Archive for the 'student drug testing' Category

Bath Salts? It’s really a drug and it’s legal!

By now most people have heard of Synthetic Cannabinoids, i.e. K-2, Spice, etc. The newest craze is Bath Salts – watch Dr. Oz report on this.



ExperTox Opens New Lab

Have you ever wondered how a true forensic lab runs? If you are in the Houston area, we would like to invite you to visit us at our Open House on June 16, 2011. See more information at the link below.

Open House Invite

Our state of the art laboratory was designed by President Loretta Anderson and RGR Partnership, LTD and constructed by Tribble and Associates Contractors. The new lab space has over 3100 square feet with the option to utilize an additional 5000 square feet of off-site storage as needed.

The lab was designed with optimal work flow, employee convenience and with environmental sensitivity in mind.  There are separate departments for accessioning, specimen preparation, screening, EIA, ELISA, Heavy Metals ICP-MS, GC/MC, LC/MS, extraction hoods and analyzing (test data). In addition, there is a dedicated department for Certifying Scientist for reporting results.


Top Signs Your Child May Be Using Drugs or Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) 2008 “Monitoring The Future” study on illicit drug and alcohol use by teens and youth, drug use trends that concern both parents and schools reflect:


  • 10.9% of 8th graders, 23.9% of 10th graders and 32.4% of 12th graders use marijuana
  • 15.4% of 12th graders have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Vicodin continues to be abused at high levels.
  • 2.7% of 8th graders, 7.2% of 10th graders and 9.6% of 12th graders had abused Vicodin
  • 1.8% of 8th graders, 3.9% of 10th graders and 5.2% of 12th graders had abused OxyContin for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed

From peer pressure to looking for a way to deal with family and life challenges, drug and alcohol use by teens is a problem. More importantly, parents and schools may work hand-in-hand in monitoring and managing substance abuse.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of teen drug and/or alcohol use? The short list includes:

  • Behavioral issues
    • Changes in relationships with family members or friends
    • Mood changes or emotional instability
    • Withdrawn or depressed; uncommunicative
    • Periods of sleeplessness or high energy, followed by long periods of sleeping
  • Absenteeism or loss of interest in school or extracurricular activities
  • Failure to fulfill responsibilities at school or home
  • Disappearance of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as alcohol or money
  • Personal appearance, habits or action changes
    • Poor hygiene and personal care
    • Track marks on arms or legs
    • Frequently breaking curfew
    • Using over-the-counter eye reddening washes and/or breath mints and gum more frequently

ExperTox supports both parents and schools through its drug and alcohol testing services designed to target those most vulnerable areas of substance abuse by youth and teens. Alternative specimen testing options allow for drug detection over varying time periods, from recent use to six months or more, including oral fluid, blood, urine, hair and nails.

These tests include:

  • Drug Tests
  • Alcohol Tests
  • Synthetic Opiates such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone (OxyContin)

Rub-a-dub-dub, Drugs in your tub?

Are there new drugs in the market posing as bath salts? Yes this is actually true. Ivory Wave is marketed as a bath salt or plant food and is labeled ‘not for human consumption,’ but the substance’s true purpose is no secret online. Ivory Wave is the newest drug on the market – and it’s legal.

Ivory Wave contains two drugs, Lidocaine and Pyrovalerone, one is used by dentists in anesthesia and the other is a hallucinogen. The drug is popular among meth users and is smoked or snorted to produce a high. Law enforces say it started becoming popular in the U.S. when pseudoephedrine (active ingredient in crystal meth) became only available by prescription. Users of this drug feel paranoia, volatile aggression and believe their hallucinogens are real.

Now lawmakers and law enforcers are scrambling to stop the latest drug fad from taking over the US like it did in the UK, prompting the Home Office to ban it.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said he has had deputies injured trying to arrest salt users and also has seen other people seriously injured by the paranoid individuals. “This is one of the worst behavioral drugs I’ve ever seen,” said Johnson. “They are like mad people and they have no control over it. They are seeing things, hearing things and deputies and first-responders end up in the crossfire. Something has to be done to stop this before is spreads.”

