K2 and Hair Testing

K2 and Hair Testingspice pic

Wow!  There is a great deal of interest and buzz about K2 and Hair Testing.

The news is good and bad, depending on who you are.

If you are the user, the news is good, if you are a parent, child, or attorney of a user, the news is most decidedly bad.

Simple truth, at this time, K2 is NOT detectable in hair.  So if you are looking to identify its use in someone you know or are defending, hair testing isn’t going to get it done.

Further, urine testing is limited.  There IS an instant device, which can detect two compounds used in Spice/K2, but in order to use this test, you need a Court Order.  There is also a lab based urine test that can detect up to 11 compounds used to make K2.  No Court Order required, but it is expensive.

A+ Drug testing can provide either one.  Just give us a call, especially if you have questions about this dangerous drug.  Remember, it is up to 100 times MORE potent that natural marijuana and CAN kill on the first use.

 

POST ACCIDENT TESTING AND TPA’S (THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATORS)

POST ACCIDENT TESTING AND TPA’S (THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATORS)question mark and dollar signs

Frequently, I hear comments from employers that drug testing is expensive, especially post accident testing because it seems that most times accidents happen after hours or on weekends and getting testing during these times is much more expensive, and that it seems to take all day to get the collector to the job site.

Well, yes, it is.

HOWEVER, there are some ways to pare down the cost, and at the same time get your collections completed much more quickly.  First, it is no secret that it is hard to find a mobile collector on a weekend, and if you do, yes, it will cost extra.  I think that cost is expected.

The real impediment to cost, and frankly to quicker response, is the use of “third party administrators, or TPA’s)  These companies are located all over the country and their sole job is to locate collectors for employers.

Most say, GREAT!, one stop shopping.  Not so fast………………

While it is true that they will eventually find you a collector, it is also true that typically, it takes them HOURS to find that collector.  Two reasons why: First, finding someone who will go to the job site is really hard, most collectors don’t do this.  Second, the ones that will expect to be paid for it and the TPA typically won’t pay what the collectors want.

Let me give you a for instance.  I get a call to do a post accident collection, the location is over an hour from me, and it’s a weekend.  So I bill for mileage, the collection and the weekend fee.  In this particular case, I know that the company paid the TPA over $800 for this collection (I asked).  The accident happened at 1pm.  I was called at 3:30pm, after some discussion and two more calls I was dispatched at 4:15pm and arrived on site at 5:30pm.

Had the company called me directly, I would have been on the road by 2pm, and arrived by 3:30pm, that is a full TWO HOURS earlier.  Further, they would have been billed HALF of what the TPA charged.    So quicker service, for less money.  I’m not saying don’t ever use a TPA.  I’m saying if you can have a collector you like to work with be you first call and use the TPA for back up if your preferred collector is unavailable.

There is enough chaos when there is an accident, don’t add to it by using a TPA if you don’t need to.

If you live within a 125 mile radius of Tampa, call A+ Drug Testing, we will be right out there!  Quicker and for less.

Drug Testing Students in HS

Drug Testing Students in HS

VERO BEACH, Fla. – A proposal to randomly drug test students at Vero Beach High School will be discussed Tuesday by the school board.

Some parents say they think it’s a great idea while others believe it’s an invasion of privacy.

The testing would affect all student athletes and those in a school-run activity or club.

Students would be tested for marijuana, opiates, cocaine and amphetamines.

Sebastian River High School has been drug testing student athletes for two decades now.

At SRHS, if a student tests positive, their parents are notified. They cannot compete in the sport or extra-curricular activity until they complete a drug rehabilitation course.

To get back on the team, students have to submit to weekly drug testing after that. VBHS wants to adopt these same policies.

If these changes get the go ahead, students at VBHS who play sports or belong to a club will be drug tested starting this coming school year.

Read more of the proposed policy on TC Palm .

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LANDmultiple route pic

Sometimes we look around at everything that is going on in our world and just wonder “When did all this happen?”

I know I do.  At 51, I look around at how the world has changed (not all for the better) and I see things that are now accepted that when I was a younger were NOT.

Drug abuse is one.  Seems like we have become so blasé  about it.  To the point that we have considered, voted on, and in some places, approved the legalization of marijuana, for example.  We don’t seem very concerned about what the fall out could be, how it could cause more harm than good.  We didn’t ask that question with alcohol or tobacco either, and THAT didn’t really go anywhere good.

Bad attitudes, violence, really bad behavior.  Is this really okay with us?  Sure wasn’t 30 years ago.  I just wonder how this happened.

