Latest Drug Trends Parents Need to Know About

Your teen is at a party. They told you the parents would be home and that it’s just a small get-together. But even a small party can be a toxic pool of peer pressure for a growing teenager. Do you actually know what your teen is doing at that party? Will there be drinking or even drugs? While it’s important to have a trusting relationship with your teenager, it is also important to know when it’s time to step in and take charge of their activities. New drug trends can pop up fast, and before you know it, your teen may be in a dangerous situation at a social event. But you can take action just by staying in-the-know about drug trends and being aware of the warning signs that your teen might be abusing drugs. With the right information, you can better monitor your teen’s activities and behaviors. You don’t want to find out too late.

Here are a few of the drug trends for 2015 you should know about:

Molly: Commonly known as Molly or ecstasy, the official name for this drug is MDMA. It has been steadily gaining popularity since the late 2000s, and it is certainly a drug to watch out for among teenagers. Molly is considered a club drug and is typically used in pill form at raves and other kinds of parties. It is a synthetic psychoactive drug that produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth toward others and distortions in sensory and time perceptions. Because it is lab-created, Molly is an unpredictable drug that can vary greatly in strength, composition and dosage — you never know what you’re going to get. It can result in a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and sweating, and the inability for the body to regulate temperature. It has also been known to cause panic attacks, psychosis, seizures and extreme dehydration.

Flakka (or Gravel): Flakka, also sometimes called Gravel, is a new and highly dangerous drug trend that has recently been seen emerging in Florida but is spreading to other areas as well. The drug is a combination of crystal meth and bath salts, giving it a gravel-like appearance. It can be eaten, snorted, injected or vaporized in an e-cigarette or similar device and can cause a condition called “excited delirium” that involves hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury. It has been linked to fatalities from suicide and heart attacks, and it can raise body temperatures to dangerous levels, leading to kidney damage and kidney failure.

K2 (or Spice): K2 is a particularly tricky drug to look out for as a parent because it can be obtained legally and is sold in gas stations, head shops and on the Internet. It is a synthetic cannabinoid of herbal mixtures that is chemically similar to THC, the active ingredient found in marijuana. However, the effects of this drug are much more powerful than marijuana and can include anxiety and agitation, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, shaking and seizures, hallucinations and paranoia, and violent behavior. Recently, there have been increasing instances of hospitalizations due to overdoses of K2.

Adderall: Adderall (and other stimulant medications like Ritalin and Concerta) is the dangerous drug your teen might be getting right out of a friend’s medicine cabinet. Typically prescribed to people with ADHD, Adderall has recently become a heavily abused drug among young people, especially students. People with prescriptions can easily give or sell it to others, usually those seeking the ability to focus better while studying. The problem? When abused or taken without a prescription, these drugs can be highly addictive. This type of drug suppresses the appetite, increases wakefulness, and increases focus and attention. It can also produce feelings of euphoria and is often abused for recreational purposes as a result.

Fentanyl: This drug is an opioid twice as potent as heroin and has been increasing in popularity across the nation since 2013, causing hundreds of overdoses and deaths. An opioid overdose can stop a person’s breathing, and fentanyl can cause this to happen very rapidly. In some cases, people have been unknowingly taking fentanyl in what they believed to be pure heroin, though a growing number of people are intentionally seeking out the stronger drug. Fentanyl produces a state of euphoria and relaxation.

Any Lab Test Now partners with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids and their Medicine Abuse Project to help educate parents about the problem of teen drug abuse, as well as share tools to help them talk to their teens. Be sure to talk to your teenager about the dangers of drug abuse and how to get help if something happens. If you think your teen may be abusing drugs, you may want to consider bringing them in for a drug test through our Trust But Verify teen drug testing program. Talk to our experts at Any Lab Test Now to find the right test for you and your child’s needs.

Unknown Substance Analysis and Unknown Poison and Toxins Analysis

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Do you suspect an employee, friend or loved one is abusing drugs or being poisoned somehow? Or maybe you are worried you have been drugged or poisoned yourself? Then you might want to consider getting an Unknown Substance Analysis or an Unknown Poisons and Toxins Analysis at Any Lab Test Now. These tests are designed to give you peace of mind, whatever your needs happen to be. Once you get a definitive answer, you can finally act on your suspicions and help improve your health or the health of someone you know. But which test is right for you? Read on to learn what each analysis scans for and why you may need to get one.

