26 April 2016
Tweet This Drug addiction is a relapsing disease of the brain that causes compulsive drug seeking and use. Drug addiction is chronic and leads to destructive consequences for the user as well as the people around them. As a result of addiction, the brain changes over time and makes it problematic for the user to resist the intense impulses to take drugs. Taking drugs leads to changes in the brain’s communication system. The way nerve cells send, receive, and process information is disrupted. Long-term abuse leads to changes in the brain surrounding judgment, decision making, learning and memory, behavior control, and impair cognitive function. These changes in the brain can persuade someone abusing drugs to seek out and take drugs even though the consequences can be devastating. Individuals and society suffer negatively from drug abuse and addiction. The United States loses hundreds of billions of dollars due to substance abuse each year. Costs include productivity, health, and crime-related costs. These costs account for illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. The workplace is not immune to these costs. Companies are suffering due to lack of productivity, increased absenteeism, and more accidents that come along with those abusing drugs. However, there are steps that can be taken in the workplace in order to avoid the negative consequences that come from addiction. Drug Testing is a great way to be proactive in maintaining a drug free workplace and eliminating the costs that come along with drug addiction. AMC offers drug screening programs for those that fall under Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations as well as those looking for a Drug Free Workplace Program. Contact AMC Drug Testing at 1-800-339-9993 ext. 201 in order to enroll in a customized substance abuse program that best fits the needs of your company. http://www.amc-on-line.com/request-information/ National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
21 April 2016
Late last year the American Trucking Association tried to convince Congress to pass legislation that would substitute hair testing for urinalysis as the standard for drug testing. The bill that the truckers urged Congress to amend was The Drug Free Commercial Act of 2015 (H.R. 1467/S. 806). Predictably, some in the trucking industry opposed the proposed change calling the science “unproven” while others – most notably Knight Transportation and Maverick Transportation as well as Schneider National, J. B. Hunt Transport, General Motors and Shell Oil have already been using the test to screen potential employees. A bill is on the Senate legislative calendar under General Orders Calendar No 404 as of 03/28/2016. Some people offer opinions on the controversy. However, many of those people don’t understand what is involved in a hair test. The testing process isn’t new. It is based on proven scientific processes. What happens during the testing process is that subjects first report to us. Then, a section of the subject’s hair – usually the first 1½ inches of hair near the front of the head – is clipped. In the event that a subject’s body hair is too short or a person is bald, hair can still be collected from other parts of the body. This sample is tested. Hair drug tests detect the presence (or absence) of up to 5 drugs in hair. Those drugs are: Amphetamines/Methamphetamines, Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates and Phencyclidine. The presence of drug are detected for approximately 90 days. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports hair testing. To be a more effective and accurate means of detecting drug usage than urinalysis. Because of the HHS’s support of hair testing, it is clear that the trend is moving towards using it as a substitute for, or in addition to, urinalysis. At AMC we support and are able to provide hair testing and many other forms of drug testing for our clients. We keep up with the science required to accurately screen subjects and we also stay apprised of legislation that affects the business. We are well-informed. We can tell you what is required of employee testing and screening. Tweet This
20 April 2016
International Drug Testing Tweet This AMC Drug Testing has more than 25,000 collection sites nationwide in the United States, alone. We also offer international drug testing in various parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, China, the Caribbean, Europe, Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East, North America, South America, and the United Kingdom. Africa Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Kenya Nigeria South Africa Asia Guam Hong Kong Indonesia Japan Malaysia Marshal Islands Philippines Saipan South Korea Singapore Thailand Australia Central America Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Panama China India Caribbean Antigua and Barbados Aruba Bahamas Bermuda Cayman Islands Dominica Dominican Republic Jamaica Puerto Rico St. Kitts Trinidad and Tobago U.S. Virgin Islands Europe Austria Belgium Finland France Germany Greece Italy Ireland Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Eastern Europe Poland Romania Slovenia Middle East Afghanistan Bahrain Egypt Israel Kuwait Lebanon Oman Pakistan Qatar Turkey United Arab Emirates North America Canada Mexico South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela United Kingdom England Scotland AMC offers international urine drug screening to current customers with a drug screening program as well as those looking to schedule a one-time test. Businesses may think setting up a drug screen out of the country is not worth their time and effort. Setting up a drug screen for a client that is abroad, may be difficult due to cultural differences in business etiquette, currency exchange, import/export customs and language barriers. However, AMC can eliminate these issues and simplify the process. Let us remove the burden and do the work for your company. International drug screening is simply another great way to keep your workplace free from the liability that comes along with drug users. Contact AMC at 1-800-339-9993 ext 201 in order to setup drug screening abroad for your company!
