Dynamic Testing Solutions Blog

Strengthening Alberta's approach to impaired driving

Robyn Ainsworth - Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Labor Day long weekend is right around the corner and Alberta has made some changes to the province's impaired driving laws.

Remember not to Drink and Drive there are alternatives to getting home. Plan ahead have a designated driver, call a taxi, take public transit or call a friend!

Our province’s new impaired driving law will help to reduce the number of drinking drivers on our roads – and that means fewer deaths and serious injuries. Drivers who are criminally impaired or refuse to provide a breath sample will receive the harshest penalties. And, these drivers will still be charged with a criminal offence. Tougher consequences at the .05 to .08 level are designed to discourage drinking and driving – before drivers reach the criminally impaired level. Our goal is to create safer roads by ensuring that Albertans take responsibility for their actions behind the wheel.
  • Alberta is focusing on those who receive Criminal Code offences, repeat offenders and new drivers.
  • Education and enforcement are both key to Alberta's approach.
  • This made-in-Alberta approach focuses on changing behaviours through mandatory courses and ignition interlock use.
  • Alberta does not believe that fines are the solution. These changes do not include fines or demerit points.
  • This legislation does not prevent responsible Albertans from having a drink with dinner or friends.
  • Our focus is safer roads.
Penalties
Starting July 1, 2012
For drivers with blood alcohol over .08:
  • Criminal charge
  • Immediate licence suspension which is sustained until criminal charge is resolved.
  • 1st charge: sustained licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
  • 2nd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7- day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
  • 3rd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
  • Mandatory ignition interlock after criminal conviction – 1 year for 1st conviction; 3 years for 2nd conviction; 5 years for 3rd conviction.
Starting September 1, 2012
For drivers with Blood Alcohol .05 to .08:
  • 1st offence - Immediate 3-day licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure.
  • 2nd offence - Immediate 15-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
  • 3rd offence - Immediate 30-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
Starting July 1, 2012
For new (GDL) drivers with blood alcohol over .00
  • GDL driver found with any blood alcohol - Immediate 30-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle seizure

Jeff VanVonderen, known for 'Intervention' appearances, talks with Sentinel about addictions

Robyn Ainsworth - Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Jeff VanVonderen, an interventionist and former counselor known for his appearances on "Intervention," A&E's Emmy award-winning documentary series about addicts, recently spoke in Orlando at a town hall meeting.

He sat down with the Orlando Sentinel to talk about drug and alcohol addiction and the nation's prescription-drug epidemic.

Q. What are the biggest misconceptions about addiction?

A. People think it's just a matter of willpower, that if you just try a little harder you can stop the addiction. Using is a matter of will. But once you cross the line into addiction, I think then you have a disease, and it's not just a matter of stopping using.

Q. What are the biggest signs someone has a drug or alcohol addiction that people miss the most?

A. I think the reason people miss the signs at all is because they're not paying attention.

Q. Is there a difference between prescription drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or other illicit drug addictions? If so, what are the differences?

A. From my standpoint, there is no difference. For me, the addiction is the same and the chemical that they're using is a fill-in-the-blank. But the difference is there are some substances where people get physically addicted like opiates and alcohol….Drugs like pot for instance, or cocaine, or things like that they don't get so physically addicted but you get mood addicted. You get addicted to the phenomenon of mood altering.

Q. Is there anything unique about prescription drug addiction that makes it easier or more difficult for people to overcome?

A. One of the main rationalizations for people who are addicted to prescription medication is that they got it from the doctor, so it must be ok. When you get into the situation where someone is actually addicted, they're no longer taking it like the doctor prescribed.

Q. What's the worst thing to do when someone has an addition?

A. Ignore it. In an addictive situation…the rule, and this rule is established by the addict over and over again, is the problem's not the problem — you're the problem for talking about the problem. There wouldn't even be a problem if you didn't make such a big deal about it. And then people buy into that and they stop confronting, stop talking about it. They don't take steps to help….they feel like somehow they're in the wrong.

