Marijuana Myths

The information below from Institute for Drug-Free Workplace explores popular pro-marijuana statements and explains why they are over-reaching opinions and modern day marijuana myths.

  1. Marijuana is natural, therefore safe.
    Because Marijuana is a plant, this myth categorizes the drug as a harmless, agricultural product rather than a laboratory produced illicit drug, like LSD or methamphetamine. The truth is that selective farming has yielded marijuana crops that contain greater levels of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) than they once did. In the 1980’s, the average THC concentrations were around 4 percent. In 2012, THC concentrations averaged 14.5 percent, and currently, some strains contain as much as 30 percent THC. These levels were reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  2. Marijuana is safe.
    Marijuana advocates promote that the drug’s only significant side effects include cravings for junk food and sleepiness, enough reasoning for them to categorize this drug as “safe.” This myth is especially dangerous because marijuana is addictive and has been found to contribute to memory impairment with long-term use. Recently, teenage marijuana use has been linked to compromised brain connections for the strong development of thinking and memory.
  3. Marijuana legalization will reduce prison populations.
    If marijuana is legal, then fewer people will be incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. This myth assumes that a decrease in arrests will lead to smaller prison populations. Contrary to popular belief, very few people are imprisoned for marijuana use. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, reports that less than 0.7 percent of all state inmates are behind bars for marijuana possession-related offenses.

Why Substance Abuse Testing?

Consider the benefits to your company when a substance abuse management program is in place:

  • Reduced Absenteeism and Tardiness
  • Increased Productivity
  • A Safer Work Environment
  • Reduction in Workers Compensation Claims
  • Fewer Accidents
  • Lower Insurance Rates
  • DOT Requirement

NTA, Inc. has designed a testing program that includes a clear comprehensive Drug Free Workplace Policy that can easily be customized to meet your company’s specific needs. Training for your managers to successfully implement the program is also available and we will assist you in educating your employees in the consequences of substance abuse.

Companies that have a drug and alcohol abuse policy in place consistently report substantial cost reductions.

What is the difference between Screen Threshold and Confirm Threshold on the NTA, Inc. test results?

The Screen Threshold and Confirm Threshold are the standard cutoff levels that the laboratory uses when testing a specimen.

When the laboratory first receives the specimen, they run the Immunoassay test, or Screen test. Immunoassays use antibodies to detect the presence of a drug or metabolite in the urine. Antibodies are proteins that chemically bind with specific substances called antigens; in this case, a drug or drug metabolite. The first column of numbers on the NTA test results under Screen Threshold are the quantitative cutoff levels for this test.
The primary disadvantage of immunoassays is that the antibodies are seldom specific to a single drug or drug metabolite; therefore, the antibodies may bind with other substances. This is called cross-reactivity and can result in false positives. Because of this, if a substance shows positive (or above the screen threshold), the specimen is sent on for the GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) test, or Confirmation Test. The second column of numbers on the NTA, Inc. test under Confirm Threshold are the quantitative cutoff levels for this test.
The GC/MS test is a very sensitive and specific test, and the procedures for performing this test are very complex. In short, however, this test separates and very specifically identifies the components of the specimen, making it a highly reliable test for confirmations.
The Screen and Confirm Thresholds on the NTA, Inc. results are simply the cutoff levels for each substance on each particular test. They have nothing to do with one another, and do not reflect levels that are found in a specimen.

Driver Qualification Files and Why They are Important

The DOT has very specific driver qualification regulations. These regulations are the foundation for creating and maintaining workplace and roadway safety. The Driver Qualification File consists of many components and it is crucial that all are included and up to date. The file consists of:

1. DRIVER APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT 391.21
2. INQUIRY TO PREVIOUS EMPLOYERS (3 YEARS) 391.23(a)(2) & (c)
3. INQUIRY TO STATE AGENCIES 391.23(a)(1) & (b)
4. MEDICAL EXAMINER’S CERTIFICATE* 391.43
5. DRIVER’S ROAD TEST 391.31
6. CERTIFICATION OF ROAD TEST* 391.31
7. ANNUAL DRIVER’S CERTIFICATE OF VIOLATIONS 391.27
8. ANNUAL REVIEW OF DRIVING RECORD 391.25

Completeness of driver history and records is a shared responsibility of both the driver and the employer.
Maintaining all files with a high standard of accuracy and detail is essential for full DOT compliance and is part of
overall ethical business practices.
For more information on DOT compliance and workplace safety, call NTA today at 1.800.452.0030!

