Why Not Trust, but Verify Your Teen?

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.47.39 AMSummer is coming to a close and schools all across America are back in session. That means your teenager is preparing to meet lots of new people and have some wonderful new experiences in the coming year. However, we all know sometimes teens can be led down the wrong path, through impulsive decision-making, situations involving peer pressure and that feeling of pure invincibility that almost all teenagers experience. These common themes in many teenagers’ lives can sometimes lead them on the path to drug use.

Being able to trust your child more as they grow older is a wonderful thing to celebrate. But when we know that even the best teenagers can be prone to making poor decisions every now and then, why not take the preventative steps to protect them from engaging in dangerous activities?

The Trust, But Verify random teen drug testing program offered by Any Lab Test Now is a great way to help your teenager make good decisions when it comes to drugs. When your teen knows they can be randomly drug tested at any time, they can say “no” to their friends more easily, without succumbing to peer pressure. Your teen can let their friends know that they can’t try drugs — not even once — because they get drug tested at home. You can still have a trusting relationship with your teenager knowing that you’ve given them the tools they need to refuse dangerous substances, without having to feel like their activities are constantly monitored.

At Any Lab Test Now, teen drug testing options include:

  • Rapid drug screens for when you need to know now.
  • Lab-based drug screens and confirmations of drug screens for your assurance, including but not limited to prescription medications, cocaine and synthetic designer drugs like K2, Spice and “bath salts.”
  • Drug tests for different detection periods.
  • Additional tests are available for:

Contact Any Lab Test Now to learn more about our Trust, But Verify teen drug testing program today.

What Is Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Heavy metals are not necessarily bad. In fact, we’re exposed to many natural elements every day, including some heavy metals. Certain heavy metals such as chromium, iron, and zinc are actually important to regulate bodily functions. But too much of a good thing can be bad. Heavy metals in high doses can be toxic.
This heavy metal toxicity can be very harmful to you, your family, or your employees. It can result in the following outcomes:

  • Damage to the vital organs
  • Neurological and muscular degeneration
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • In extreme cases, death

Occupational exposure and your diet and lifestyle are the two most common ways you can become exposed to heavy metals. When you do become exposed, the body can’t metabolize the metal substances that you have ingested or absorbed. Those metals will then accumulate in your soft tissues leading to toxicity.
If you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to heavy metals or need to test your employees for OSHA, Any Lab Test Now can help. We offer a Heavy Metals Panel as well as tests for arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, copper, and zinc. We can help you get the answers you need, especially since identification of the heavy metal is paramount to treatment. Only by identifying which metal you have been exposed to can you go to your doctor and begin the treatment to have it removed from your body’s system.
Our reliable testing services will help you get the peace of mind you need if you think you’ve been exposed to dangerous heavy metals.

How do I find out if my liver is healthy?

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When was the last time you thought about your liver? Chances are you don’t think about your liver on a daily or even a weekly basis. But it plays a vital role in your health. The football sized organ sits just below your rib cage and helps you digest food and rids your body of toxic substances, like alcohol.

You liver can become damaged, too. In fact, liver damage can be genetic, but it can also be caused by a variety of factors such as viruses, alcohol abuse and obesity. When the liver becomes damaged, your overall health could be seriously impacted.

What are the complications of liver damage?

  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth and increased thirst
  • Yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes or eyes (jaundice)
  • Small, red spider-like veins on the skin
  • Problems with thinking, memory and mood
  • Fainting and lightheadedness
  • Numbness in legs and feet

Eventually, liver damage can lead to liver failure, which is a life-threatening condition. The important thing to remember is that liver damage often happens over a long period of time, so it’s important to keep a close watch on the health of your liver.

How do I find out if my liver is healthy?

The only way to know if your liver is functioning properly is to get tested. At Any Lab Test Now, we offer a liver function panel (hepatic function) that will help you determine if your liver is damaged. This panel measures the blood levels of seven tests that check to see how well your liver is working. High or low levels in one of the seven tests may indicate that liver damage or disease is present. Then you can talk to your doctor to determine any steps you need to take.
Note: it’s also important to establish a baseline for these tests. So if you’re not concerned about liver damage at the moment, you should get the panel to determine how your liver functions under healthy conditions. After that, semi-regular tests can keep a watchful eye on your liver’s functionality so you can have the knowledge you need to stay on top of any possible damage.

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.

National Immunization Awareness Month: What that Means for Your College Student

Now that August has arrived, that can only mean one thing — it’s time for your student to start heading back to school! But did you know that August is also National Immunization Awareness Month? Getting immunized against infectious diseases is important for your health, as well as the health of those around you. And with the start of the new school year just around the corner, you may need to make sure your student is up to date on all their vaccinations.

Most colleges, universities and technical programs require students to provide proof of their necessary immunizations. Our titers tests for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are an easy alternative to tracking down your old pediatrician from 10+ years ago or finding those old medical records you promised yourself you’d get around to organizing. Instead of spending hours searching for lost records, a titers test can quickly and easily check if you are immune to certain diseases. In just one visit, we can have you tested and your results ready to send to your student’s school within 48 -72 hours of testing.