Q. What's the best thing to do?

A. Holding people accountable….The best thing is to not ignore the problem. The best thing is to not act like talking about it causes it. You need to remember the problem is always the problem. Talking about the problem is not the problem.

Q. How can you approach the family of a friend who is suffering from addiction?

A. People deal with the small picture of addiction, which is how do we put out the latest fire this person started? How do we smooth over the latest crisis? Treat the addict the same as you would a friend. Families give the addict, their loved one, a license to be less accountable, less responsible than they would an enemy. Family members are supposed to be more safe, more accountable, more responsible than friends, neighbors, strangers and enemies. But the whole thing flips upside down.

Q. Is battling an addiction a life-long process?

A. I think it is. There are some addicts who don't have cravings anymore and it's not an issue that they struggle with everyday. But I think that it is because if an addict ever asks a substance to do for them, what they once asked it to do, it will. Most addicts that I know, they'd say, they cannot guarantee that every time they'll start using, they will stop. So they don't start.

Q. How long does it take to develop an addiction?

A. I know people that would say that they were addicted the moment they started using. Then I know other people who maybe drank successfully without consequence for 30 years. No big deal — an appropriate social drinker. Then their wife died and six months later they lost everything. Because on that day they changed the reason why they drank…. It's different for different people.

Q. Have you seen anything like the prescription drug epidemic facing the country today?

A. I think the prescription drug epidemic is getting worse and worse. I think that with how much money there is to be made and how easy it is to make it…And also how uneducated the medical profession is

c/o http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-06/health/os-prescription-drug-panel-ae-20120407_1_addiction-prescription-drug-problem

What Is Addiction?

Robyn Ainsworth - Saturday, March 31, 2012
When a drug user can't stop taking a drug even if he wants to, it's called addiction. The urge is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm.
 
When people start taking drugs, they don't plan to get addicted. They like how the drug makes them feel. They believe they can control how much and how often they take the drug. However, drugs change the brain. Drug users start to need the drug just to feel normal. That is addiction, and it can quickly take over a person's life.

Addiction can become more important than the need to eat or sleep. The urge to get and use the drug can fill every moment of a person's life. The addiction replaces all the things the person used to enjoy. A person who is addicted might do almost anything—lying, stealing, or hurting people—to keep taking the drug. This could get the person arrested.

Addiction is a brain disease.
  • Drugs change how the brain works.
  • These brain changes can last for a long time.
  • They can cause problems like mood swings, memory loss, even trouble thinking and making decisions.
Addiction is a disease, just as diabetes and cancer are diseases. Addiction is not simply a weakness. People from all backgrounds, rich or poor, can get an addiction. Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young.

If you think you or someone you love is affected by addiction or a drug / alcohol abuse problem Dynamic Testing Solutions offers Drug and Alcohol testing services because you have the right to know. Drug and Alcohol testing can confirm the abuse of a substance to help you and your family know the truth and start on a path to recovery.

For more information please contact:

Dynamic Testing Solutions
Phone (403) 262-2721
info@dynamictesting.ca

The Painkiller EPIDEMIC!

Robyn Ainsworth - Wednesday, March 28, 2012

THE PAINKILLER EPIDEMIC: HOW IS IT AFFECTING OUR YOUTH?

The rate of prescription drug abuse among youth has increased significantly over the past decade. The misconception that prescription drugs are safer than other drugs because they are legal has contributed to the rise in this abuse. The abuse of painkillers, a common opioid or prescription drug, especially needs to be looked at since this is the most frequently abused of all pharmaceuticals, the most common being OxyContin and Vicodin. It is important that parents, health professionals and prevention specialists address this issue and help prevent our youth from becoming addicted.