08 January 2016
Adhering to DOT drug testing rules is a serious matter, we just wish everyone looked at it the same way we do. There are sites on the Internet – mainly those that have arisen from the stoner culture – that brazenly instruct donors on how to successfully pass drug tests. One site in particular – that will of course go unnamed – gives rather detailed strategies on how donors can come out “clean” on their drug tests. These sites usually do so along with some sort of disclaimer that warns about misusing the information contained on the site. These warnings are done in order to make the owners appear to be conscientious. Fortunately, AMC Drug Testing takes employee drug testing more seriously than these sites because we know what may be at stake. For the sake of public safety, for example, truck drivers need to be properly screened by competent professionals who are familiar with all the ways some donors cheat on their tests. At AMC Drug Testing we administer DOT drug testing and we insure that our test results are accurate and complete. We also administer 10 Panel Drug Test screening; these screenings test for five street drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth, weed, PCP) and five prescription drugs (benzodiazepines, Quaaludes, methadone, propoxyphene, barbiturates). All of our clients in a variety of fields depend on our accurate and impartial testing. For that reason, we have familiarized ourselves with the many ways some donors do cheat. Drug Tests Cheats: Dilution: Some donors attempt to dilute their urine samples with water in order to compromise the results of their tests. Responsible drug testing facilities are familiar with this method called “dilution.” This is why laboratories add dyes to their toilets and also why they turn off faucets. Adulterating Samples: This is when a donor adds an additional agent to his/her sample in order to mask the presence of illegal substances. SAMHSA certified labs can easily detect these chemical irregularities and flag suspicious samples. Substitution: This is, as the name implies, when a donor substitutes his/her sample with that of another person he/she knows to be “clean.” Trained drug testers can detect the temperature variances between real-time urine, for example, and urine brought in as a substitute. This year approximately 2 million drug tests will come back from the lab as “positive” for one of more drugs. We apply a battery of safeguards to our hair follicle test, saliva test and our entire drug testing to be absolutely sure you have the most accurate results possible. We carefully monitor the chain of custody of specimens, chemical test samples for irregularities that indicate cheating and use trained Drug Test Technicians. There will always be people who try to circumvent the system and there will always be people like AMC Drug Testing who stay one step ahead of them. Tweet This
21 December 2015
DOT FMCSA Annual Percentage Rate Requirement Tweet This Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Annual Random Controlled Substances Testing Percentage Rate for Calendar Year 2016 AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of program change. SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces, pursuant to 49 CFR 382.305, that it is reducing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the current rate of 50 percent of the average number of driver positions to 25 percent of the average number of driver positions, effective in calendar year 2016. The FMCSA Administrator has the discretion to decrease the minimum annual random testing percentage rate based on the reported positive random test rate for the entire motor carrier industry. Based on the controlled substances random test data in FMCSA’s Management Information System (MIS) for calendar years 2011, 2012, and 2013, the positive rate for controlled substances random testing fell below the 1.0 percent threshold for 3 consecutive calendar years. As a result, the Agency will lower the controlled substances minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 25 percent of the average number of driver positions. In accordance with 49 CFR 382.305(e)(2) if , in the future, the reported positive rate for any calendar year is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent, the FMCSA Administrator will increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50 percent of all driver positions. DATES: Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing, for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL), will be 25 percent. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The final rule titled, “Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing,” published August 17, 2001, (66 FR 43097), established the process by which the Agency determines whether the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing should be increased or decreased. The final rule included a provision indicating that the decision on whether to increase or decrease the percentage rate would be based upon the motor carrier industry’s overall positive random controlled substance test rate, as reported by motor carrier employers to FMCSA, pursuant to 49 CFR 382.403. Under this performance-based system, the testing rate was initially set at 50 percent. The FMCSA Administrator may, at his or her discretion, lower the minimum annual random controlled substances testing percentage rate to 25 percent when the industry-wide random controlled substances positive rate is less than 1.0 percent for two consecutive calendar years. 