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Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse

Foreword

In the past 5 years, a growing concern over the use of illicit drugs in the workplace has led to an interest in urinalysis as a way to detect and deter drug use. Drug testing by urinalysis has been suggested and in many cases implemented for prospective and current employees in industry; for personnel of the armed forces; for parolees and bail seekers in civilian court systems; for workers in the transportation industry; and for individuals who serve as role models, such as nationally known athletes. Two factors have led to the widespread use of urinalysis for drugs: technical developments in testing methods and the growing demand for drug testing. Society is becoming increasingly aware of the impact of drug use on public safety and of the financial impact on industry of lost time and productivity. The annual loss of productivity of employees has been estimated at $100 billion for alcohol and drug abuse, a third of which is due to drug abuse alone.
Drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace is amenable to carefully planned prevention programs, however, and urine drug detection provides a powerful tool for use in such programs. Preemployment urine screening is now common among “Fortune 500” companies and in several Federal agencies.

As a consequence of drug screening programs, laboratories that were established to perform urinalysis associated with methadone treatment have had to greatly expand their capacities; many new laboratories have sprung up to meet the demands for drug assays; and clinical laboratories associated with medical centers, under economic pressures in recent years, have begun to venture into drug testing. However, results from laboratories that are not subject to any established guidelines for drug testing are sometimes unreliable. At present few guidelines exist for private laboratories; the Department of Defense has strict certification requirements for laboratories testing military personnel, and the Federal Railroad Administration as well as State agencies in California and New York have quality control standards in
place, the latter for laboratories associated with methadone treatment programs. Until quality control programs are mandated on a broad scale, however, employers wishing to establish a drug screening program must rely on their own initiative to evaluate the reliability of a testing laboratory, so that no individual will be falsely accused of drug use and at the same time regular use on the part of any tested employee will not escape detection. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is in a unique position to provide advice on many of the technical issues associated with the role of urinalysis in the prevention of drug abuse. Since 1972, this Institute has supported major research efforts to develop analytical methods for detecting and measuring drugs in biological fluids, with special emphasis on methods for cannabinoids and other abused drugs. NIDA has supported the development of many of the major technologies beiug used today for urine drug screening and confirmation. NIDA has also played a leading rote in the study of behavioral and pharmacokinetic effects of drugs of abuse--two areas of knowledge that are critical to the assessment and implementation of effective drug screening programs. The purpose of this monograph is to provide information that will assist those involved in the planning or implementation of drug testing programs in making informed choices: information such as what urine screening can and cannot do, how it fits into an overall drug program, and how it can be used most reliably. It is our hope that this powerful technology which has grown out of basic research programs will be used to advantage to assist in the prevention of drug abuse in the United States.

Charles R. Schuster, Ph.D.
Director
National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Источник: https://archives.drugabuse.gov/nida-research-monograph-index
Категория: GUIDELINES | Добавил: Alexlp (17.03.2018) | Автор: Richard L. Hawks, Ph.D. E-mail
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