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Saturday, September 27, 2014

K2, N-bome, Smiles, one step ahead

Employers’ new challenge: drug testing for synthetics

By Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette  Published: August 31 2014 | 12:01 am

Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement: The trend of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones isn’t going away.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Manufacturers of synthetic drugs such as K-2 stay one step ahead of the law by changing the chemical make up when one substance is banned.  Employers are now faced with the dilemma of paying an added expense to test employees for synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, which differ from the regular drug tests. However, those tests may not be reliable because when the products are altered to skirt the law, new drug testing panels have to be developed to detect the recently created products. 

 “We have the convenience shops and head shops selling under control, but they are just getting smarter about it,” Stepleton said last week. “They don’t have it out in the open, and the regular customers know to ask for it.” “Outlaw one and there 15 new ones,” he said.

There were two recent convictions of distributors and three more are pending trials in this district’s federal court. In the wake of one death and five overdoses attributed to synthetics, the city of Cedar Rapids just amended an ordinance to fine and criminally charge anyone selling or buying products.  The total number of synthetic drug compounds listed as Schedule I controlled substances in Iowa now stands at 64, plus five classes of synthetic cannabinoids.

 QPS Employment Group, a staffing agency with 12 branches across the Iowa, including Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, places employees in many manufacturing and other companies. Its regional vice president, Jim Roy, has discovered many aren’t aware the standard 10-panel drug tests don’t detect synthetics.   Gary Bucher, owner of ARCpoint Labs in Des Moines, said the standard 10-panel tests range from $50 to $60 per person. To add the two synthetic tests, it would be twice that amount.  He has interest from employees wanting to test for synthetics, but that cost deters them. His labs have done testing for parents who request it and for treatment agencies, though.


Posted By: STS  First @ 2:35:05 PM


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Workplace Positives Up

This is the first time the rate of positive tests has gone up since 2003.

The number of positive drug tests by U.S. employees is on the rise.

Fueled by an increase in employee use of marijuana and amphetamines, the number of failed drug tests has gone up for the first time in more than a decade,  An analysis of 7.6 million failed drug tests has gone up for the first time in more than a decade, according to research from Quest Diagnostics, a diagnostic information services firm.  An analysis of 7.6 million urine drug tests revealed a 3.7 percent failure rate in 2013, compared with a rate of 3.5 in 2012, a relative increase of more than 5 percent. 


Posted By: STS  First @ 2:22:18 PM


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

$500 Per Packet Fine for Spice In Alaska

NEW law banning Spice @ 500 per packet

By Shannon Ballard 8:38 PM September 19, 2014WASILLA – 

The effects of synthetic drugs have proven so dangerous that lawmakers decided a statewide ban was needed.  This week, Alaska’s new spice law took effect. It authorizes law enforcement to fine anyone who sells or possesses illicit synthetic drugs.  The new state law was modeled after ordinances Anchorage and Wasilla passed earlier this year.

The idea of the law to keep synthetic drugs off the shelves by targeting misleading packaging rather than specific chemicals used in the drugs.  In Anchorage, the ordinance had an immediate effect, with most stores pulling the dangerous drugs from the shelves.  Wasilla Police Chief Gene Belden says spice was once a major problem in the valley leading to violence and car wrecks.

“Since the ordinance, I am not aware of any of these types of crimes going on. I’m not aware of anyone calling in and saying this smoke shop or that smoke shop is selling these types of products,” said Belden.

Under the new law, the penalty for possession of “spice” is $500 per packet.


Posted By: STS  First @ 2:17:00 PM


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