49 CFR 382.305(g). The new annual random testing percentage rate would then apply starting January 1 of the following calendar year. 49 CFR 382.305(f). In accordance with 49 CFR 382.403, each calendar year FMCSA requires motor carriers selected for the survey to submit their DOT drug and alcohol testing program results. Selected motor carriers are responsible for ensuring the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of the data submitted. The survey requires motor carriers to provide information to the Agency on the number of random tests conducted and the corresponding positive rates. For the 2013 survey, notices were sent out to 3,251 randomly selected motor carriers primarily via email and U.S. mail for those motor carriers with invalid or no email addresses. Of these forms, 2,236 were completed and returned to FMCSA, resulting in usable data from 1,654 carriers comprising of 497,270 CDL drivers based on the motor carriers’ survey responses. Respondents providing non-usable data represent entities that are out of business, exempt, have no testing program in place, or belong to consortia that did not test any drivers for the carrier during 2013. The estimated positive random controlled substance test rate in 2013 is 0.7 percent. The 95-percent confidence interval for this estimate ranges from 0.6–0.8 percent. In other words, if the survey were to be replicated, it would be expected that the confidence interval derived from each replication would contain the true usage rate in 95 out of 100 surveys. For 2011 and 2012, the estimated positive usage rate for drugs was estimated to be 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. For calendar year 2015, in order to ensure reliability of the data, the FMCSA Administrator made the decision to maintain the annual testing percentage rate at 50 percent and sought additional information related to drivers’ positive test rates. Following a third consecutive calendar year of data reporting the positive rate below 1.0 percent FMCSA announces that the random controlled substances annual percentage testing rate will change from 50 percent to 25 percent. The new minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing will be effective January 1, 2016. This change reflects the sustained low positive test rate and will result in an estimated $50 million in annual savings to motor carriers by requiring that fewer drivers be tested. In accordance with 49 CFR 382.305(e)(2) if , in the future, the reported positive rate for any calendar year is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent, the FMCSA Administrator will increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50 percent of all driver positions. Minimum Annual Percentage Rates for Random Controlled Substances Testing for 2016 Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing is 25 percent of the average number of driver positions. The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10 percent. DOT FMCSA Annual – 2016
13 November 2015
NEGATIVE DILUTE FACT SHEET Creatinine is a naturally occurring waste product found in all human urine, if a specimen is found to have no creatinine it is not human urine. The following are the parameters that determine whether or not a specimen is normal or dilute: [tabgroup] [tab title=”Normal Specimen”] Concentration of creatinine: Between 20 mg/dl and 250 mg/dl. Specific gravity levels: Between 1.0030 and 1.0200[/tab] [tab title=”Dilute Specimen”] Concentration of creatinine: 5 mg/dl or greater but less than 20 mg/dl. Specific gravity levels: Greater than 1.0010 but less than 1.0030[/tab] [/tabgroup] If a urine specimen falls outside of the normal range it does not necessarily mean that the result will be invalid. What should an employer do? If an employer falls under DOT guidelines please see the DOT regulations regarding negative dilutes: http://www.dot.gov/odapc/part40/40_197 Some find it helpful to understand the DOT’s response to negative dilute results as a benchmark for their own policy: DOT regulations (49 CFR Part 40.197) allow the employer to make a decision to re-collect these donors one time under the following circumstances: 1. Such recollections must not be collected under direct observation. 2. You must treat all employees the same for this purpose. 3. You may establish different policies for different types of tests (e.g., conduct retests in pre-employment situations, but not in random test situations). 4. You must inform your employees of your policy regarding the actions taken after receipt of a negative dilute result. 5. You must treat the result of the test you directed the employee to take as the test result of record, even if it is dilute. The decision regarding the treatment of negative dilute test results relies solely on the employer and the drug free workplace policy currently in place at the company. AMC can explain the meaning of a negative dilute result however we cannot give advice as to whether or not a re-collection should be taken. Tweet This PLEASE NOTE: The following is presented as general educational information. It is not legal advice, either express or implied. Consultation with your legal counsel is recommended for all employment law matters.
