DOT Four-Opioid Panel Testing Rule Finalized

The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) made a final ruling November 10th on the proposed rules to include opioids in their drug testing panel for safety-sensitive employees. Originally proposed nearly a year ago, the ruling is now final and will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Continue reading “DOT Four-Opioid Panel Testing Rule Finalized” »

DOT Opioid Testing Proposal Final Review

The Trump Administration is finally working on finalizing a proposal to require opioid testing for transportation workers in certain positions. These positions include railroad engineers, pilots, air traffic controllers, truck drivers, and other employees who are subject to federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. Continue reading “DOT Opioid Testing Proposal Final Review” »

Better Safety Measures Aimed to Protect Workers From Opioid Exposure

The nation is combatting an opioid epidemic and, so far, there hasn’t been much coverage about the needs of first responders and other workers exposed to the hazardous substances. Recently, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have requested an audit to examine how the U.S. Postal Service is training and preparing its workers to respond to the risk posed by illegal shipment of synthetic opioids. Continue reading “Better Safety Measures Aimed to Protect Workers From Opioid Exposure” »

How Drugs Can Affect Your Heart’s Health

The majority of illegal drugs can have adverse effects on your heart, including abnormal heart rate and even heart attacks. Injecting illegal drugs can lead to cardiovascular issues, like collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves. Continue reading “How Drugs Can Affect Your Heart’s Health” »

How Does the ADA Affect My Ability to Conduct Workplace Drug Testing?

Workplace drug testing is an important tool. It preserves a safer and more efficient work environment. In some cases, an effective workplace drug testing policy can literally save lives.

But workplace drug testing policies require time and care to implement. One factor that employers must consider is whether or not their workplace drug testing program complies with American Disability Act, or ADA, guidelines.
What is the ADA, and how does it impact your workplace drug testing? ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North shares what employers need to know.

Continue reading “How Does the ADA Affect My Ability to Conduct Workplace Drug Testing?” »

Are Your Employees Using Designer Drugs? Learn the Basics

Many Kansas City employers know to watch their employees for signs of common drugs like marijuana and cocaine. There is, however, another type of drug that employers need to watch out for: designer drugs.

Today, ARCpoint Labs will get you up to speed on the basic facts about designer drugs. Armed with this information, you’ll be in a better position to protect your workforce.

Continue reading “Are Your Employees Using Designer Drugs? Learn the Basics” »

Will Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Come to Kansas City?

As if the nation’s drug problem wasn’t bad enough already, drugs mixed with dangerous fillers bring the problem to a whole new level. The most recent drug and filler combination to make the news is fentanyl-laced heroin. Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic, sometimes prescribed to cancer patients as a last resort. It is a white powder that looks similar to heroin. When mixed with heroin, however, the results can be fatal. Join ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North to learn more about this serious threat to public health.

Continue reading “Will Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Come to Kansas City?” »

K2 in the Workplace Goes Undetected

employees at work Most employers and court officers do routine drug testing to ensure those they are supervising are staying drug free and healthy. However, one drug that has become increasingly common over the past few years is flying under the radar. That’s right. K2 synthetic marijuana is not usually detected on a traditional drug test. Read on to find out more.

What is K2?

K2 is a synthetic drug marketed as an “herbal incense,” but it is filled with harmful chemicals such as JWH-018 and JWH-073 that act in the place of THC that is found in marijuana. As more and more people learned about the substance (also known as Spice and fake pot), it grew in popularity as a legal alternative to marijuana. Many states moved quickly to ban the substance that was frequently being sold in convenience stores and gas stations across the nation. However, it is still accessible and is still being widely used.

Testing

Employers and probation officers typically use a Basic 5 Panel UA to test for drug use. However, this test does not detect synthetic substances like K2. It does detect:

  1. THC

  2. Cocaine

  3. Methamphetamine

  4. Amphetamine

  5. Opiates

Since K2 does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it uses other chemicals to mimic the effects of THC by acting on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. That’s why the drug likely won’t show up on these multi-drug test kits.

Signs and Symptoms

More and more people are using it as an alternative to marijuana. Aside from its harmful chemicals, it can cause serious reactions. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of someone who may be using K2. As our previous blog post about the drug mentions, ingredients are up to 10 times more active than THC, according to its creator John Huffman. Mixing in the synthetic cannabinoids can cause severe side effects including:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Seizures

  • Increased heart rate

  • Hallucinations

  • Dizziness

  • Red eyes

Employers and court officers have an obligation to keep our communities safe. Understand the symptoms and risks behind this drug. ARCpoint realizes that the dangers of using K2 are serious and now offers testing for this synthetic marijuana. Find a location near you for more information on our K2 screening services. Call (816) 875-9301 for more information.