The Immense Benefits of Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training!

 

Are you a federally regulated company that must complete mandatory training or are you simply interested in excellent, additional training? The DOT requires that each supervisor employed by a DOT regulated company must complete the required Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training; CFR 382.603. NTA’s Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training offers an all-inclusive overview for each step of the process preceding Reasonable Suspicion drug tests. RSST offers a detailed curriculum that prepares supervisors for handling the wide range of substance abuse related personnel issues and common scenarios. This course prepares supervisors by taking them, step by step, through the process of documenting suspicious events, changes in the employee’s behavior, and details surrounding the time the employee is confronted. Approaching an employee who is showing signs of substance abuse on the job is a very delicate and potentially difficult event that leaves many employers feeling hesitant and anxious. The supervisor is only required to demonstrate that he/she believes an imminent safety hazard is possible due to adverse changes in appearance, behavior or job performance. These identifiers must be directly observed by a trained supervisor. A Reasonable Cause drug test is simply a tool to rule out substance abuse as a contributing factor to the adverse changes in the employee’s behavior. Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training is imperative for all corporations and is also a great asset to your safe workplace! For more information, please see CFR 382.603 & 382.307.

For December 2014, we are offering our RSST Online Training Package at 15% off! Don’t miss out on this super feature!

NTA, Inc. is your source for training, safety, and compliance! We offer many educational packages including:

  • RSST Instructor lead or RSST online
  • USDOT Urine Drug Screen Collector Training
  • USDOT Screening Test Technician
  • NON-DOT Hair Collector Training
  • DER/Designated Employer Representative Training
  • Point of Care Testing

To schedule your training, call 1.800.452.0030 today!

 

 

Hire Smart! Implement Investigative Reporting Today!

Why is investigative reporting a ‘must’ for all corporations? Negligent hiring lawsuits are on the rise. If an employee’s actions hurt someone, the employer may be liable! In today’s world, crime, fraud, and drug abuse rates continue to rise and there is no such thing as being ‘too’ careful as it relates to your hiring and human resource practices. NTA, Inc. has a full system of technology that works strategically to obtain the most current, detailed, and accurate information available. We offer a combined service that provides our clients with complete reports in record time. We proudly guarantee that our information is current and updated with the state’s system daily. While most state reporting agencies provide a 7-14 day turnaround time on their reports, we provide our Motor Vehicle Reports within an average of 24 hours or less. Being an all-inclusive Third Party Administrator, we consistently offer products and solutions that are extremely affordable, priced much lower than the competition. Our highly-trained, dedicated staff is available to help you choose which reports will suit your needs. Hire smart and stay vigilant with our full line of investigative reports including:

 

  • State and National Criminal Background Checks
  • Motor Vehicle Reports
  • National & International Education Verification
  • Employment Verification
  • Credit Checks
  • Workers Compensation Reports
  • Social Security Traces
  • Eviction Reports

 

For more information, call us today at 1.800.452.0030!

 

Quality is our priority at NTA, Inc.

 

Quality Control at Nationwide Testing Association, Inc.

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc. proudly offers the maximum level of quality throughout each and every portion of our business. Through the diligent and continuous efforts of our enthusiastic and highly qualified team, we pledge to first meet and then surpass our client’s expectations the first time and every time with no exceptions! Our emphasis on value is evident throughout all of our programs and our quality assurance verifications, implemented daily, continually strengthen our immense customer satisfaction.

At NTA, Inc. we believe that up-to-date knowledge and awareness of our multidimensional industry is of utmost importance. Our staff strives to provide our clients with accurate and helpful information that consistently simplifies compliance and ensures that drug and alcohol testing is 100% hassle-free. Our team participates in educational training on a regular basis to acquire new skills, improve current practices, and therefore, remain competitive and innovative. Through immense effort and perpetual improvement of our internal and external processes, we are able to guarantee that we consistently provide the very best product at the most competitive price. We are completely dedicated to quality and we maintain that this begins and ends with our loyal clients!