Stepped-Up Efforts Aim To Thwart Cheating On Drug Tests
August 18, 2008
This is very good news for all of you employers out there that conduct pre and post-hire drug testing. In addition to the safeguards laboratories have put in place to detect any type of dilution or adulteration to a urine specimen, a new bill called “The Drug Testing Integrity Act” has been proposed that will “outlaw the manufacture, sale, shipment or provision of any product designed to assist in defeating a drug test.” Those in violation of this bill would be subjected to penalties and fines.
Legislation has been introduced, and regulations soon will take effect to crack down on products and guidance designed to defeat testing.
By Susan J. Landers, AMNews staff. August 25, 2008.
Washington – What do salt, bleach, soap, drain cleaner, detergent, lemon juice and white vinegar have in common? All are promoted on Web sites as substances that can be added to urine to mask the presence of illegal drugs.
Thousands of sites provide information on how to cheat on drug tests, and many of the techniques have been publicized for decades. No sooner had regulations been developed to institute President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 call for a drug-free federal workplace than people began searching for ways to evade detection, said Amitava Dasgupta, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
Labs have been successful, so far, at keeping up with the methods employed, but “it’s a cat and mouse game,” Dasgupta said. Just when labs catch up with one subterfuge, another comes along.
Dasgupta spoke July 29 at the Annual Meeting and Clinical Laboratory Expo 2008 of the American Assn. for Clinical Chemistry in Washington, D.C.
With drug abuse a critical problem in the U.S. and many other nations, the screening of potential employees has become common, Dasgupta said. More than 47 million adults reported working in settings where testing for illicit drug or alcohol use occurred during the hiring process, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Drug testing is also a public safety issue, and American Medical Association policy outlines the need to safeguard the validity and integrity of the testing system.
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