A tobacco shop that’s not just a tobacco shop

Oh, synthetic drugs. My how we don’t like you.

News from across the state line hit Kansas City headlines a few months ago. A Platte City tobacco shop was busted for selling synthetic drugs. While the KC star article makes it seem like the shop didn’t initially appear to sell illegal products, what was stocked in the backroom was a whole different story. An undercover cop that bought K2 from the store uncovered all of the ways they made business … other than selling tobacco. The store is no longer in business and the owner, if convicted, faces up to seven years in prison.

tobacco-smoke-shop-synthetic-drugs

Smoke shop wasn’t just selling tobacco – and got busted for supplying synthetic drugs to customers.

Synthetic Drugs are NOT Legal

Many people are confused about synthetic drugs. For one, are they legal or not? Synthetic drugs are NOT legal; however their initial entrance into the marketplace is what makes them confusing. Before the DEA realized what was happening, these drugs branded as “bath salts” or “fake pot” were sold on retail shelves. Over the past several years, law enforcement has cracked down on such activity and ruled it as illegal – however many manufactures continue to find ways to adapt their compounds and get away with production and selling, if not in stores – via online outlets. Despite what still may be considered “easy access” (in comparison to more traditional drugs), synthetic drugs are still illegal and extremely dangerous. As the KC Star article explains:

“Synthetic drugs like K-2 and bath salts are as dangerous – if not more dangerous – than other illegal drugs. And even though they have recently been sold in tobacco shops and convenience stores, no buyer or seller should operate under the illusion that they are legal.”Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd

Read the full story about the Platte City Synthetic Drug bust.

Lessons from the tobacco shop

I’m not sure if the smoke shop had a natural target on their backs considering their business runs off of people’s smoking hobbies. Nonetheless, the owner obviously thought he could sneak in extra products and not get caught; just like some employees think they can sneak in recreational drug use while at work and not get caught. Nobody is immune to getting caught and after a while, drug use (or the sale of drugs) will be uncovered in likely and unlikely places.

Common Synthetic Drugs

spice-synthetic-drug-testing

One popular synthetic drug, “Spice,” or fake pot.

Heads up, Lawrence – synthetic drugs are on the rise and chances are, with this college town, there’s definitely some usage going on. A report from the UN even says that synthetic drugs are the second-most used drugs in the world(second to pot) – beating out cocaine and heroine these days. And while we might focus our gaze toward the college campus at first, in all actuality, synthetic drug use could really be happening all over town.

What are Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs are sometimes known as the “legal” drugs… however not for long if state and national laws continue to form against them. They’re known as “fake” versions of traditional drugs, for example “fake pot,” yet they carry a greater risk than many traditional drugs. Synthetic drugs are sold on many shelves as “bath salts” and “pot-pourri” in hedge shops (look for the stores with hemp and pipes behind the counter.) While the EPA continues to try to outlaw synthetic drug compounds, manufacturers continue to find ways to produce and sell them in retail stores and online. It’s created widespread problems that are not getting any better. Teens and adults are winding up in the ER facing grave physical side effects from these extremely harmful synthetic drugs.

Become Familiar with Synthetic Drugs

If you’re an employer or parent and unfamiliar with synthetic drugs, here’s quick guide for what to keep on your radar. Know that these drugs are bad news – and there’s nothing “simple” or “harmless” about them. If you suspect your teen or employee is using synthetic drugs, get them drug tested for synthetics immediately. Just because they purchased the packet in the store or through a website doesn’t mean it’s safe. It’s actually very dangerous.

Common Synthetic Drugs

Here are some of the common names given to synthetic drugs.

For a great resource, view this list of the common synthetic drugs and their “nicknames.”

Synthetic Marijuana

K2

Spice

Head Trip

White Rabbit

Red Dragon

Serenity

Kaotic

Bath Salts

White Rush

Cloud 9

Ivory Wave

Testing for Synthetic Drugs in Kansas

Luckily, if you suspect use there are steps to take to uncover if synthetic drugs are being used. Our walk-in labs in Kansas City and Lawrence offer synthetic drug testing. If you’re at work, we can even come to you. Don’t take your chances with synthetic drugs. Take action today.