Meth: What you need to Know

Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that can cause serious damage to the brain, skin, and teeth, and has significant addictive qualities that hold users captive. Here’s what you need to know about meth.

Methamphetamine hydrochloride (also known by “street” names like crank, crystal, glass, ice, meth, rock candy or speed) is a powder that varies in color from white to light brown. It can also look like crystal or ice. Meth can be used by smoking or snorting the powder, injecting it with a needle, or ingesting orally.

There are five stages to meth intoxication. First is “the rush,” where a flood of dopamine rushes to the brain and intensifies the senses. The second stage is the high from meth, which lasts for up to 14 hours, where the user becomes hyperactive, exhibits aggressive or compulsive behavior, confusion, and the inability to form coherent sentences.

The third stage is binging on meth, where users continue to use meth for several days to avoid crashing. This often involves avoiding food until the fourth stage, the crash, occurs. This stage is characterized by extreme exhaustion and prolonged periods of sleeping.  

The final and most dangerous stage is called tweaking, where the user becomes paranoid, frustrated, unstable, unpredictable, and even develop a meth psychosis. Cravings for more meth are intense, but the effects aren’t as strong due to overuse. This keeps users going back for more.

Several factors impact the detection time for meth: how the drug was administered, if used with other drugs and/or alcohol, the frequency of use, and the age and health of the user.

Meth can be detected in a urine sample as early as 2 hours after use and up to 5 days after the last use. In blood, detection ranges 1 hour to 3 days. Saliva has the earliest detection at 10 minutes and can still detect at 4 days post-use. Hair has the longest detection time at up to 90 days post-use. 

As an employer, you have the legal right to test all your employees before hire and at any time during employment if you have reasonable suspicion that they are using meth. If you, other supervisors, or employees notice changes in an employee, take action immediately through Nationwide Drug Testing Services. We offer affordable and reliable tests with quick results and convenient testing locations.

Call today to schedule an appointment or order online!

Heroin: What you need to Know

Diacetylmorphine, the pure form of heroin, is a white powder derived from chemical substances found in the opium poppy plant. It is 2-3 times more potent than morphine and highly addictive. It is usually a white or brownish powder that can be injected intravenously, smoked, snorted, as a suppository, or orally ingested.

Diacetylmorphine is usually “cut” with other substances; some are harmless, like sugar or powdered milk, but it can be cut with poisons like fentanyl and carfentanyl that are deadly to an unsuspecting user. This diluted version of diacetylmorphine—heroin—is also known by common street names like White China, Smack, Big H, Black Tar, Chiva, Skag, Junk, Brown Sugar, Skunk, White Horse, and Thunder.

Common opiates (codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, tramadol, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and tapentadol) are available by prescription for pain relief, but heroin possession comes with serious criminal penalties and has no medical benefits.

After injection, the user experiences a sense of euphoria followed by alternating states of wakefulness and drowsiness. Mental functioning is also clouded, along with nausea, respiratory depression, and constricted pupils. The signs of an overdose include:

  • slow and shallow breathing
  • hypotension
  • blue lips and nails
  • muscle spasms
  • convulsions
  • coma
  • possible death

Heroin overdose is a medical emergency that requires naloxone for revival! Contact your local emergency services immediately if you observe these symptoms of overdose.

With frequent use, the abuser builds a tolerance to the drug and needs increased amounts of heroin to achieve the same euphoric effects. This results in physical dependence and addiction. Decreased use or withdrawal from the drug can cause drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, and other symptoms.

Heroin is a fast-acting drug that is expelled from the body fairly quickly. Detection through saliva is only possible in the first 5 hours after use; blood, in the first 6 hours after use. Urine testing is most common, where heroin is detectable for up to 7 days. Hair tests can detect heroin usage for up to 90 days post-use. 

As an employer, you have the legal right to test all your employees before hire and at any time during employment if you have reasonable suspicion that your employee is using heroin. If you, other supervisors, or employees notice changes in a fellow employee, take action immediately through Nationwide Drug Testing Services. We offer affordable and reliable tests with quick results and convenient testing locations.