One of the most noteworthy stories from the UK was 35-year-old Sarah Forsyth. She did not start taking Ivory Wave to get high, but as a diet supplement. It worked as an appetite suppressant and she dropped 10 dress sizes. She also endured the side effects like paranoia, aggression and was no longer able to sleep. Even after she lost the weight she was unable to quit using and began to hear voices and have vivid paranoid hallucinations. She soon became very ill, fell into a comma and eventually passed away.

To those of you thinking that Ivory Wave was just another bath salt, you now know the truth.

Comprehensive K2 Legislation in TX

Read more about the new bill being brought to the Texas Senate this week. It is the most comprehensive bill in the country!

Back to School and Immunizations

August is National Immunization Awareness month.  This is the perfect time to remind family, friends and co-workers about immunizations.  Parents are enrolling their children in school, young adults are preparing to enter college and employers are planning for this year’s flu season. 

Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from many infectious diseases.  Getting immunized is a life-long life protecting community effort, everyone from infants to the elderly need to keep current on their immunizations.   Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements in the past century.  Several diseases such as small pox and polio have been eradicated due to vaccines.  There are still cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella (chicken pox), and pertussis  (whooping cough) in the  U.S. and adults and children still die from these and other vaccine preventable diseases.

Children attending school in Texas are required to have been vaccinated for 9 communicable diseases.  Children going into daycare have to be vaccinated for a total of 12 diseases.  Young adults entering college should check with the registrar’s office to find out what immunizations are required before enrollment.  Not all colleges and universities have immunization requirements but there are recommendations for students who will be living in dormitories.  Your state’s Department of Health website will have all the information you need for immunizations.

The state of Texas grants and acknowledges the rights of a parent to exempt their children from vaccination requirements for school, daycare and college for reasons of religious beliefs or medical reasons.  In 2003 the Texas legislature passed changes that expanded reasons a parent can claim an exemption.  This process is complicated and time consuming.  If you plan to have your child exempt from vaccination requirements don’t wait until the last minute.  Check with your state’s Department of Health to obtain the official forms and instructions to complete this process.

Now is also a good time to remind any senior citizens in your life to check with their health care providers in regard to flu and pneumonia vaccine.  Children and the elderly are most at risk for communicable diseases.

Health insurances will cover immunization costs.  If you are uninsured check with your city/county health department on where you can go to get reduced cost or free vaccinations.  In Texas you can call 211Texas toll free to get this information.  You can also call the Immunization Branch Customer Service number (800) 252-9152 if you have any questions or need more information about immunizations.

Lou Ann Enis, Registered Nurse and Occupational Health Supervisor

How Safe is Spice or K-2?

One of my friends had surgery recently and has really had a very difficult time dealing with the pain from the surgery. Yesterday she made a comment on her Face Book page that she was going to ask her doctor for a prescription for a stronger pain medication. Someone “jokingly” recommended that she go buy some “Spice” since it is supposed to have the same effects as THC and is legal in Texas.

My heart about went to my throat! Knowing that we test for not only JWH-018 but also an entire Synthetic Cannabinoid panel and having done some reading on these substances I was hoping and praying that my friend would not follow through with that.

The reality is that no one really knows what the long term effects of using these synthetic cannabinoids have on the human body.  According to Marilyn Huestis, PhD, chief of chemistry and drug metabolism at the National Institute for Drug Abuse,  “When you take these drugs, you are hijacking the part of the brain important for many functions: temperature control, food intake, perception, memory, and problem solving, and people taking these high-potency drugs are affecting other important functions throughout their bodies — hormone functions, for example.” To see more about the possible effects go to

The standard drug tests do not detect for these synthetic cannabinoid drugs. It requires a specialized testing process. So many people are using this as a substitute for marijuana and when going for either pre-employment or random drug tests, testing negative.

Currently JWH-018 and the other Synthetic Cannabinoid drugs are not federally controlled in the United States. However, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency it is labeled as a “Drug and chemical of Concern” in 2009. While it may not be federally controlled, several states have passed or proposed legislative action against spice and some cannabinoids.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota and Tennessee it is illegal (either to have in your possession or the sale of JWH-018 and/or other synthetic cannanbinoids) in all or parts of these states. The following states have either legislation proposed or impending enaction against JWH-018 and/or other synthetic cannanbinoids: Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas and Utah.

One Source…Numerous Options…Differences That Matter!

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.

Our Tweets

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