This is the stuff for a good long discussion to be sure.  But if you worry about this too, and you feel like you can’t really “tell” about a person anymore, you are RIGHT.  So please, be very careful.  Consider carefully who you hire in your businesses and who you allow access into your homes (whether you are there or not).

Check out those people to whom you entrust your parents, children and pets.  If they tell you they have been drug tested and/or back ground checked, ask to see those records, or at the very least ask for proof of the last date those checks were performed.  If they are more than 6 months old, demand another, and if you are refused, FIND SOMEONE ELSE!

Many of us, including me, grew up in a time where we could trust people at their word.  You just can’t do that anymore.  Sad, but true.  So please, protect yourselves.   Drug tests, back ground checks, DNA paternity tests.   We can help.  Just call or email us any time.  Your privacy is guaranteed.

“Where you go, when you need to know”…………………………..and you NEED to know these days!

 

Post Accident and Reasonable Cause Drug Testing

cut legPost Accident and Reasonable Cause Drug Testing

 

Several times in the last year I have had the same experience.  Drug free workplaces, calling a Third Party Administrator, often not even in state when they need an after hours post accident drug test or a reasonable cause drug test.

So this post goes out to all of my readers who own businesses. DON’T, I repeat, DO NOT use a Third Party Administrator to obtain your drug testing!  All they do is call around looking for a collector, but they are doing this for EVERYONE, so you are not getting the fastest service possible.

Is that important?

YES, it is!  Especially if the drug in the employee’s system is Alcohol, whose window of detection is 8 hrs from last drink consumed!  Most other drugs stay in the body at least a few days, but alcohol is the drug most often involved in on the job incidents and accidents and it has the SMALLEST window of detection!  So time really matters!

If your employee comes in for a shift, lets say a night shift, and the supervisor smells alcohol on them, of course they will document that and call for the drug test.  BUT, if you use a Third Party Administrator to find a collector, the alcohol could well be out of the employee’s system before a collection can be obtained!!

WHAT IS A THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR (TPR)?  Essentially, this is a person or entity who’s purpose is to locate and provide drug testing resources for their clients.  Sometimes, they have collectors on staff, but most often, they don’t.  They just find them!  You pay them to find the collector, and they pay the collector (sometimes, sometimes they stiff the collector, which unfortunately has happened to me).   They are sort of a “middle man”.

So how do you know if the person or entity you are speaking with is a TPR?  Ask them where they are located.  Most often, they aren’t even in your state.  If they are, ask them if the collector they are sending is on their staff.  Pin them down to an arrival time, I would say, the collector needs to be AT YOUR LOCATION in 2 hours or less.  If they can’t give you that promise, DON’T USE THEM!

A+ Drug Testing does Post accident and reasonable cause testing all over the Tampa Metro area, and I can be as far out as Brandon or Bradenton in two hours, Orlando, Ocala and Sarasota in 3 hours.  I own this company, so I can assure you that I will give you the BEST and most Prompt service.  If I can’t get to you fast enough, I will be honest and tell you that.

 

workmans comp picA+ Drug Testing……………………..”where you go, when you need to know”                             You can COUNT on us to be there for YOU!

 

 

More on K2/Spice and Court Ordered Testing

More on K2/Spice and Court Ordered Testing

In response to some search words used today on my site:

Q:  What is meant by “court ordered” testing for Spice?

A:  “Court ordered” anything means simply that the Court is requiring you to submit to whatever action the order says.  So if the Court orders you to drug test for a particular drug (for instance, spice/k2) you MUST comply and probably at your own cost.

Q:  Can you test for spice in a hair test?

A:  As discussed in previous blog posts, no.  Currently, that isn’t possible.

Q:  Are Spice drug tests available to the general public for purchase?

A:  No.  Currently they are only available through a drug testing professional, like A+ Drug Testing, or other collection facilities which have that ability.

Q:  Will the judge make me test for Spice in New Port Richey Courthouse?

A:  Very possible, depends on if a collector is available to come from that location.  I have conducted collections at that location a number of times.

The simple truth is this:  If you are using drugs and you are in the Court System, they can and will order testing if there is a reason.  If child custody is involved, that is reason enough.  Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to fool the test………………….we have seen it all and we WILL catch you.  Then not only will you have an issue with the Court regarding your use, you will have a different issue for trying to hide it (one that will most likely require you to provide additional collections under DIRECT observation!)  Collections under direct observation means that while you are providing the specimen, the collector will be standing next to you watching you provide it, to make sure that it is your urine and that you didn’t try to manipulate it.  Also, it is likely that they will order MORE testing and for a LONGER period of time, which YOU have to pay for.  It isn’t worth it.  If you are using, clean it up.  If you need help, ASK for help, there is lots of help out there.