29 October 2015
The U.S. Department of Transportation has recently released the 2015 edition of the National Transportation Atlas Databases. This database will show the entire country’s transportation infrastructure and how it is compiled. Using this database, transportation companies can gain insightful knowledge into the inner workings of the roadways. This database is necessary to ensure that safety standards are met, updated, and maintained by all transportation companies. This year’s edition of the Database is set to include crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Using this data will again, help to regulate and strengthen road safety laws nationwide. AMC Drug Testing provides a Total Compliance Program for DOT drug testing that allows your company to focus on what you do best – operating your company. It is difficult to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing traffic and safety compliance regulations, even if only from a time management standpoint. It is not reasonable to expect every corporation (big or small) to maintain the knowledge and inner workings on this entire database and the updates made on an ongoing basis. This is where the Total Compliance Program comes into play. It is imperative that safety standards are met to ensure the safety for everyone on the road. The Total Compliance Program will ensure that all employees as well as supervisors are provided the most updated training materials for both Driver’s Education and Supervisor Training. Once your company has enrolled in the program, maintaining regulation and compliance standards is quite simple. AMC Drug Testing ensures regular drug testing—including everything from a 10 panel drug test to a hair follicle test— will be certified through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This will ensure that all regulation laws are met and testing will never interfere with daily operations. Many companies worry about the interference with daily operations due to random drug testing selections. Luckily, AMC utilizes up to 20,000 different collection sites nationwide to assist with this ongoing issue. By using a large number of collection sites nationwide, AMC Drug Testing is able to provide the highest level of compliance to the workplace as possible. This year alone the National Transportation Atlas Databases have added 24 new data layers for a total 57 individual data layers. It can become quite difficult for many companies to maintain that every detailed line is understood so that safety standards are met. Safety is of the top priority to AMC Drug Testing and every precautionary measure is taken to ensure that all U.S. roadways are maintained as a drug-free workplace.
21 March 2013
Urine Drug Test Tweet This Although there are several methods used to test for drug and alcohol use, the urine drug test remains the most common, convenient and affordable testing method. Urine testing can be used for alcohol and a wide range of illicit drugs. At AMC, we offer urine drug testing products and services for businesses, parents and individuals Whether you are interested in performing pre-employment drug screening for your own peace of mind or to comply with regulatory requirements for your industry, AMC offers comprehensive testing services to meet the needs of your business. We have a national network of laboratory owned collection sites to provide reliable testing at laboratories in your area with a fast turnaround time for test results. A courier network is also available for specimen pick up services. For parents worried about a child and possible drug use, we offer convenient in home urine drug test kits. We have a wide range of products that can be used to test for a single drug, as well as kits to test for everything from two drugs to up to ten different drugs in a single test. Our drug testing kits are very accurate, easy to use and you can have the results in as little as three to eight minutes to provide the information you need to help your child. Please browse our website to learn more about the urine drug test options that are available to businesses, individuals and parents from AMC. You can order drug testing kits by telephone or fax for your convenience. Please contact us for more information about drug screening programs for your business.
21 March 2013
Tweet This Potential employees are not always honest on job applications, resumes and CVs. In a difficult job market, many are more willing to lie or embellish to get the edge over the competition. Unfortunately, when employees lie about their past experience, education, or criminal history, the company pays the price. At AMC, we offer employee screening services to help employers make important staffing decisions. Hiring the wrong employees can put a company at risk for theft, drug abuse, and even violence in the workplace. We offer pre-employment background screening services to fit the needs of any company. You can choose from one of our packages or let us customize employee screening services to meet your specific requirements. Our Background Screening Services Include: • ID Verifications – Identity theft is a fast growing crime and we can help you minimize risk by verifying the identity of potential employees to combat fraud. • Criminal and Court Searches – Our comprehensive searches eliminate the need for multiple database searches. We offer US, State and local criminal reports and sex offender reports with one convenient service. • Driver’s License Records – Driving records can verify the identity of a potential employee and screening for transportation positions can reduce insurance costs and prevent litigation against your company for negligence. • Employment, Education and Reference Verifications – Often, employers fail to verify the past employment, education and references of potential employees because the process is time consuming. We can provide the necessary verifications, so you can make the best decision for your company. • Credit Reports – Some employers and industries require minimum credit scores for various certifications, such as the financial services industry. This service makes checking credit reports easy and convenient. Many of our searches enable you to access the results on your computer in the same day. Others require more time and we can send a court researcher to carefully examine county and court records for comprehensive reporting service.