Why is it that youths abuse prescription drugs? The reasons are similar to that for other drugs, commonly including being able to deal with emotions, to try and fit in with their peers and the misconception that these are safer than other drugs because they are prescribed by physicians. Youth also take painkillers for health reasons, such as a sports injury, but it’s when they don’t understand the associated addictive properties that they can get hooked very easily and become addicts. Since the human brain doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25, youth are at a higher risk of becoming addicted. With alcohol and marijuana being the two substances most commonly abused by youth, the abuse of painkillers isn’t far behind. A serious issue arises when youth combine prescription pills with other drugs to get a better high. The combination of different substances can have significant consequences, sometimes resulting in death.

Why is it so easy for youth to get their hands on prescription drugs? The simplest way for a youth to get pain pills is through a friend or family member. If the pills are left in a cabinet, it’s very easy for a youth to take a couple unnoticed. They can also get pills from their friend's existing prescription to a painkiller. There are street dealers who sell so-called prescription drugs; most of the time, these drugs are counterfeit and are not produced by pharmaceutical manufacturers. As is the case with all street drugs, the buyer doesn’t really know for sure what the drug contains.

As the number of crimes and deaths increases, it is evident that proper measures need to be taken in order to keep the youth in our communities and homes safe. Prescription drug abuse by youth shouldn’t be taken lightly; it is just as serious and popular as alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. The abuse of pain relievers by youth is six times higher than that among adults. Painkiller abuse causes health problems, affects a youth’s academic performance and can lead to illegal and dangerous behaviour.

Parents have the first opportunity of affecting their youth’s decision regarding abusing painkillers, or any other drug. Some parents talk to their youth about alcohol, marijuana and other illicit drugs, but many forget to discuss pharmaceutical drugs and the severity of using them. Sometimes, a parent may need to do some research on such drugs to be fully informed and provide the appropriate data to their youth. Another step which parents can take is to be a good role model and be sure to take their own medication as prescribed, and to not share it with others. Putting the medication in a secure place and monitoring the number of pills taken is something to remember. If there is any expired or unused medication, it should be disposed of appropriately. Lastly, parents should talk to a health professional if they have any other questions.

Physicians and pharmacists play an important and difficult role in the issue of prescription drug abuse among youth. Prescribing the proper dosage of medication to treat the pain that a youth might have is challenging. Physicians face a dilemma in trying to balance the dosage of what’s needed to help relieve someone’s pain without sending them down the path of addiction. They can be careful to take multiple steps to prevent drug abuse occurring among youth. It is important to explain in detail how to take the medication properly, the effects it may have and any possible drug interactions. If a patient is asking for painkillers more frequently and in higher dosages than usual, this may be a good sign of possible abuse of the medication.

The abuse of prescription drugs among youth will not stop without the efforts of friends, family and health professionals. Being aware of the current trends in substance abuse, especially the abuse of painkillers, is crucial. The consequences of these drugs need to be understood. The accessibility of painkillers is making it too easy for our youth to start using. Our youth need to be educated and it is only through awareness and proper knowledge that there is a chance to protect our youth from ruining their lives.


c/o www.drugabuse.ca

6 Tips to Help Your Teen Live a Drug-Free Life:

Doug McLachlan - Thursday, March 22, 2012

When it comes to drugs, teens are a savvy bunch. Drugs and messages about living drug-free have been part of their lives for years. They can make distinctions not only among different drugs and their effects, but also among trial, occasional use and addiction. They've witnessed many of their peers using drugs — some without obvious or immediate consequences, others whose drug use gets out of control. By the teen years, kids have also had to make plenty of choices of their own about drug use: whether they should give in to peer-pressure and experiment with drugs, or go against some of their peers and stay clean.

Here are 6 tips from The Partnership at Drugfree.org to help you help your teen continue to live a healthy, drug-free life:

 1.Don’t speak generally about drug- and alcohol-use— your older teen needs to hear detailed and reality-driven messages. Topics worth talking about with your teen: using a drug just once can have serious permanent consequences; can put you in risky and dangerous situations; anybody can become a chronic user or addict; combining drugs can have deadly consequences.
2.Emphasize what drug use can do to your teen's future. Discuss how drug use can ruin your teen's chance of getting into the college they have been dreaming about or landing the perfect job.
3.Challenge your child to be a peer leader among their friends and to take personal responsibility for his actions and show others how to do the same
4.Encourage your teen to volunteer somewhere that they can see the impact of drugs on your community. Teenagers tend to be idealistic and enjoy hearing about ways they can help make the world a better place. Help your teen research volunteer opportunities at local homeless shelters, hospitals or victim services centers.
5.Use news reports as discussion openers. If you see a news story about an alcohol-related car accident, talk to your teen about all the victims that an accident leaves in its wake. If the story is about drugs in your community, talk about the ways your community has changed as drug use has grown.
6.Compliment your teen for the all the things they do well and for the positive choices they makes. Let them know that they are seen and appreciated. And let them know how you appreciate what a good role model they are for their younger siblings and other kids in the community. Teens still care what their parents think. Let them know how deeply disappointed you would be if he started using drugs.
 Drugs in your teen's world can include:
 
Tobacco, Alcohol, prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Valium and Xanax, Inhalants, Marijuana, Ecstasy, Herbal Ecstasy, Cocaine/Crack, GHB, Heroin, Rohypnol, Ketamine, LSD, Mushrooms.

Discovering that a teen is using drugs or alcohol can be a scary experience for parents — you may feel alone, ashamed and confused about what to do next. If you suspect or know your child is experimenting, using or has a problem with drugs and alcohol, visit TIME TO ACT! for support and answers to your questions.

http://www.canadadrugfree.org/article-six-tips.html


Hair Drug Testing Q&A

Doug McLachlan - Friday, March 16, 2012
What is Hair Drug Testing?
Since hair growth is fed by the bloodstream, the ingestion of drugs of abuse is revealed by analyzing a small sample of hair. Our testing method measures the drug molecules embedded inside the hair shaft, eliminating external contamination as a source of a positive test result. Hair testing results cannot be significantly altered with shampoos or other external chemicals.

What drugs are included in a standard Hair Drug Test?
Cocaine, marijuana, opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-monoacteyl morphine), methamphetamine, (Meth/amphetamine & Ecstasy), and phencyclidine (PCP). These five drug classes are mandated for testing by the Federal Government.

What time period does a standard test cover?
A standard test covers a period of approximately 90 days. The hair sample is cut as close to the scalp as possible and the most recent 1.5 inches are tested.

Does hair color affect results?
Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in the hair. It has been shown experimentally, through actual hair samples, as well as determined in court that hair color has NO basis in fact.

How fast does head hair grow?
Studies indicate that head hair grows on the average approximately 1.3 cm (or 1/2 inch) per month.

How much hair is needed?
A standard test with GC/MS confirmation requires 60+ milligrams
of hair or approximately 90 to 120 strands. The thickness of different types of head hair (thick coarse vs. thinning fine) is the reason for this variation.

How does Hair Testing compare to urinalysis?
The primary differences are
1) wider window of detection
2) inability to tamper with the test

Cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and PCP are rapidly excreted and usually undetectable in urine 72 hours after use. The detection period for hair is limited only by the length of the hair sample and is approximately 90 days for a standard test.

At this time there are no known adulterants for hair tests. Since hair tests analyze the drugs inside the hairshaft, external contaminants/chemicals have no effect.

Additional advantages include non-intrusive collection procedures, virtual
elimination of test evasion.

The combination of an increased window of detection and resistance to evasion makes Hair Testing far more effective than urinalysis in correctly identifying drug users.

How soon after use can a drug be detected in hair?
It takes approximately 4-5 days from the time of drug use for the affected hair to grow above the scalp. Body hair growth rates are generally slower and cannot be utilized to determine a timeframe of drug use.



What is the shortest time period that can be evaluated?
The minimum time period is approximately two weeks (1/4 inch). Body hair can be used if head hair is too short for a test. If body hair is used the timeframe represented by the test is approximately one year, due to the different growth pattern in hair below the neck.



Can tests be run on people with little or no hair?
Hair can be collected from several head locations and combined to obtain the required amount of hair. In addition, body hair may be used as a substitute to head hair. In the rare case where no hair is collectable, complete urine/adulteration testing may be utilized.



