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Workaholics Anonymous | Drug Abuse Among Nurses

Nursing is one of the most admirable positions a person can hold. It takes a kind, strong soul to maintain the desire to continue helping people each and every day. The endless workload can take it’s toll on nurses, as double shifts, rotating shifts, decreased staffing and other factors can lead to high levels of stress. Fatigue, alienation, and the “workaholic” mentality can be tough to deal with and oftentimes, lead to nurses living, breathing, and sleeping through their work. This can lead to drug and alcohol abuse.

Much like anyone else, someone who is in an unstable environment is at risk for abusing alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately for nurses, though the work they do is for the betterment of patients and their families, it is indeed an unstable environment for them. They battle through it each and every day and continue to show up, and that is a testament to all nurses all over the country.

The American Nurses Association has estimated that around 8% of nurses use either alcohol or drugs to an extent that could impair their professional judgement. One could suspect that up to 10% of nurses have alcohol or drug abuse problems, based on the lifestyle that nurses are forced to live. Prescription-type medication use has been noted to be higher among nurses, while cocaine and marijuana use is lower than the general population.

Drug and alcohol abuse can greatly affect an individual’s wellbeing, as well as their families and friends. This could increase tenfold when dealing with the responsibilities that a nurse has when taking care of patients. Drug abuse from nurses is a very harmful and dangerous situation. Just a few consequences that could happen when a nurse is using drugs or abusing alcohol include:

  • Patient mistreatment, including incorrect basic care, medication errors and abuse
  • Patient death
  • Higher hospital or clinic costs associated with legalities of patient mistreatment, stolen drugs, lost wages, training, and re-hiring
  • Nurses may lose time due to treatment, thus receive lower wages
  • Nurses can lose their job and even their entire career depending on the damage drug abuse has caused in their life

Employers that are hiring new nurses should be aware of the risks associated, and implement a drug testing policy with all employees. There are benefits to pre employment drug testing, in order to weed out potential hires who use drugs, but because of how much responsibility a nursing staff has, regular or random drug testing should be on the minds of employers. If you are in charge of hiring new personel at a hospital, nursing home, or any health care facility, turn to an employment drug testing company who takes their position seriously. Employment Screening Services has a long list of clients who know the passion that goes into helping the right people get hired, and preventing the wrong ones from causing harm to your company.

Urinalysis Test Cheaters | How Employees & Job Candidates Can Try To “Beat the Test”

You’ve probably heard old wives’ tales about how so and so “beat” a drug test by using various different methods. You’ve also probably seen some of our materials on the benefits of hair follicle drug testing, in contrast to urinalysis. Maybe you follow professional sports and hear about potential first round draft picks dropping because of “diluted” samples. We figured we could take some time to talk about common methods that potential job candidates may use to “beat” a pre employment drug test.

Dilution

This is probably the most widely used, and widely marketed process to avoid a positive urine drug test. Companies all over the U.S. compete to sell their “Detox” drink, that all promise the same thing; undetectable drugs. Though most are known by title as “detox” drinks, they do not detoxify the body. What it actually does is hold the toxins in the body, allowing someone to pass a drug test. A drug user can possibly turn up a negative test by simply drinking the drink 2 hours before, urinating 3-4 times before the test. “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” is present on most of these products, but oftentimes, the test will show unusual amount of dilution, which should always require an additional test.

Substitution

A simple Google search, much like the dilution “detox” drinks, can find you a multitude of “Urine Substitutes”. Back in the good ole’ days, a potential drug test cheater might just request or purchase another person’s urine, and try and sneak it in, to use as their sample. Nowadays there are all types of products and methods to try and substitute clean urine. Just check out the number of message boards on the internet to see how much thought and effort go into switching urine samples. Typically the strict way to avoid cheating is for a lab worker to literally watch the person urinate, but there are even products that recreate the process using tubing and artificial genitalia. Yes, artificial genitalia.

Adulterating

This is something that you can see a potential candidate try and to, or even a current employee that may want to turn back a random drug test. Basically what adulterating a sample is tampering with the sample by adding certain chemicals that will either mask the drugs in the system or interfere with the equipment/test. Also known as “doping” a sample, someone who wants to buy time for themselves in a random drug test scenario could add soap, salt, bleach, eye drops or something else to try and avoid a positive test.

