News

Union successful in fight to ban urine drug tests May 18 2014

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/union-successful-in-fight-to-ban-urine-drug-tests

Testing the urine of workers in order to detect drug and alcohol use has been banned by the Fair Work Commission which found employees at Endeavour Energy are to be tested using saliva swabs instead.

Last week the Fair Work Commission refused Endeavour Energy's bid to urine test its 2635 employees.

The commission labelled the use of urine tests “unjust and unreasonable” in a case which could have wider implications for a range of industries, including mining.

Endeavour Energy launched the latest legal action in October last year, with the matter heard in the Fair Work Commission in December. The company was attempting to vary the original decision, which required the use of oral testing, with urine based testing.

The Electrical Trades Union said the decision confirmed two previous court rulings that found the use of urine test was unfair because it could detect drug use from days earlier, rather than more recent use that could lead to impairment at work.

ETU NSW deputy secretary Neville Betts said the decision highlighted that the role of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace should be about identifying potential impairment, rather than disciplining staff for private actions taken in their own time.

“While oral testing accurately identifies recent drug use, where an individual may be impaired in their abilities, urine tests unfairly monitor workers’ private lives by potentially showing a positive result even where a substance may have been used many days prior, in a private capacity,” Betts said.

“This is the third time the courts have ruled in favour of the ETU on this issue, despite Endeavour Energy spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to force urine testing on their staff.

“This most recent decision absolutely cements this legal precent that has wide-ranging ramifications not only for the electricity sector, but for every industry that carries out drug and alcohol testing, in particular mining, aviation, transport and emergency services.

“In recent years drug testing of employees has become increasingly common, both in the public sector and private enterprise, which is why making sure the practice is done as fairly as possible is so important.

Endeavour Energy's chief executive Vince Graham said the ruling contradicted a 2011 decision by which found in favour of a coalmining employer's right to conduct urine testing, Newcastle Herald reported.

In that case, the commission found urine testing was more accurate.

"Mine workers and electricity workers both work in potentially dangerous conditions and yet different drug testing methods have been ordered by the [Fair Work Commission]," Graham said.

 


Workplace drug testing tipped to increase despite misgivings April 21 2014

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/workplace-drug-testing-tipped-to-increase-despite-misgivings-20140413-36lk0.html

 

Workplace drug testing is likely to become increasingly common as employers attempt to cut ''presenteeism'' and ensure safety, one of Australia's leading workplace drug experts says.

But unions say the tests, which are backed by little evidence proving they lead to safer workplaces, are an unfair invasion of privacy, particularly when they come in the form of a urine test.

The Global Drug Survey, a survey of nearly 5850 Australian drug and alcohol users conducted in partnership with Fairfax Media, has found one in eight people had been asked by their employer to take a drug test.

But it also showed workplaces could be right to worry. More than a third of full-time workers surveyed said they had taken drugs or alcohol within two hours of starting work, and some had even begun to use newly invented psychoactive drugs in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the testers.

Ken Pidd, the deputy director, research, at the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction in Adelaide, said the tests were a growing trend.

"Obviously the biggest threat from workplace drug use is safety, if people are intoxicated at work, but there is a much larger picture around absenteeism, or even presenteeism, related to use outside the workplace," he said.

He recently conducted a review of the evidence in favour of the tests, and found outside of a few circumstances, such as mandatory alcohol testing for US truck drivers, there was little proof they improved safety. "It is a particular issue for urine testing, which doesn't actually detect impairment, just prior use," he said.

Dr Pidd said studies had found the overall rate of use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace in Australia was relatively low, although in some industries such as hospitality and finance rates were far higher.

"Workplace drug use tends to be in line with drug use in the broader population,'' he said.

"There are some types of drugs that are increasing, such as prescription drugs, so they are likely to be increasing in the workplace as well.''

He said prescription drugs posed a particular problem for people returning to work from injury, as they could exacerbate problems by doing more damage with dulled pain sensations. Dr Pidd expected workplace drug testing to increase, but said other, less expensive techniques such as the provision of information or counselling could in some cases be more effective.

Alex Claassens, NSW secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, said workers were still being subjected to "invasive and unhygienic" urine drug testing.

