Archive for April, 2011

America’s deadliest and fastest-growing drug problem

As we have talked about before, prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic. Whether you are experiencing physical or emotional difficulty, there are pills for everything and more and more people are abusing them. Recently the feds announced new initiatives to address what has been called “America’s deadliest and fastest-growing drug problem.”

According to the CDC, US emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines more than doubled from 2004 to 2008, and most unintentional poisonings in the US are due to drugs, both prescribed and illegal.

This week, the White House released their Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan, targeting four areas of needed improvement: education, monitoring, proper medication disposal, and enforcing elimination of improper prescribing and drug-seeking behavior.

The FDA also took initiative with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) targeting doctors and patients.

Truly the reoccurring theme with this epidemic is education with the doctors and patients. So get educated about any prescription written for you or a loved one.

Click here for the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.  

How long are drugs detectable in your system?

How long after last use are drugs detectable?

The answer depends on which drug; type of specimen; each person’s own metabolism; drug concentration and/or dosage; how often the drug was used; and the sensitivity of the testing procedure.

Oral Fluid: Very recent use up to 2 days, depending on the drug
Blood: Most drugs are non-detectable after five to 48 hours, depending on the drug. A good rule of thumb is only use blood for drug testing if the person is impaired at the time of collection.
Urine: May allow detection for several days, sometimes even more than a week.  However, urine analysis does not generally permit any toxicological evaluation of drug impairment, merely drug use.
Hair: Drugs stay in the hair, so detection is dependent on the length submitted for testing.  A standard hair drug test is 1 ½”, or 90 days
Nails: This includes Nail Clippings (from the tips of the nails) and Nail Shavings/Scrapings (from the surface of the nail).  Nail clippings yield an approximate thirty (30) day timeframe, six (6) months prior to collection.  Nail clippings and shavings yield up to a six (6) month timeframe

Poison Prevention for your Household

On behalf of last week’s Poison Prevention Week, we have the Top 5 Tips to help keep you and your children safe from all poisons in your home.

According to the New York State Department of Health, people should keep all poisons, including medications, cosmetics, household cleaners and chemicals, plants and other poisonous substances out of the reach of children.

  1. Child Proofing/Education – Always keep medication in its original container, away from children. Remember to secure all lids after use. Never tell your children that medicine is candy. Educate your children on the dangers of misusing medication. Make sure to read labels carefully before giving medicine to your children or other family members.
  2. Dispose of Medication Properly – while you may have heard that the best solution to dispose of expired or unwanted medication is to flush it or pour it down the drain, that is not safe. Instead, crush the pills and mix them with old coffee grounds, sand or kitty litter.
  3. Storage Solutions – We recommend that you do not store medication in the bathroom or kitchen. The bathroom is warm and moist and can cause changes or disintegration of the product. Poisonous or toxic products should be kept in a locked cabinet.
  4. Do Your Research – You should be aware of household plants that are dangerous to pets, but there are also plants that are poisonous to humans. Do your research on plants in your house and keep them out of the reach of children.
  5. Garage Poisons – Anti-freeze, windshield washing fluid and other similar products should be stored in a locked cabinet. Childproof safety latches can be purchased at your local hardware store.

An unknown poison and toxin analysis tests for unknown chemicals, poisons and toxins that include but are not limited to pesticides, organic exposure chemicals, painting or cleaning products, rodent poison, volatiles and inhalants. This analysis does not test for drugs or heavy metals. No two situations are alike, so contact ExperTox for assistance if you suspect poisoning or toxic exposure.

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ExperTox® is a recognized forensic toxicology laboratory, combining advanced technology and science with a human heart.

We use our scientific expertise to provide our customers answers to their substance abuse, use and exposure questions.

We focus our personal character on supporting, caring for and understanding what our clients are going through as they contemplate and proceed through the testing process.

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