As you can see, there is a lot of thought and effort that go toward beating drug tests. This is something that every business owner should know and understand, so they can avoid being fooled someone is drug free. Regardless of if you test them in the beginning, a drug user causing an accident or stealing from the job could cost you serious money. It’s always beneficial to administer a urine drug test for any possible candidate prior to hiring, and it’s also vital to think about random and reasonable suspicion drug testing. Hair follicle drug testing could possibly offer a better solution for new hires, with a longer window of detection. If you have any questions about employment drug testing, feel free to send us a message in our contact form, or give us a call!

Negligent Hiring | What Does it Mean To Business Owners?

Job candidates that misrepresent his or her employment credentials can potentially expose employers to serious legal liabilities if and when the person or another employee are harmed. Conducting thorough background checks and drug testing potential and current employees are important to help maintain the safety, effectiveness and morale of the organization, and we know that. But it’s also important for employers to understand the magnitude of the liability associated with hiring a job candidate who misrepresented themselves throughout the hiring process.

What is Negligent Hiring?

By definition, negligent hiring is a legal claim made against an employer by a damaged employee/client or third party who claims that the employer either knew about or should have known about a situation in the employee’s past that indicates they may be violent, untrustworthy or under qualified. Generally, in order for a plaintiff to prove negligent hiring claims, they must demonstrate 2 things.

  1. The Employer knew or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known of the employee’s unfitness at the time of hiring
  2. The negligently hired employee proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury

Essentially, a plaintiff could be another employee who was injured or harmed, or a family member or friend of another employee. So if someone is hurt or harmed because of someone who was hired based off falsified information, and you didn’t catch it, your company is liable.

Real Life Scenario

In the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc., a plaintiff made a negligent hiring claim against an authorized security services dealer for ADT Security, Inc. The security services dealer, we will call “Company S” warranted in several of its contracts with ADT that all employees performing services under these agreements had passed a drug screen and a criminal background check. Despite the claim that Company S screened and checked all of their employees, it was found that Company S had not done so with all of their employees, including the employee who sexually assaulted the daughter of the plaintiff.

Company S hired an employee without checking to see if they had a criminal record. A 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted. Her father sued ADT and Company S for negligent hiring because they failed to do a background check on the employee. This is a sad, yet true story, that can all be found in the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc.

Employment Screening Services prides ourselves on providing comprehensive, tactile background checks for employers because it is important to us. We aim to prevent the wrong people from entering your organization, because it could not only harm your company’s bottom line, it could result in harm to a human being. For information about background screening or drug testing for employment, please don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call to see what we can do for you moving forward.

 

How a Potential Hire’s Driving Records Give Important Insight Into Responsibility

A quality and comprehensive employee screening processes has increasingly become an integral cog in both filling job openings and establishing the trusted, and effective human capital needed to run a successful business and/organization.  While it’s common knowledge that companies use criminal and credit history during the screening process, driving records are often overlooked and underutilized.  Some employers may not fully understand the potential benefits of including driving records in the hiring process, but in reality, these records can yield a myriad of information that can signal problems down the road and should be taken into account by employers.

Temperament and Behavior

Driving records can provide a window into an applicant’s temperament and character — sometimes even more so than a traditional sit down interview.  Infractions or chronic traffic issues can mean behavioral trends and provide a candid look into the life of a potential employee.  Does a record implicate road rage or is there a regular occurrence of accidents?  Aggressive traits can translate into aggressive driving.  A potential hire who is a calm, careful and responsible driver is not going to have a long list of traffic violations and/or accidents.  Driving records that include a laundry list of infractions are riddled with red flags.  Think of it this way.  If an applicant can’t be trust with your vehicle, why would you trust them with your business?

But Isn’t Drug and Criminal Record Screening Enough?

While there is a plethora of information that can be gained from driving records, one of the main reasons hiring managers use them is to determine if an applicant is reliable and safe on the road — not to mention shedding light on responsibility and dependability levels.  For jobs that entail travel or transit via company vehicles, employers are rightfully interested in assessing the potential risk factor behind the wheel.  Needles to say if an applicant has a questionable driving record, it could bring high insurance rates.  Not only can insurance rates rise, but employers have to worry about liability.  The last issue any company needs is an employee being responsible for injury another individual.