''Mouth swab testing is safe, sure, instant and conforms with the National Rail Safety legislation and should replace the outdated practice of urine testing for NSW transport workers," he said.

 

Peyote was amazing, says lawyer 

Miles Hunt is a partner in an inner-city law firm, but he won’t let that stop him admitting he also uses drugs.

‘‘I’ve used many drugs — most,’’ he says.

‘‘Tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, hallucinogens, peyote ...  peyote was amazing.’’

The drug law reform advocate is happy to admit his continuing drug use because he believes the silence around drugs is only causing harm in society.

‘‘I believe drugs should be taken responsibly,’’ he says. ‘‘They’re dangerous, but people can have good experiences and prohibition doesn’t allow us to talk about it. People do many things that are dangerous. Driving is dangerous, eating fast foods is dangerous, but the best way to deal with that is to openly discuss it.’’

Mr Hunt, 32, says in his work he often saw young people whose lives had been changed, even ruined, after they had been caught with small quantities of drugs, but he had never been caught.

‘‘I think some people are more likely to be searched or pulled over by police, which is a real discrimination problem.

‘‘You don’t see bankers being pulled over and searched for cocaine,’’ he says.


How can I pass a drug test for Weed/Marijuana? March 16 2014

 

Unfortunately for many, the consequences of small actions can cause dire repercussions. Smoking just once can render your urine positive for THC cannabinoids for up to 7 days depending on your metabolism. Play around with our THC Calculator for a better idea of detection times depending on frequency of use and metabolism.

A positive drug test at your workplace can: cause your to lose your job, be issued a formal warning, be sent home without pay until you can prove you are clean, and is generally an awkward situation which most people want to try an avoid. So can you pass a drug test for marijuana? Depending on the situation… Yes it is possible.

Situation 1: You know you will be tested

Situation 2: Random Drug test

In Situation 1, you know you have a drug test coming up. The best thing you can do is to abstain from ingesting any THC products from the date you become aware you have a test. Depending on how long you have been smoking, THC can be detected over the AS4308 cut off levels of 50ng/ml for up to 2 months. On average the Chronic smoker will be clean after 3 weeks but this time length greatly deviates depending on the individual.

Why abstain? Because the staff at Pass My Drug Test care for your future and not our sales results. More than likely, a pre-planned drug test is usually for a new job pre-medical. There is nothing more stressful than wondering if you passed your drug test. Not having to worry about planning for your drug test will allow you to focus your energy on getting that job.

What do I do if I didn’t abstain or if my test is within the detectable period? Don’t worry, use our THC Calculator to help you choose the appropriate product.

There are a few products which should come up.

  1. Monkey Dong Package with Synthetic Urine / Synthetic urine only if female
  2. Cleansing programs (Varied lengths)
  3. Ultra Mask + Stat! Flush Package
  4. Ultra Mask

The Monkey Dong package is fairly self-explanatory, this would be suggested if you are required to pass the test with high toxicity (THC Cannabinoids). The Monkey Dong Package includes a fake Penis (if you are male) and Synthetic Urine.

The Cleansing programs have been written and designed by the staff at Pass My Drug Test after years of research. These programs include daily supplements and also dietary and exercise tips which will help your body naturally detox the detectable toxins out. The programs also include products to further aid in passing your drug test for the day. The intent of the program is to reduce the toxin concentration over the course of the program so that on the day of the test, your urine should be close to passing (if not already clear). Consuming the test day products will further increase probability of a negative result (passing your drug test).

The Ultra Mask (Also labelled B-Clear) and Stat! Flush are intended to be used for mild toxic levels. For high toxic levels we would always recommend finishing one of our programs prior to use or simply using the Monkey Dong and Synthetic Urine package. This product helps you pass your drug test by a simple dilution method. By consuming this product and following the instructions, effectively you are hydrating your body so that when you need to urinate at the test, your urine sample has become diluted such that your toxin levels actually show less than the actual toxin levels should be.

Can I just drink water before my test and pass instead of using these products? Yes you can, however most tests also test for adulterants. Most commonly colour and specific gravity. By urinating a completely clear liquid and having a very low SG in your sample, questions will more than likely arise. It is entirely possible to consume the right amount of vitamin B, sugars and salts however it’s typically more reliable to use these formulated products (Ultra Mask and Stat! Flush) over anecdotal mixing ratios.