Does body hair give the same type of results as head hair?
Yes, body hair can be used to test for the five standard drug classes, though body hair growth patterns are different than head hair. Most body hair is replaced within approximately one year. This means a test done with body hair will be reported as drug usage during approximately a one year timeframe.

Can hair collected from a brush be used?
Yes, but the test will be reported as having an "anonymous" donor. We cannot attribute the sample to any specific person and we cannot determine the timeframe of the test, so the test result is not legally defensible. The test will only report that the sample submitted had the reported drug metabolite components.



Can hair be affected by cross-reacting substances such as over-the-counter medications?
Enzyme-immunoassay antibodies (EIA), similar to those used to test urine, are used for the initial screening test for drugs of abuse in hair; therefore the potential for substances such as over-the-counter medications to cause a false positive screening result does exist. To eliminate the possibility of reporting a false-positive due to cross-reactivity, Omega confirms all positive results by GC/MS for methamphetamine, opiates, PCP,cocaine and marijuana.



How effective is Hair Testing in detecting drug users?
In side-by-side comparison studies with urinalysis, hair drug testing has uncovered significantly more drug use. In two independent studies hair drug testing uncovered 4 to 8 times as many drug users as urinalysis.



Does external exposure to certain drugs, like marijuana or crack smoke, affect the Hair Test results?
To rule out the possibility of external contamination, Omega testing (where appropriate) looks for both parent & metabolite (bi-product) of drug usage. For marijuana analyses, Omega detects only the metabolite (THC-COOH) . This metabolite is only produced by the body and cannot be an environmental contaminant.



How long are test reports kept on file?
Test reports are retained for a period of two years or as mandated by law.



What is done with the excess hair that is not tested?
The hair not used from the time period being tested (i.e. three months equals 3.9 cm) is stored in the chain-of-custody sample acquisition pouch. Hair is stored for a two year period.

For more information regarding
Hair Drug Testing
and all our other
Drug and Alcohol Services
 please contact us
Phone (403) 262-2721
or

Hair Testing Q&A

Doug McLachlan - Friday, March 16, 2012
Hair Testing FAQ


What is Hair Drug Testing?
Since hair growth is fed by the bloodstream, the ingestion of drugs of abuse is revealed by analyzing a small sample of hair. Our testing method measures the drug molecules embedded inside the hairshaft, eliminating external contamination as a source of a positive test result. Hair testing results cannot be significantly altered with shampoos or other external chemicals.

What drugs are included in a standard Hair Drug Test?
Cocaine, marijuana, opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-monoacteyl morphine), methamphetamine, (Meth/amphetamine & Ecstasy), and phencyclidine (PCP). These five drug classes are mandated for testing by the Federal Government.

What time period does a standard test cover?
A standard test covers a period of approximately 90 days. The hair sample is cut as close to the scalp as possible and the most recent 1.5 inches are tested.

Does hair color affect results?
Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in the hair. It has been shown experimentally, through actual hair samples, as well as determined in court that hair color has NO basis in fact.
How fast does head hair grow?
Studies indicate that head hair grows on the average approximately 1.3 cm (or 1/2 inch) per month.

How much hair is needed?
A standard test with GC/MS confirmation requires 60+ milligrams
of hair or approximately 90 to 120 strands. The thickness of different types of head hair (thick coarse vs. thinning fine) is the reason for this variation.

How does Hair Testing compare to urinalysis?
The primary differences are
1) wider window of detection
2) inability to tamper with the test

Cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and PCP are rapidly excreted and usually undetectable in urine 72 hours after use. The detection period for hair is limited only by the length of the hair sample and is approximately 90 days for a standard test.

At this time there are no known adulterants for hair tests. Since hair tests analyze the drugs inside the hairshaft, external contaminants/chemicals have no effect.

Additional advantages include non-intrusive collection procedures, virtual
elimination of test evasion.

