Keep alcohol off the roads

by Nicole Jupe on December 22, 2017

Oftentimes we celebrate wintertime holidays with office parties, happy hours, dinners, family gatherings, and New Year’s toasts and sometimes those celebrations include alcohol. Unfortunately, the holidays and excessive drinking go hand-in-hand and the festive mood can tempt people to indulge far beyond their limits. Alcohol doesn’t just make you feel good, it also reduces brain function and reasoning, alters judgment, and impairs motor skills and muscle coordination which are critical to operating a motor vehicle—a critical fact that warrants consideration before journeying home.

In the U.S., more than half (55.6%) of adults aged 26 or older had a drink in the past 30 days, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health data. Additionally, about 1 in 4 people aged 12 or older (24.9%) were binge alcohol users in the last month.

Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive alcohol use, is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  as a consuming a specific number of drinks on a single occasion. For women, that number is 4 drinks and its 5 drinks for men. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is more specific, defining binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 percent or above. One surprising statistic states that one in six adults binge drinks about four times a month, partaking in about eight drinks per binge.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Its aim is to bring awareness to the consequences of impaired driving and driving under the influence, and thereby helping to prevent motor vehicle fatalities caused by alcohol consumption. Almost 29 Americans die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes every day—that’s one person every 50 minutes according to analysis from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Deaths from alcohol-impaired driving crashes totaled 10,497 in 2016.

Here are some alcohol-related reminders compiled from the CDC and NIAAA to help you and your loved ones stay safe:

  • Understand that the effects of alcohol linger beyond your last drink and vary by individual.
  • The signs of intoxication appear after your driving skills are already diminished.
  • Designate a sober driver or take public transportation or a ride service and take the keys of someone who plans to drink and drive.
  • Contact local law enforcement if you see an impaired driver on the road.
  • Pass on coffee or caffeine because it will not sober you up.
  • Drink water to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
  • Avoid skipping meals. Food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol.
  • Alcohol drops your body temperature, so keep warm when it’s cold outside.

In the end, if you’re of legal drinking age, enjoy alcohol responsibly and be mindful of how much is too much. Also, make a resolution to find alternate transportation when you’ve had too much good cheer and are calling it a night.

To learn more about alcohol, visit our website or contact us online.

The Life of a Drug Test – webinar highlights

by Pablo Bolanos on December 20, 2017

From collection to result, a drug test specimen takes a journey of carefully plotted steps in a well-orchestrated process. Our professional collectors emphasize a positive experience for an individual taking a drug test, while our laboratory teams execute the highest standards of quality.

In our recent webinar, The Life of a Drug Test, two Quest experts took us behind the scenes to reveal how many moving parts have to work in concert to deliver accurate, dependable test results. Employers, human resource professionals, Designated Employer Representatives (DER), safety and compliance managers, as well as donors, can benefit from their insights.

Some highlights include:

  • What to expect at a drug test collection for donors and employers
  • Strict collection protocols set by the Department of Transportation
  • Proper packaging, sealing, and shipping of drug test specimens to the lab
  • Chain of custody procedures from start to finish
  • Stages in testing at the laboratory
  • Benefits and variations in the testing process by specimen type
  • Importance of security and quality control during the entire process
  • Advantages of electronic forms such as eCCF

It is not one size fits all. We hope the perspectives of a scientist and a specimen collector helped to simplify the complexities of drug testing and illustrated the importance of working with a laboratory provider with the resources and the reputation of reliably screening applicants and employees to help keep your workforce drug-free.

If you missed our live presentation, visit our webpage to watch this on-demand recording or to review other webinars brought to you by Quest Diagnostics.

To learn more about the drug testing process, visit our website or contact us online.

Year in Review: Top seven blogs in 2017

December 19, 2017Drug Testing

We created our drug testing blog to help those new to drug testing and industry veterans to fine-tune their skills and knowledge by consistently bringing insights to your inbox. Our commitment centers on making our blog better with each story we publish. That said, seeing the stories you found the most compelling help guide us […]

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Ask the Experts: Drug test turnaround times

December 18, 2017Ask the Experts

Q: Turnaround time – what is it, why is it important, and how does it apply to my drug testing program? Turnaround time is a commonly used term to measure the duration of time it takes to return a positive or negative drug test result to the employer. It’s an important concept to understand and […]

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I’m There: Brian Giammarco

December 11, 2017We're There

Twenty years at Quest Diagnostics in the City of Brotherly Love have given Brian Giammarco, Field Sales Executive, a unique perspective on teamwork. Brian believes in empowerment birthed from belonging. He sees his team as a unit, a family, a collective group of people working together with a similar mindset to help our clients succeed. […]

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Ask the Experts: What is POCT?

December 8, 2017Ask the Experts

POCT is a common acronym in our industry that stands for point of collection test — an instant or rapid drug or alcohol test. A POCT collection begins with a test administrator using a portable device to screen urine or oral fluid, with the device typically yields a result within minutes. This POCT result may […]

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Drug testing around the world

December 6, 2017Drug Testing

A workplace drug testing program helps companies screen and hire the best, most talented, drug-free individual for the job. A program also supports efforts to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive environment for all employees. This priority should not change if your organization has employees who work overseas. In the U.S., drug testing at the federal […]

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Rising methamphetamine use in the U.S. workforce

November 30, 2017By the Numbers

Methamphetamine, sometimes called meth, crystal, crank, or ice, is a highly addictive stimulant. It emerged in the 1930s as a treatment for narcolepsy and depression and was also taken by German and Japanese soldiers in World War II to stay alert during battle, according to a DATIA focus article by Dr. Rodi Predescu, Quest Diagnostics. […]

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Staying compliant with new DOT regulations

November 29, 2017News

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) amended its drug testing program regulations for all DOT employees effective January 1, 2018. This harmonizes DOT regulations with guidelines established by U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) for federal drug testing programs. The most notable change with this new regulation is the addition of four […]

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Webinar: The Life of a Drug Test

November 28, 2017Blog Series

From the perspective of an employer, the drug testing process is an in-and-out experience. A potential new hire or current employee provides a sample at one of our collection sites. Days later—after the sample is sent to the laboratory for testing—a final result is ready. At which point the employee returns to work or, a […]

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