 

For Situation 2: Random Drug test: You need to evaluate whether smoking marijuana while having a job with RDT (Random Drug Test) is a good idea. If quitting is not an option (marijuana or the job) then this is a difficult situation as you need to prepare with most products prior to your test.

Synthetic Urine is your best bet, as with the short notice of a random drug test you can’t really drink an Ultra Mask in the middle of your workplace. The only thing you need to ensure is that your Synthetic Urine is at or around 37 Degrees Celsius. Portable hand warmers may be a solution however will end being costly over time. Investing in an electric baby food and milk warmer could potentially be a solution for keeping urine around a certain temperature, but it depends on your current workspace and how many questions will be asked about your personal baby food and milk warmer… and no baby.

In summary it’s always best to abstain from any drugs prior to a drug test, but as life is not always perfect there are always options.

 


Pharmaceutical drugs which can cause false positives in a drug test February 15 2014

This will be handy for those on prescribed drugs.

 

Amphetamine and methamphetamine Amantadine
  Brompheniramine
  Bupropion
  Chlorpromazine
  Desipramine
  Desoxyephedrine
  Ephedrine
  Fluoxetine
  Isometheptene
  Isoxsuprine
  Labetalol
  Phentermine
  Phenylephrine
  Phenylpropanolamine
  Promethazine
  Pseudoephedrine
  Ranitidine
  Selegiline
  Thioridazine
  Trazodone
  Trimethobenzamide
  Trimipramine
  Vicks inhalerb
Barbiturates Ibuprofen
  Naproxen
Benzodiazepines Oxaprozin
  Sertraline
Cannabinoids Dronabinol
  Efavirenz
  Hemp-containing foods
  Ibuprofen
  Ketoprofen
  Naproxen
  Piroxicam
  Promethazine
  Proton pump inhibitorsc
  Sulindac
  Tolmetin
   
Cocaine Amoxicillin
  Coca leaf teas
  Tonic water
Methadone Chlorpromazine
  Clomipramine
  Diphenhydramine
  Doxylamine
  Ibuprofen
  Quetiapine
  Thioridazine
  Verapamil
Opiates Dextromethorphan
  Diphenhydramine
  Fluoroquinolonesa
  Poppy seeds and oil
  Rifampin
  Quinine
Phencyclidine Dextroamphetamine
  Dextromethorphan
  Diphenhydramine
  Doxylamine
  Ibuprofen
  Imipramine
  Ketamine
  Meperidine
  Thioridazine
  Tramadol
  Venlafaxine
Tricyclic antidepressants Carbamazepine
  Cyclobenzaprine
  Cyproheptadine
  Diphenhydramine
  Hydroxyzine
  Quetiapine
Lyseric acid diethylamine (LSD) Amitriptyline
  Dicyclomine
  Ergotamine
  Promethazine
  Sumatriptan

a Ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin.

b Vicks inhaler due to l-methamphetamine content interfered with older immunoassays; interference has not been seen with new enzyme multiplied immunoassay tests (EMIT).

c Pantoprazole.

 

 

References

1. Standridge JB, Adams SM, Zotos AP. Urine drug screen: a valuable office procedure. Am Fam Physician. 2010;81(5):635-640.

2. Moeller KE, Lee KC, Kissack JC. Urine drug screening: practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008;83(1):66-76.

3. Quest Diagnostics. Standard urine testing for drug and alcohol abuse. www.questdiagnostics.com/employersolutions/standard_urine_testing_es.html

Accessed Nov 11, 2010.

4. Vincent EC, Zebelman A, Goodwin C. What common substances can cause false positives on urine drug screens for drugs of abuse? J Fam Pract. 2006;55(10):893-894, 897.

5. Brahm NC, Yeager LL, Fox MD, Farmer KC, Palmer TA. Commonly prescribed medications and potential false-positive urine drug screens. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2010;67(16):1344-1350.

6. Holtorf K. Ur-ine Trouble. Scottsdale, AZ: Vandalay Press; 1998.

7. Woelfel JA. Drug abuse urine tests: false-positive results. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter. 2005;21(3):210314.