The combination of an increased window of detection and resistance to evasion makes Hair Testing far more effective than urinalysis in correctly identifying drug users.

How soon after use can a drug be detected in hair?
It takes approximately 4-5 days from the time of drug use for the affected hair to grow above the scalp. Body hair growth rates are generally slower and cannot be utilized to determine a timeframe of drug use.

What is the shortest time period that can be evaluated?
The minimum time period is approximately two weeks (1/4 inch). Body hair can be used if head hair is too short for a test. If body hair is used the timeframe represented by the test is approximately one year, due to the different growth pattern in hair below the neck.

Can tests be run on people with little or no hair?
Hair can be collected from several head locations and combined to obtain the required amount of hair. In addition, body hair may be used as a substitute to head hair. In the rare case where no hair is collectable, complete urine/adulteration testing may be utilized.

Does body hair give the same type of results as head hair?
Yes, body hair can be used to test for the five standard drug classes, though body hair growth patterns are different than head hair. Most body hair is replaced within approximately one year. This means a test done with body hair will be reported as drug usage during approximately a one year timeframe.

Can hair collected from a brush be used?
Yes, but the test will be reported as having an "anonymous" donor. We cannot attribute the sample to any specific person and we cannot determine the timeframe of the test, so the test result is not legally defensible. The test will only report that the sample submitted had the reported drug metabolite components.

Can hair be affected by cross-reacting substances such as over-the-counter medications?
Enzyme-immunoassay antibodies (EIA), similar to those used to test urine, are used for the initial screening test for drugs of abuse in hair; therefore the potential for substances such as over-the-counter medications to cause a false positive screening result does exist. To eliminate the possibility of reporting a false-positive due to cross-reactivity, Omega confirms all positive results by GC/MS for methamphetamine, opiates, PCP,cocaine and marijuana.

How effective is Hair Testing in detecting drug users?
In side-by-side comparison studies with urinalysis, hair drug testing has uncovered significantly more drug use. In two independent studies hair drug testing uncovered 4 to 8 times as many drug users as urinalysis.

Does external exposure to certain drugs, like marijuana or crack smoke, affect the Hair Test results?
To rule out the possibility of external contamination, Omega testing (where appropriate) looks for both parent & metabolite (bi-product) of drug usage. For marijuana analyses, Omega detects only the metabolite (THC-COOH) . This metabolite is only produced by the body and cannot be an environmental contaminant.

How long are test reports kept on file?
Test reports are retained for a period of two years or as mandated by law.

What is done with the excess hair that is not tested?
The hair not used from the time period being tested (i.e. three months equals 3.9 cm) is stored in the chain-of-custody sample acquisition pouch. Hair is stored for a two year period.
 **For more information regarding our Hair Testing and other Drug and Alcohol testing services please contact Dynamic Testing Solutions at (403) 262-2721 or email info@dynamictesting.ca **



Addiction in the Workplace

Doug McLachlan - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Why should a workplace look at substance abuse issues?

The fact that some people use substances such as alcohol or illicit drugs, or that some people misuse prescription drugs is not new. The awareness that the abuse of substances may affect the workplace just as the workplace may affect substance abuse is, however, increasing in acceptance. Many aspects of the workplace today require alertness, and accurate and quick reflexes. An impairment to these qualities can cause serious accidents, and interfere with the accuracy and efficiency of work. Other ways that substance abuse can cause problems at work include:

·         after-effects of substance use (hangover, withdrawal) affecting job performance

·         absenteeism, illness, and/or reduced productivity

·         preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration

·         illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees,

·         psychological or stress-related effects due to substance abuse by a family member, friend or co-worker that affects another person's job performance.



What will be covered in this document?

This document will discuss issues such as how substance abuse problems may affect the workplace, possible costs to a business, and how a business can address such issues.



In general, what are the effects of various types of substances?