Some health care study programs may require additional tests including proof of immunization for Hepatitis B and C, a yearly flu shot or even drug testing. The good news is, we can provide these, too! Instead of going to your doctor and racking up lots of fees and sitting through several separate doctor visits, why not make it easy on yourself and get everything done at once — cheaply, efficiently and hassle-free!

We know starting the new school year can be hectic. That’s why we at Any Lab Test Now want to relieve some of your stress by offering easy and affordable solutions to all of your most pressing back-to-school health care needs. We can provide proof of immunizations, flu shots and even help you fulfill those extensive requirements for health care study programs. And there’s no additional cost for a physician’s visit — we provide the doctor’s order. So don’t run all over town. We’re your one-source solution at Any Lab Test Now.

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.

Which Alternative Specimens for Drug Testing Ensure a Drug-Free Workplace?

Drug testing has become common practice for many employers, but navigating the various types of specimens that can be tested to meet your company’s goals, objectives and DrugfreeWorkplace Policy requirements can get confusing. Urine tests have been the gold standard since pre-employment and random drug testing was instituted by many organizations in the 1980s. Unfortunately, there are candidates who know how to get around the urine drug test collection process so that they are able to continue drug use, potentially endangering your clients and their workplaces.

While not all employers need, or want, to test current or prospective employees, those whose employees have access to confidential information or perform jobs operating heavy machinery or driving or flying may be required to use drug testing. Common reasons companies institute aDrugfreeWorkplace Program include:

  • Government regulations or contract requirements
  • Reduce risk and safety liability
  • Reduce incidences of theft
  • Reduceworker’scompensation premiums
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Improve productivity
  • Ensure the habits of drug users and abusers don’t negatively affect their company’s culture and good employees

According to a recent survey of 1,000 companies performed by the American Management Association, 51.5% of the respondents engaged in some form of drug testing, representing a net increase of 140% since 1987.

The urine drug test is the easiest to administer and is inexpensive, but it can be easy to adulterate and pass. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it is sometimes necessary to observe the urine collection, a degrading process for everyone involved. Urine drug testing detects drug use within an average window of the past 1-3 days.  This is only an average, as frequency of use, concentration of the drug ingested, and even the donor’s own metabolism influence the detection period.  In situations where direct observation is required, same gender collectors and facilities that accommodate proper urine collection protocols. Current alternative testing technologies provide not only accurate results with a longer detection window, but simpler test administration.

If employers want to conduct drug testing there are other options that may be easier, less invasive and more difficult to tamper with. Hair and fingernail/toenail drug testing offer longer detection windows (common employer practice is a 90 day period for a hair follicle test; nails provide 4 to 6 months of information). These tests are easy to administer with very simple facility accommodations and without the need for gender based test collectors. In addition, these biological specimens are very difficult for candidates or employees to adulterate. Although more expensive than urine testing, an employer has the ability to monitor a candidate’s usage over a longer period of time and with less inconvenience and discomfort than traditional urine drug tests. These tests also offer the benefit of identifying long-term drug use, while urine tests only show use within the most recent few days.

Oral fluid testing is also available and may be the right test if there is a suspicion of drug use or immediately after an incident. Because the detection window is even shorter than a urine test, only 2-24 hours, this test is best used to pinpoint short-term, immediate use or for a random drug test. Oral fluid testing is a lab-based test, not a rapid test, is difficult to tamper with, very easy to administer, and requires virtually no facility adjustment or specific test collector requirements.  It is also a good solution for remote work areas, where it may be challenging for a drug testing provider togetonsitewithina reasonable period of time.

Alternative specimens for drug testing provide flexibility for employers to better meet their corporate and HR goals and objectives, especially for those with higher risk and safety issues at stake.  It is important to incorporate language for alternative specimens intoyourDrugfreeWorkplacePolicy if you choose to expand testing beyond the more common urine drug test.

Although not every employer will need to know how their employees, either current or prospective, spend their time over the weekend, whether engaging in drug use or not, many employers want to know that employees are not coming to work under the influence, missing work or deadlines due to drug use or endangering clients or other employees. Each drug testing specimen has benefits and situations in which it is best suited.

The urine drug test still has a place in an overall drug testing program and is ideal for random drug testinginongoing drug-free workplaces. It is cost-effective and provides instant results when a rapid screen is used. Adulteration and dilution testing of specimens collected is available, and it is still the most common method of drug testing.

Employers considering instituting a drug testing program should investigate and design a comprehensive program that utilizes multiple tests to deter drug use. Multiple detection windows and test specimens can help to ensure that candidates and employees are staying clean, thereby protecting your workplace, your employees and your clients.

Poisoning: A Leading Cause of Unintentional Injuries.