No Show

Another important factor that driving records show goes a long way into determining general responsibility and professionalism.  If a potential hire’s history shows a repeated failure to appear in court, what makes you think they’ll show up to work or perform with the level of responsibility you expect out of a paid employee?  If an applicant hasn’t taken a summons into court seriously, it raises a substantial red flag.  If an individual is willing to blow off a judge, it’s time to questions where work falls in their hierarchy of priorities?

ESS offers the most comprehensive and effective packages of advanced background checks — From employment drug testing in Buffalo, NY and NYS  license verification to hair drug tests. For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Data Shows Increase in Employee Cocaine, Marijuana and Amphetamine Usage

According to a recent report out of the New York Times, Employers across the country are experiencing increased difficulty in hiring protocol as job seekers and current human resources alike both refuse to take and/or are unable to successfully complete required drug tests.  The problem speaks to growing drug use in adult demographics as businesses increase efforts to cultivate safe workplace environments for staff.

While finding qualified and committed employees can be a considerable challenge, the reality is that drug use is a legitimate and expanding factor in filling open jobs in an economy that has stabilized since the 2008 recession.  The number of employees yielding positive results for illicit drug use increased for the second consecutive year in 2014 after having declined from 1988 to 2012.  In fact workplace urine tests that tested positive for illegal substances has risen a shocking 9 percent, according to Quest Diagnostics, a testing services and health care company.

Naturally, increasing drug usage is seen in some sectors more than others, putting a dent in the available labor pool for fields that typically experience higher levels of turnover and increased risks to employee safety — such as transportation and/or construction.

Even in the modern era of changing state marijuana laws — legalization of medical grade or, in some cases, general legalization, positive results increased in other drugs as we’ve recently covered.  Albeit Marijuana held onto its place atop commonly found drug usage.  Experts say there has been an undeniable increase in the number of people using Marijuana daily as usage has doubled from 2004 to 2014 alone and increased by nearly 8 time since 1992.  Interestingly enough, positive marijuana tests in states that have legalized the drug (Colorado and Washington) haven’t seen a significant increase compared the rest of the country.

Related: Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase For 2nd Consecutive Year

With the alarming data pointing to increased drug usage, it remains integral for employers to screen efficiently, and perhaps more important, intelligently to ensure the quality employee base required to accomplish mutually beneficial goals.  Employment drug testing will save money, time and resources to ensure your first hire is the correct hire.  Whether your business’s unique demands require a hair follicle drug test, a urinalysis test or even NY license verification, it always benefits an employer to weed out any suspected substance abuse in both current or prospective employees.

For more information on how to set up any drug analysis your business requires, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274

Hair Follicle Drug Testing | What’s the Upside?

As we have mentioned, it really is a no brainer to incorporate pre employment drug testing to your potential new hires. Each method of drug testing has it’s own benefits, whether it be cost or turnaround time. Using hair as a specimen for drug testing is beneficial in it’s own way, for a variety of reasons. ESS is here for any questions you may have about any pre employment screening. Here are a few benefits of hair drug tests for employees.

Harder To Cheat. Harder to Beat.

There are countless websites with methods on how to beat a urine drug test. Any head shop nowadays will carry synthetic urine, special diluting drinks that a marijuana user could use within days of the test, and still possibly “beat the test.”

Drug testing specimens can be diluted, substituted (donor uses urine that is not actually theirs), or adulteration (manipulating the urine so drugs cannot be detected).

Bottom Line: Hair specimens are by nature almost impossible to dilute and very difficult to adulterate.

 

Longer Detection Window.

When it comes to laboratory positive detection rates, hair follicle drug testing has a big advantage over urine drug testing. Bottom line, drugs stay in a humans hair longer than it does their urine specimen.

Drugs Detectable in Urine Specimen – 4 Hours – 7 Days

Drugs Detectable in Hair Specimen – 7 Days to 90 Days

Each Drug is different in terms of detection windows, and every person is different as well. Regardless of who you are drug testing, when the last time they used was, etc, using hair follicle specimens as a means of pre employment drug testing will provide an increased hit rate.