Category
Examples
Examples of General Effects
Alcohol
beer, wine, spirits
impaired judgement, slowed reflexes, impaired motor function, sleepiness or drowsiness, coma, overdose may be fatal
Cannabis
marijuana, hashish
distorted sense of time, impaired memory, impaired coordination
Depressants
sleeping medicines, sedatives, some tranquilizers
inattention, slowed reflexes, depression, impaired balance, drowsiness, coma, overdose may be fatal
Hallucinogens
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), PCP (phencyclidine), mescaline
inattention, sensory illusions, hallucinations, disorientation, psychosis
Inhalants
hydrocarbons, solvents, gasoline
intoxication similar to alcohol, dizziness, headache
Nicotine
cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff
initial stimulant, later depressant effects
Opiates
morphine, heroin, codeine, some prescription pain medications
loss of interest, "nodding", overdose may be fatal. If used by injection, the sharing of needles may spread Hepatitis B, or C and HIV/AIDS.
Stimulants
cocaine, amphetamines
elevated mood, overactivity, tension/anxiety, rapid heartbeat, constriction of blood vessels

(Source: Blume, S.B., Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety 4th edition, International Labour Office, 1998)



What are the costs to a business?

The economic impacts of substance abuse in Canada to businesses or industry have been traditionally difficult to measure. Many costs are hidden by general absenteeism or illnesses, "unnoticed" lack of productivity, or inability or reluctance to link substance abuse directly with causes of accidents.

In general, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), reports that substance abuse cost the Canadian economy more than $39.8 billion in 2002. This figure includes costs for tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.

CCSA also states that the largest costs are for:

·         productivity losses,

·         direct health care,

·         police and other types of law enforcement, and

·         other direct costs.

As such, costs to a business may be both direct and indirect. The impact of substance abuse that have been reported often focus on four major issues:

·         Premature death/fatal accidents

·         Injuries/accident rates

·         Absenteeism/extra sick leave, and

·         Loss of production.

Additional costs can include:

·         tardiness/sleeping on the job

·         theft

·         poor decision making

·         loss of efficiency

·         lower morale of co-workers

·         increased likelihood of having trouble with co-workers/supervisors or tasks

·         higher turnover

·         training of new employees

·         disciplinary procedures

·         drug testing programs

·         medical/rehabilitation/employee assistance programs



Are there elements of work that may contribute to abuse of substances?

Various and numerous personal and social factors can play a major role. In general, however, some work-related factors can include:

·         high stress,

·         low job satisfaction,

·         long hours or irregular shifts,

·         fatigue,

·         repetitious duties,

·         periods of inactivity or boredom,

·         isolation,

·         remote or irregular supervision and,

·         easy access to substances.



What can the workplace do?

Work can be an important place to address substance abuse issues. Employers and employees can collaborate to design policies which outline what is an acceptable code of behaviour and what is not. By establishing or promoting programs such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), employers can help troubled employees more directly or provide referrals to community services.

Workplaces are encouraged to establish a procedure or policy so that help can be provided in a professional and consistent manner. It is important for supervisors and managers to have a resource or procedure that they can rely on if the need arises. Employees need to know that everyone will be treated the same way. Pre-planning, as for many other occupational health and safety issues, is the best way to avoid confusion and frustration in times that are already difficult.

In addition, managers and supervisors should be educated in how to recognize and deal with substance abuse issues and employees should be offered educational programs.



What elements should be in a substance abuse policy?

A company substance abuse policy should emphasize that the program is confidential and be jointly created by both labour and management.

Elements of the policy would include:

·         statement of the purpose and objectives of the program

·         definition of substance abuse

·         statement of who is covered by the policy and/or program

·         statement of the employee's rights to confidentiality

·         that arrangements have been made for employee education (e.g., a substance-free awareness program)

·         that arrangements have been made for training employees, supervisors, and others in identifying impaired behaviour and substance abuse.

·         provision for assisting chronic substance abusers

·         outline of how to deal with impaired workers

·         if necessary, statement of under what circumstances drug or alcohol testing will be conducted

·         provision for disciplinary actions.

Everybody's doing it ....

