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Increasing Synthetic Drug Abuse in the Workplace

Why you need to update your workplace drug testing policy

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—Mobile Health Patient

With synthetic drug use on the rise amongst Americans, employers are now faced with a new challenge of maintaining a safe & drug-free work environment.  The increased use of synthetic marijuana products such as K2, Spice, Dream, & Kronic are posing a serious danger for workplaces all around the world.

Instep Limited’s chief executive Matthew Beattie says, “Not only do employers have a legal responsibility to keep the workplace safe, but also look after their employees’ well-being.  It is not just about compliance with health & safety in employment legislation.”  With an employee under the effects of these drugs, there is a higher probability of someone being killed or seriously injured in a workplace accident.

What makes this problem worse is that there is no regulation of these designer drugs; therefore, their potency can’t be controlled or verified.  As a result, many healthcare practitioners don’t know the effects they will have on a patient’s prescribed medication or how it will affect their overall well-being.

Sold under many names and labeled “not for human consumption”, these products have been reported to cause psychotic effects such as confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, panic attacks, & severe anxiety along with physical effects such as vomiting, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and reduced blood supply to the heart which can lead to many life-threatening situations.  Due to synthetic cannabis’s unusually high potency, these drugs also have the effect that most amphetamines do on their users such as being angry & sweaty.

Drug abuse amongst a workplace can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, on-the-job accidents, and disregard for the safety of themselves & others.  This can then lead to increased health care, legal liabilities, and workers’ compensation costs.

Drug tests facilitated by toxicology labs detect these types of drugs in the human body.  These types of tests accurately identifies 19 synthetic cannabinoids and their metabolites.  Your local employee screening provider can provide urine & blood compliance testing for these synthetic drugs.  More employers are now using these test to combat these dilemmas.