Did you know that unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States today? Car crashes, drownings, and house fires are just a few examples of unforeseen accidents that could have been avoided had those involved been aware of the safety hazards around them and cautionary with their own actions. What seems to be the most surprising is that one of the top places for an unintentional injury to occur is inside the home. Do you know what it could be from?

Every year, poison control centers receive about 2.2 million calls seeking help for poisoning that occurred while the person was in their home. In many cases, the individual was unintentionally poisoned after ingesting drugs or chemicals found in their own house. Cleaning products, personal care products, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are all familiar substances found in most homes, yet can be a major risk for unintentional poisoning if they are not stored in safe places and handled with care while in use.

The National Safety Council suggests taking these precautionary steps to ensure that medicines are put away safely in the home:

  • Make sure the safety cap is locked, listen for the click.

  • Ask visitors to lock and put away suitcases or purses containing medications.

  • Program the poison control number, (800) 222-1222, in your home and cell phones.

  • Safely dispose of leftover and unwanted medications.

For information on poisons and toxins, contact your local Any Lab Test Now®. We offer a wide range of lab testing services including our Unknown Poisons and Toxins Analysis that can test for over 600 different chemicals, poisons and toxic substances like pesticides, painting and cleaning products as well as hygiene-type products. Call us today and let us help you take action towards a safe and healthy you.

Parents, Do You And Your Teen Know The Dangers and Relationship Between Prescription Painkillers and Heroin Abuse?

As a parent, it is incredible to sit back and think how far the world of medicine has come since you were a child. Thanks to the speed of technology and growing medical research, it seems like there is a medicine for everything nowadays. While we can be thankful for the advancements that have been made, it is important as parents that we make sure our children are aware of the pros and cons associated with medicine… in particular, prescription drugs.

Did you know that heroin abuse is closely linked to prior use of prescribed painkillers? Also referred to asopioiddrugs, painkillers have an agent in theirmake-upthat has a tendency to induce tolerance in the person taking the drug. Because of this, a person taking a prescribed painkiller will over time begin to feel like the drug is not responding as strongly as it once did. They then become dependent and begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. This series of events causes the person to start desiring a stronger, more addictive drug leading them to heroin use. Why heroin, you ask? Heroin is much like a painkiller in that it provides the same satisfying effects, yet it is cheaper than prescribed painkillers and mainly sold on public streets making it easier to obtain. However, what makes heroin different from painkillers is that it is extremely addictive and has a high likelihood of overdose; making it one of the most dangerous drugs out there today.

Take a look at this interactive tool the Medicine Abuse Project designed to help illustrate how a young person after surgery is prescribed a painkiller by her doctor and how a harmless situation like that can translate into an addiction to heroin. Now you can understand that it is no wonder reports are showing that nearly half of all young people who are using heroin today started off by using prescription painkillers.

So the question is, what can you do as a parent? The most important thing to do first is to have an open conversation with your teens about proper use of medicine and the risk of abusing prescription drugs. Take a minute to look through the medicine cabinet or drawer in your house and dispose properly of any unused medicines. Safeguard the prescriptions you do use by keeping them in a secure place. If you think your child may have dependenceon a medicine, call the Parents Toll Free Helpline and contact your doctor immediately. For more information regarding prescription drug abuse and how to keep your family safe, visit the Medicine Abuse Project’s website, a campaign catered to providing resourcesto parents and young adults focused on preventing millions of teens from becoming subject to drug abuse.

As a supportive partner withthe Medicine Abuse Project, Any Lab Test Now® is committed to providing you with preventative resources and quality testing toyou and your family. Contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today to learn more about our involvement with the Medicine Abuse Project and the services we can provide to help you and your teens when it comes to safe drug use.

Get Screened on National Alcohol Screening Day

Did you know that over 50% of the U.S. population above the age of 12 consumes alcohol? It is estimated that there are between 10 to 15 million alcoholics in the United States and approximately 100,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. Because of these staggering facts, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) partnered to establish National Alcohol Screening Day. Held annually on the Thursday of the first full week of April, National Alcohol Screening Day is recognized as a day of outreach, education, and anonymous screening focused on raising awareness on harmful and dependent drinking behaviors and connecting those at risk with treatment options. With the support and participation of thousands of Americans, National Alcohol Screening Day is the nation’s largest and most visible community-based intervention initiative to target alcohol misuse. During this day, participating colleges, military installations and other organizations offer attendees:

  • free and anonymous alcohol screening.

  • referrals for treatment options.

  • education on the impact alcohol can have on one’s overall health.

If you think you or one of your family members suffer from harmful or dependent drink behaviors, Any Lab Test Now® encourages you to get screened on National Alcohol Screening Day, April 9th. Drinking above the average amount of alcohol on a regular basis can have long-term health effects on the body and it’s your responsibility to Take Control of Your Health® now. Tests like our Alcohol Effect Panel  and Liver Function Panel can help do that by identifying any long-term effects alcohol may have on your body. Contact us today to learn more about the alcohol testing services we offer and how we can help you begin bettering the health of your future.