Unknown Substance Analysis
An Unknown Substance Analysis is a drug-based scan of many classes of drugs, including prescription medications, illegal drugs and over-the-counter medications. It can be used to identify a pill, powder or substance suspected to be a drug or identify drugs already present in the body. This test uses blood, urine or hair, drug paraphernalia or beverage containers to identify any substance that may be present. Test results are typically available within 10 business days after your specimen is collected.

This may be a good option for you if you suspect a friend, family member or employee is abusing drugs or if you are curious about a substance, pill or powder you can’t identify. This analysis can also be used if you believe you have been drugged and would like to identify the suspected drug. If an unfortunate situation has happened to you or a loved one, an Unknown Substance Analysis may provide you with the answers you are looking for.

Unknown Poisons and Toxins Analysis
An Unknown Poisons and Toxins Analysis screens for and identifies the presence of more than 1000 common chemicals, poisons and toxic substances. The test includes frequently used pesticides, poisons, organic chemicals, painting and cleaning products, and hygiene-type products. This analysis does not include drugs or heavy metals testing. Testing can be done using blood, urine or hair samples, as well as food or beverage samples. Test results are typically available within 10 business days after your specimen is collected.

This may be a good option for you if you suspect that you or a loved one has been poisoned, intentionally or unknowingly. Getting the answers you need can ease your mind, get you on the path to better health and may even save your life.

Are You Ready for That Job Interview? And The Drug Test That Comes With It?

 

When you are preparing for a job interview, you are probably making sure that your interview outfit is clean and ironed, you have work samples ready, your licenses or certificates are in order, and you have your resume handy.  You get yourself psyched up to answer questions and present yourself in the best possible light. You hope you’re ready for anything that they throw at you. Will you be ready if you are sent into the next room to provide a urine, hair, finger/toenail or oral fluid sample for a drug test? If you are looking for a job, it’s more and more likely that you will be asked to provide a sample. Clearly, now is the time to “Say No to Drugs!”

You may be thinking: “It doesn’t matter what I do on my own time. If they do a drug test I’ll have time to get clean if I get an interview.”  While this may have been the case in the past, it is no longer a safe excuse to keep using and hope that a few days is enough to clean up your act. While the urine drug screen is still the most common type of sample used for pre-employment and random drug testing, there are alternative specimens that can be used to detect drug use for months prior to the test.  It’s important to be aware of these drug and alcohol testing technologies so that you aren’t caught off-guard and denied the perfect job based on a positive drug test.

Drug testing technology has advanced dramatically since the tests were first instituted in some industries in the late 1980’s.  Standard urine tests can detect drug use on average within a one to three day window; and an oral fluid swab detects drug use within an even shorter period, only 2 to 24 hours.  Hair follicle, and finger or toenail drug tests are able to detect drug use for 3 to 6 months, depending on the drug andavailabilityof a sufficient amount of the specimen to be collected.  If you don’t know the test is coming, there is no way to prevent a positive test if you are a consistent, recreational drug user.

Hair and finger/toenail samples are very difficult to adulterate and very easy for the test collector to observe. The window of detection varies based on multiple factors, including frequency of use, concentration of the drug ingested, type of drug or drugs used, and even a person’s metabolism. What this all boils down to is that if you are job-hunting, you need to be prepared to take a drug test. Many prescription medications such as sedatives, opiates, and mood stabilizers can cause a positive test result.  In these instances, be prepared to provide a copy of your prescription to the Medical Review Officer (MRO).   If you don’t have a verifiable prescription for medication, just don’t take it.  In some states, although marijuana may have become legal for medical use, this does not guarantee that the company will hire you. Even if you have a valid prescription, marijuana use may go against their hiring or drug-free workplace policy.

Employers are increasingly testing prospective employees to comply with drug-free workplace mandates.  Some industries, for example, those that hire drivers, pilots or heavy machinery operators, are required to conduct drug testing on candidates and random testing on employees due to government regulations.  Other employers just want to prevent problems on the job that can lead to injury or liability.  And, employers have the right to conduct drug testing regardless of the type of work or environment. As long as they test everyone, drug testing is not considered a discriminatory hiring practice.

If you’re gearing up for a job search, get clean now and be sure that you put your best foot (and hair, fingernail and toenail!) forward.