Bottom Line: Hair drug testing can increase hit rate, which can lower risk, cost of failed tests, and facilitate a safer workplace for your team.

These are only 2 primary reasons why a company can benefit more from a hair follicle drug test than other forms of pre employment drug tests, but once again, each company profile is different.

Some companies may not need the “scare tactic” of weeding extras out with the public knowledge of a hair drug test. Some companies may need to prevent this as soon as possible, in the hiring process, to avoid hiring the wrong employee. Either way, contact ESS for any further information on drug testing and pre employment screening.

Amidst Officer’s Overdose, BPD Reveals Drug Test Void

Last week at 3am on Friday morning, Buffalo Police and first responders saved a man from overdosing on heroin. In the thick of an epidemic facing the region – almost 400 heroin related overdose deaths since 2014 – this was the first time that emergency services were provided to a Buffalo Police officer.

The 26-year-old man had been a member of the Buffalo Police Force for the last two years. He was saved by being administered two doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote, and is luckily recovering. The daunting event sheds even more reality of the problem of substance abuse in the region, having a man employed to prevent such events from happening overdose himself.

With the story surrounding the man’s overdose, questions were raised when it was revealed that no one employed by the Buffalo Police Dept. has been drug tested for over two years.

The last doctor who administered random drug tests to Buffalo Police left his contract two years ago, leaving the position void, and meaning no one would be drug tested.

Another officer aware of the overdose of his comrade had this to say, reported by the Buffalo News.

“The department has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, and something like this really is shocking. Right now, we are in shock mode. This is unheard of.”

How could the department have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs without any form of employment drug testing?

“This is the first time we have had an officer who had taken heroin. We’ve had other officers in the past who have lost their jobs because they tested positive for marijuana or cocaine, but this is the first time we’ve had heroin.”

The department normally conducts random drug testing on officers at least once a year, but haven’t for over two years. Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy claimed that finding a new source for drug testing is a top priority.

“The city is hoping to have a new medical review officer in place by April or May and the plan is to have 100 percent testing every year for four years,” Kennedy said.

The role of a medical review officer is to set the protocol for testing and examine lab test results to verify if anyone has violated the department’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. Mayor Byron Brown didn’t directly answer why the position hasn’t been filled for over two years, but he had this to say, as reported by WGRZ.

“We have an RFP that’s in the field. The language in the RFP has been agreed to by the police management and the PBA,” said Brown. “We expect to have a doctor retained soon to do that kind of work.”

The fact that the officer survived the overdose is extremely fortunate, but it is baffling how no drug testing has been administered to Buffalo Police Officers for over two years. There are countless benefits to pre employment, reasonable suspicion, and random drug testing. It almost always benefits the employer, in the sense of weeding out any suspected substance abuse of their employees, but with the rise in overdose related deaths in Western New York, drug testing also ensures the safety and wellbeing of the employees themselves.

 

For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase for 2nd Consecutive Year

Decades long decline shows possible reversal in workforce drug use.

The percentage of American workers who tested positive for illicit drugs increased for the second consecutive year in the U.S. workplace. This comes from a study based on over 10 million pre employment and employment drug tests by Quest Diagnostics. Employment drug testing significantly decreases the risk involved in hiring a new employee that could cost you money, and damage your reputation.

“American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” “These findings are especially concerning because they suggest that the recent focus on illicit marijuana use may be too narrow, and that other dangerous drugs are potentially making a comeback.”

-Robert Dupont, former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Urinalysis tests, hair follicle drug tests, and reasonable suspicion drug testing are a few variations of employment drug testing that employers use to avoid hiring drug users.

Illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are clearly associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Dupont went on to talk about the risks involved with employees who use these illicit drugs, in our outside of the workplace.

“The increases in illicit drug positivity in employment drug testing should get employers and policymakers to take notice of the serious risks these drugs create for productivity, health and safety,”

With trends showing an increase in positive drug test results, now is the time to ensure your potential new hire, or current employee pool is drug free. The only way to verify the trust between you and your team is to instill a drug testing policy. For information about pre employment drug testing, urinalysis tests, hair drug tests, or any employment verification services, please give us a call at 716-332-2274.