 

Child Custody, Hair Testing and Spice

Child Custody, Hair Testing and Spice

In the last couple of weeks my website has been inundated with questions about hair testing, Spice/K2 and Child Custody questions.  I’m sure that most questions have been answered in my earlier blog posts, but perhaps there are a few things to add.

Spice is a very serious concern in the drug testing world.  It is difficult, but not impossible to test for.  Currently, the only tests available to test for K2/Spice are urine based tests.  Hair testing, as previously discussed, is very limited in what it can detect, and Spice is most definitely NOT on the list.

This particular drug is also of great and growing concern in child custody cases.  Because of its alarming strength and changing recipe there is a range of side effects both to the smoker and those around him/her, and the list of side effects is growing.

K2 may be a synthetic form of marijuana, but make no mistake, it is much more dangerous that the organic form.  K2 can kill the user.

If you have been ordered to be drug tested for K2/Spice in connection with child custody, you can be certain that you will be urine tested, and more likely than not, tested more than once.

Can the hair test identify consistent use from occasional use?  YES, it can, but only for the drugs it can detect, which doesn’t include K2/Spice, unfortunately.

I work with attorney’s and judges all over my area, and any time we are dealing with the safety of a child, I always recommend a period of random drug testing for at least 6 months, screening for any and all drugs, including Spice and alcohol.  I often provide drug testing services right at the courthouse.  This is useful especially in the case of the uncooperative subject, who has refused to provide a specimen in the past.

I encourage the attorneys to call for different testing modalities, so that the person being tested never really knows what to expect.  If they are using, there is a very good change that they will be caught; but if they are not using, the varying testing modalities will bear that out as well.  This approach is important in securing the safety of the child in an unsupervised environment and works very well.

If you have more questions, you are always free to call or email us here at A+.  Your questions and conversations with us are always confidential!

 

Hair testing and K2/Spice

Hair testing and K2/Spicespice pic

Recently there have been quite a few hits and inquiries on the site regarding K2/Spice.  The search terms give me a good idea what my readers are looking for in terms of information and their questions.  So let me take a few moments to respond to these recent questions and searches, maybe I can give you the information you are looking for.  Please keep in mind that all emails and questions to me are confidential.  You can also comment on the post itself and ask questions there.

K2/Spice is basically a mix of herbal substances (anything from grass clippings to a mix of herbs you could cook with) which are then sprayed with a chemical mixture and dried.  The resulting substance can be smoked just like tobacco or marijuana.

The reason why K2/Spice is so dangerous is because 1.) it is 4 to 100 times more potent than organic marijuana.  Let me repeat that:  4 to 100 times more potent than organic marijuana.  Yes, K2/Spice can kill you with a single dose, and in our immediate area we have had a number of fatalities due to the use of this drug.

The State and Federal Government is trying very hard to ban this drug and make it illegal to sell or possess.  The difficulty is that because it is man-made, not organic, those who produce it keep changing the ingredients in the chemical recipe.  So when the Government bans an ingredient, they change it to something else, thus being able to stave off each attempt to make it permanently illegal.  This practice makes Spice/K2 even that more dangerous.  You don’t know from one day to the next what is in this drug.

Because of the changing recipe, K2/Spice is difficult to detect with a drug test.  HOWEVER, there are tests to detect it out there.  We have been able to isolate a short list of ingredients that seem to nearly always be present in K2/Spice and we have developed tests based on this information.

We do have access to an instant test, which can detect a short list of specific compounds used in making K2/Spice.  In order to conduct this instant test, a Court Order is required.

There is also a broader scope K2/Spice test that can be conducted, but this test is only lab based, so the specimen is collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis, and it will take about 5 business days to get those results.

So if you are court ordered into a program in which you will be tested for K2/Spice you can be certain that both the instant and lab based tests will be utilized.

Cost of test is dependent on which test is used, and which lab is processing the test.  A+ Drug Testing can prove BOTH of these types of collections at any location you wish.

Currently, hair testing can not detect K2/Spice.  As discussed in previous posts, hair testing can test for a limited group of drugs and can only give us a range of time in which the drug was used if it is present in the hair.  Bleaching your hair will NOT alter the results of a hair test.

If you are a parent, concerned that you child may be using drugs or K2/Spice, DON’T WAIT!  Test them.  Your information and test results are strictly confidential!  Here at A+ we only provide the test results to the person who paid for them.  We are not required to report the test results to any other entity and will not do so without our client’s specific written permission OR a Court Order.  So you can get the answers you need, and have peace of mind knowing that your privacy is protected.  This policy extends to adults as well.  Your privacy is guaranteed.

If you have questions, call us, anytime.  We are here to help.

