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Dealing With Back-To-School Stress: How Will Your Child Cope?

Back-to-school can be an exciting and stressful time for teens. On one hand, they are excited to see their friends, but on the other, they’re facing increasing stress and anxiety when it comes to their daily responsibilities. Any Lab Test Now knows that parents are worried and sometimes unsure of how to respond. We try to make it easier with our discreet and confidential drug testing.

Why Teens Take Drugs

One of the first steps to confronting your fears as a parent is understanding exactly why teens take drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers us some insight.

  • Teens take drugs to fit in. They want to be accepted in a social circle that includes drug-using peers.
  • Teens take drugs to feel good. Drugs produce feelings of pleasure. The intensity of the euphoria differs by the type of drug and how it is used.
  • Teens take drugs to feel better. Depression, social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and physical pain are just some of the issues facing adolescents. Stress especially plays a significant role in starting and continuing drug use.
  • Teens take drugs to do better. The pressure to perform athletically and academically can be intense. Some teens turn to drug use because they believe it will enhance their performance.

Sometimes there’s no real reason; teens just like to experiment, especially doing those things that they perceive as thrilling or daring.

Take Control With ALTN

Any Lab Test Now is here to help you, confidentially and anonymously. Our knowledgeable and professional medical assistants will help you navigate the choices available if you’re unsure of what test might be right for your family. We offer a wide range of tests that can determine drug use. The options include:

Hair Drug Test – A test of hair strands can determine if someone has used drugs as far back as three months. This test is a good choice for parents if they want to find out if their teen has been using drugs for a longer period, or if they think their child knew they were going to get drug tested and stopped using just to pass the test.

Fingernail Test – It takes two weeks for ingested drugs to begin showing in the fingernails. Nail clippings can determine if your child has used drugs as far back as six months.

Urine Test – If you think your teen has used drugs within the last 24 to 72 hours, this is a good choice.

If you suspect your child may be experimenting or using drugs, it can be very frightening. You don’t have to face those fears alone. The right test from Any Lab Test Now will provide you with the information you need to take control of the situation.

Confidentiality and Trust

Protecting your child’s identity is paramount. All testing at Any Lab Test Now is confidential. No one will have access to the results but you — the parent. You will own the results and can even use an anonymous name if you would prefer. Confidentiality and discretion are of the utmost importance to Any Lab Test Now. We work hard to make an already worrying situation as easy as possible.

Back-to-school can mean back to pressure, stress, and temptation for some students. Let your local Any Lab Test Now help you and your child face the challenges of the coming school year, together.

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.