Doug McLachlan - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Growing up, you have probably heard that illicit drugs can have a negative impact on your health. Do you know how specific drugs affect your brain? Or the way that a drug can impair your judgment and affect your personality?

Everybody's Doing It?

Why would anyone use illicit drugs?

The fact is, the majority of people don't use drugs. People who do use drugs tend to make excuses for their behaviour, but do their excuses really make any sense? Read on and decide for yourself.

1."Everybody else is doing it. I want to fit in."

Reality Check:

It's risky to take drugs to fit in. Instead of helping you to fit in, drugs could start to take over your friendships.

Drug addiction can take up a lot of your time and money, leaving little of either to spend with your friends.

The key is to think for yourself and remember that you don't have to agree with, or do all the things that your friends do in order to keep your friendships.

2. "My life is stressful - drugs help me deal with everything."

Reality Check:

Drugs are not the answer to a happier, stress-free life. For one thing, they alter brain chemistry, which can lead to depression and other mental illnesses.

Taking illicit drugs can actually worsen the brain's chemical imbalances for those people who are already suffering from mental illnesses.

Face your problems head-on. The best way to deal with stress is to pinpoint when and how it started.

Once you've identified the cause, try to find a healthier way of handling it - for example, try exercise, and/or sports; meditation; art; music; hang out with your friends, watch television, and surf the Internet.

Still feeling stressed? Talk to someone you know you can trust (for example, visit your school guidance counsellor, confide in your best friend or maybe even sit down with your parents, or call a help-line for advice).

3. "I was curious and had nothing better to do."

Reality Check:

It's natural to be curious, but are drugs really worth the risk?

You cannot predict what your reaction to a drug will be - serious consequences such as overdose and even death could occur.

Taking illicit drugs impairs your decision making skills and judgement, which can lead to dangerous activities, such as driving while high.

4. "I feel grown-up, more confident and cool."

Reality Check:

The media can strongly influence what is perceived to be "cool". They often promote images of drugs in television shows and movies and avoid showing the real consequences of drug use.

While entertaining, these are not real life depictions of people or events. In real life, drug use can lead to poor school and work performance, increase conflicts with family and friends and can be deadly.

It may not seem as glamorous, but it's more rewarding for your self-image and confidence to spend your time pursuing your hobbies and passions and staying healthy.

5. "I'm not addicted - I can stop at anytime."

Reality Check:

People who are addicted to drugs also thought they would be able to control their use.

You might also become psychologically dependent to a drug and develop a compulsion to keep using it.

Realizing you have a dependency is the first step and takes courage. Consult a medical professional for help and lean on a supportive friend or family member when it gets too rough.

6. "I need some form of rebellion."

Reality Check:

It is natural to feel frustrated or annoyed with anyone telling you how to live your life. But do you really want drugs and their risky consequences to be a part of your life?

As you gain independence and are developing your own identity, don't choose to be influenced by drugs



Article from www.drugsnot4me.com

Calgary teen dies in hospital of drug overdose

Doug McLachlan - Friday, December 02, 2011
QR77 Newsroom
11/30/2011
A 16 year old boy rushed to Children's Hospital from a party in Harvest Hills last Saturday afternoon...died this morning from what's being called a drug overdose. Several teens had gathered for the party at a home in the 100 block of Harvest Oak Crescent NE, and the boy ingested an unknown quantity of what was believed to be ecstasy. He was rushed to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition. Eight other teens in attendance were also taken to hospital for precautionary reasons and subsequently released. The initial investigation does not indicate that the teens were the victims of a criminal act. However, the investigation is ongoing. The boy's identity is not being released and his family has asked for privacy during this difficult time.
Police would like teens and parents alike, to take this tragic situation as a reminder of the dangers of illegal drug use.

http://www.qr77.com/News/Local/Story.aspx?ID=1579592

We guarantee excellent customer service thru our timely communication and fast accurate results.


© 2014 Dynamic Testing Solutions - Calgary, Alberta      Phone: 403-262-2721      E-mail: info@dynamictesting.ca   Privacy Policy