Responses Based On Recent Search Engine Terms

Responses Based On Recent Search Engine Termsquestion face

From time to time, I review the search terms that are being used by those who look at my website.  Often, those terms give me a good idea as to what their questions were and I can blog about that.

This week there were quite a few questions about hair follicle testing, specifically as it relates to occasional drug use and synthetic marijuana/K2 use.  So lets address them one at a time, beginning with the simpler question.

QUESTION:  Can an occasional drug user pass a hair follicle test?

ANSWER:  Yes, they can.  The reason is very simple.  Hair testing is dependent on a level of concentration of a particular drug to be present in the hair, having been carried there by your blood stream.  In order for there to be enough concentration present in the hair, the individual would have to use frequently, at least 3 or 4 times per week, over an extended period of time, for there to be enough of the chemical present in the hair to give a positive result.  Also keep in mind that hair testing is very limited as to which drugs or drug classes are detectable in the hair.  Additionally the window of exposure, that is the amount of time since the use of the drug was used to the time of detection is only a range of time, “within the last 90 days”.  Where a urine specimen can narrow that window to 4 to 30 days depending on the drug in question.

QUESTION:  Can synthetic marijuana or K2/Spice be detected in a hair follicle test?

ANSWER:  No.  At the present time, K2/Spice or synthetic marijuana can only be detected by using a urine specimen.

 

I know that many of you who read my blogs have questions and concerns about yourself or someone you care about.  Please know that confidentiality is PARAMOUNT to us.  All questions emailed to us are confidential, and are not shared with anyone, ever.  The same is true of any phone conversation.  You don’t have to give your name to get your questions answered.  So please, don’t hesitate to call or email any questions you may have to get a complete and specific answer to whatever concerns you may have.

May your Holidays be safe and filled with the joy of family and friends!ziped lips

Which Testing Method is Better for Marijuana?

question faceWhich Testing Method is Better for Marijuana?

This was a search term from my website recently.  It is a common question, but a good one.

There are a number of different ways to test, so it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the results.

If you are concerned about recreational use, just want to know, or are monitoring for a family agreement or recovery program, I prefer the instant urine test over the saliva test. 

There are a couple of good reasons why.

Probably the biggest one is, with saliva tests there isn’t a way to know if you have collected ENOUGH saliva for the test to produce a result, and since saliva tests have to be processed at a lab, you don’t want to have to pay extra processing fees for an insufficient amount, you want to process the first collection you get.

With the instant urine test, the cup has a fill line, to tell you how much urine you need, that is first.  Second, its INSTANT.  You know the results in 5 minutes, not 5 days, and with your only cost being the cup.  That said, if you want to know HOW MUCH marijuana is in the specimen, lab services can still be utilized, at an additional cost.  But you get to decide if you want or need that information.

Now, if you are concerned about habitual use, then the hair test is the way to go.

Understand, first of all, we don’t pull hair out of a persons head.

Second, we do need more than just one or two hairs.

Hair tests are NOT instant, they go to a lab and they do tend to be more expensive ($180 per test vs $45 for a urine test).  However, if the result is positive, you automatically get a report with quantities on it, so you know exactly what is going on and roughly how serious of a problem you have.

PLEASE NOTE: if your subject passes the hair test, it doesn’t mean they aren’t using!!!  It only means they aren’t using habitually.  You may want to continue to monitor them using an instant urine cup to be sure.

Also, hair test are limited to a much greater degree than a urine test.

We can detect over 300 different drugs using urine (and the same amount will be found if you take blood).  The point being, body fluid is body fluid, the level found will be the same.  The idea that blood gives a more accurate result is a myth, and is much more expensive!

Getting back to limitations……………….where urine can detect many, many different drugs, hair can only be used to detect 7 drugs/drug classes.  So again, it depends on what we are looking for if it even makes sense to consider the hair test as an option.

The best way to make an informed choice?  Give us a call!  We protect your privacy.  We are not mandated reporters, so the only person who gets your test result is the person who paid for the test.  The only time test results are shared beyond this is with WRITTEN permission from the owner of the result, IN PERSON.  Or, in conjunction with a Court Order.  If we receive such an order, it is our policy to call the owner of the result and inform them that a Court Order has been served to us and that we, by law, must release the information requested.  But before releasing the information, we ALWAYS make a courtesy call 48 hours ahead of when we comply to give the owner of the result a fair amount of notice.  Informing you isn’t required by law, but it is our policy.  Know that when you call, you are not required to give us any information you don’t feel comfortable giving, and we will still answer your question to the best of our ability based on the information you do give us.  Protecting your privacy and giving you accurate, reliable information.locked files