Call today to schedule an appointment or order online!

Opioids: What you need to Know

Derived from the opium that comes from poppy plants, opioids are a classification of drug that is used to treat pain.  Users experience a sensation of euphoria and well-being from taking opioids. Some common opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Hycodan)
  • Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percoset)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)

While these opioids are legitimately used to treat pain, users develop a tolerance to the effects of the drugs over time. This requires an increased dose in order to achieve the same effects. Over time, users may find the euphoric effects addictive, begin to think obsessively about opioids, and participate in illegal activities to obtain more.

Tolerance to opioid’s euphoric effects occurs before tolerance to the drug itself. Because of this, people can overdose by mistake in trying to achieve a greater high. With prolonged and/or frequent use, the need for opioids continues to increase, creating a greater addiction. Symptoms of opioid use and addiction include:

  • poor coordination
  • drowsiness and slurred speech
  • physical agitation, depression, and irritability
  • poor decision making
  • abandoning responsibilities or lowered motivation
  • mood swings
  • euphoria
  • anxiety attacks

Opioids may be the hardest to detect, as each has a different metabolism time and they leave the body quickest of all drugs. In general, blood tests have the shortest detection period at no longer than 12-24 hours. Opioids are detectable in saliva and urine tests for up to 4 days and in hair for up to 90 days. Visit this website for a further breakdown of specific opioids.

As an employer, you have the legal right to test all your employees before hire and at any time during employment if you have reasonable suspicion that your employee is using opioids. If you, other supervisors, or employees notice changes in a fellow employee, take action immediately through Nationwide Drug Testing Services. We offer affordable and reliable tests with quick results and convenient testing locations.

Call today to schedule an appointment or order online!

Warehousing and Transportation Industry sees a Spike in Positive Drug Tests

Quest Diagnostics has recently released a report that shows Transportation and Warehousing workers have had positive drug tests increase by double-digits over the last two years.

This is just one of the surprising developments in drug testing in the workplace, where facts don’t always match perceptions. For example, when asked to guess which industry had the biggest percentage of workers high on drugs, Food and Beverage topped the list. But in actuality, it’s Retail. And while retail did see a 12.8% increase in Quest’s statistics, Transportation and Warehousing nearly doubled that, with a 21.4% increase.

However, it’s always helpful to break this statistic further.

Marijuana positivity was the most detected substance in all the tests, and jumped by 33% within the positive results. This is not surprising as the drug, while still technically illegal at the federal level, enjoys more and more legality depending on which state you’re in and whether you have a medical condition or not. Marijuana seems to be able to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, but also can impair your judgement, cause elevated heart rate, and some studies suggest long-term use can lead to lung cancer.

Coming in second place was cocaine use, which spiked 22%. Cocaine can cause feelings of euphoria and make the user more energetic and talkative, but can also cause side effects of anxiety, panic, paranoia and erratic behavior. Life-threatening side effects like heart attacks can also result, even in young and otherwise healthy individuals.

A final large chunk of drugs taken were amphetamines and methamphetamines, with a 16% jump. While these substances can be prescribed for ADHD or Obesity they’re often used illictly. They can elicit feelings of excitement, increased attentiveness and feelings of energy, but are also extremely addictive and can cause compulsive drug-seeking behavior and cravings, violent behavior, and hallucinations.

This is why so many companies have committed to a drug-free workplace. 56% of U.S. Employers require pre-employment drug tests, and those companies that do maintain a successful drug-free environment report improvements in morale, productivity, and decreases in absenteeism and turnover.

Nationwide Drug Testing Services is one of the largest accredited drug testing networks in the U.S. We offer testing in every state Nationwide, for affordable, Same-Day-Appointment Drug Testing and Fast, Accurate results.

Our staff is not only understanding and considerate, but knowledgeable as well. From the moment you contact us, you can expect to deal with a professional, well-trained Representative who will be with you throughout the entire process.

Call us today at 877.497.1002 or Order a Test Online!