in… Read More
Questions To Ask Before You Get Tested
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Hi y’all! I just pulled this off of alt.privacy, and this guy seems to have a good approach to company drug testing. Even if you end up peeing for them like a good boy or girl, this is a way you can make them think about what they’re doing, without appearing to be filthy lowlife drug-using scum. If they’re going to turn this once-great country into an armed camp full of nosy, distrustful pee-sniffers, let’s at least make ‘em work for it! I’m a computer consultant and have successfully fought the drug test question by reverse intimidation. I start asking questions that “they” aren’t prepared to answer. What is the name and address of the lab that will perform the… Read More
UAW Resists Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Drug and alcohol abuse among autoworkers is emerging as a pivotal bargaining issue for Detroit automakers now renegotiating labor contracts with the United Auto Workers. The lingering problem of employee drug and alcohol abuse costs automakers millions of dollars a year in lost productivity, higher absenteeism, health care and employee turnover. Detroit automakers, like other companies and communities nationwide, continue to grapple for solutions. But the UAW opposes a common but more rigorous approach to the problem: random drug screening. “The safety of our employees is a top priority,” said Gordon Kettler, general director of global security for General Motors Corporation. “To help keep our work environment safe, GM has zero tolerance for drug use.” Automakers have resorted to undercover… Read More
Medication & Substances Causing False Positives
Posted by A. Shapiro
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According to a report by the Los Angeles Times New Service, a study of 161 prescription and over the counter medications showed that 65 of them produced false positive results in the most widely administered urine test. Ronald Siegel, a psychopharmacologist at UCLA said, “The widespread testing and reliance on tell-tale traces of drugs in the urine is simply a panic reaction invoked because the normal techniques for controlling drug use haven’t worked very well. The next epidemic will be testing abuse.” Byrd Labs has in its possession an internal document from the Syva Company, makers of the widely used EMIT test. This document, leaked by a disillusioned company employee, lists more than 250 over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs that… Read More
Effectiveness of Laboratory Drug Testing
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Urine tests are unreliable. The public is told that they are scientific. But in operation they can’t stand up to scrutiny. Don’t trust their results. A test of the testers conducted by the government’s Center for Disease Control in Atlanta found: “…one of thirteen labs given cocaine-spiked urine gave totally correct results. Five of thirteen failed to find the drug in any of 34 spiked samples each lab received. On the other hand, the labs somehow detected cocaine in as many as 6%, and amphetamines in tip to 37% of urine specimens that were ‘blank’ - those containing no drugs at all.” In the April 26, 1985 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Hugh Hansen reported… Read More
Types of Screens Being Used To Test For Drugs
Posted by A. Shapiro
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EMIT This is the most widely used test by employers because of its low cost. More than 95% of employers use this as an initial test. Manufactured by the Syva company, its accuracy is so suspect that the company itself recommends a more refined GC-MS test to confirm positive results. Because many employers don’t want to spend the $100 to $150 dollars charged for the GC-MS, employees have been fired on the results of the EMIT test alone. Courts have ruled that repetition of the EMIT test does not constitute confirmation of a positive drug finding. This test does not measure drugs in the urine directly. Rather, a reagent is added to the urine sample to bind with the metabolite… Read More
Big Brother & Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
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When Jack Dufficy, warden for Pennsylvania’s newly built Pike County prison, began hiring correctional officers and other personnel, he insisted that they all take hair-follicle tests for drug use. Dufficy told the prison’s board of directors that it was a foolproof test to detect any of several drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and PCP. “In a urinalysis test, if somebody cleanses their body by abstaining for four or five days, their use of drugs would not be evident. In a hair test, we can get a history of drug use for up to three months prior to the test,” he said. Hair-follicle testing is the new rage among the Big Brothers of corporate and government power to weed out… Read More
Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Posted by A. Shapiro
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Chaparral Steel Co. was dissatisfied with its employee drug testing program. Urinalysis revealed only if drugs had been used within days of the test — and there was always a concern about cheating. “It got to the point that the guys had to go to the bathroom with a nurse looking through the window,” said Victor Swaim, protective services supervisor for the Midlothian, Texas-based company. So the steelmaker hired Psychemedics Corp., a company that uses hair samples to test for drugs. With the Cambridge-based company’s system, Chaparral could learn if employees had used drugs within the past three months. And, Swain said, workers were happy to be spared the humiliation of urinalysis. By courting companies like Chaparral, Psychemedics is hoping… Read More
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