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NEWS & UPDATES

Shreveport Grand Opening

Shreveport Grand Opening

Our DATCS-Shreveport office had its grand opening last Tuesday (03/15/2022). We were very excited to welcome and interact with all our attendees. We had a wonderful time socializing with each person and appreciate everyone taking time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the grand opening with us. We cannot wait to see you at our next event. Thank you for your continued support! DATCS President with Shreveport and Longview staff members.

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DOT CBD Notice

DOT has released important information for employers and safety-sensitive employees. Please see below excerpt from the notice. DOT OFFICE OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY AND COMPLIANCE NOTICE, DOT CBD NOTICE https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOT/bulletins/27bd19f Accessed 02/18/2020 3:00 PM EST The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD. The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate. The FDA has cautioned the public that: “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any [CBD] products.” The FDA has stated: “It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”* Also, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies because...

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Clearinghouse, ARE YOU READY?

Starting January 6, 2020, employers will be required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees' drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads and employers will be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ. The Clearinghouse rule requires all FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 40 and 382 by current and prospective employees. If you have not registered yet, please follow the link below to remain compliant with the new Clearinghouse rule and create a user account to ensure you are ready on January 6, 2020. How to register for FMCSA Clearinghouse Download instructions to...

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Cannabidiol and Drug Tests

Cannabidiol and Drug Tests

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of approximately 400 compounds found in cannabis, the same plant that produces the psychoactive compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While CBD is a cannabinoid and shares some structural similarities with THC, it does not produce a “high.” Research surrounding CBD is still in its early phases, but preliminary studies indicate that CBD may benefit medical and therapeutic issues such as seizures, neurological diseases, pain, cancer, inflammation, and mood disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sara Jane Ward, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine, tells U.S. News Health that the Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD, like all cannabinoids, a Schedule I substance. She adds, “…hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is legal , so long as its THC content is negligibly low. But because the agriculture department doesn’t test...

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Ask the Experts: Is Oral Fluid Drug Testing Legal?

Ask the Experts: Is Oral Fluid Drug Testing Legal?

Laboratory-based oral fluid drug testing has been around for many decades, and over the past several years, it emerged as a legitimate alternative to urine testing, the most common drug testing method. Its benefits include accuracy, an observed collection, and reliable detection of recent drug use, especially marijuana. One question that many employers ask is: is it legal? Regulated drug testing  Oral fluid is not yet approved for regulated drug testing. Urine is the only accepted specimen type for the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce. In 2011, the Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) recommended to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that the Federal government’s mandatory drug testing guidelines be revised to allow for lab-based oral fluid testing. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has signaled that it supports regulatory changes that help to improve transportation safety. In 2015, SAMHSA published a notice to...

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As Marijuana Laws Change, Do Trucking Companies Need to Adapt?

As Marijuana Laws Change, Do Trucking Companies Need to Adapt?

Could the trucking industry, long-plagued with high driver turnover and a need for new driver entrants, be missing out on a swath of potential drivers due to its strict no-marijuana-use policies? It’s an idea open to debate, says attorney Adam Dolan, chair of the cannabis law group for the firm Goldberg Segalla, where he’s also a partner of the trucking and automotive group.   “There’s a societal shift in the way we view cannabis use,” says Dolan, particularly around the use of marijuana for medical purposes. And it’s an issue he contends the trucking industry will likely need to confront in light of the perceived shortage of available truck drivers and, increasingly, as state marijuana laws change.   “By saying no person can use marijuana, even if they have a medical recommendation for it, you’re cutting yourself off from such a large pool of applicants that could provide the industry with much-needed manpower,” Dolan says. Fleets, and the U.S. Department of...

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Clearinghouse Registration Is Now Open

Clearinghouse Registration Is Now Open

The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse. Employers must establish an account that will allow access to the Clearinghouse once it becomes operational on January 6, 2020. Registered employers will log into their Clearinghouse accounts to purchase their query plan. These plans can only be purchased from the FMCSA Clearinghouse only. On January 6, 2020,...

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Red Ribbon Rally

Red Ribbon Rally

The Red Ribbon Rally will be on Monday, October 7 at 11:00 a.m. EST. The Rally can be streamed here: https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/content/watch-dea-national-red-ribbon-rally. This event features Dean Norris from "Breaking Bad" who is the master of ceremonies. There will be notes from the DEA administrator Uttam Dhillon and a senior government official. There will also be artistic performances, award presentation and more.

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FMCSA Clearinghouse

FMCSA Clearinghouse

What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse)? The Clearinghouse will be an electronic database containing records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions. Such violations will include positive drug or alcohol test results, refusals, and other drug and alcohol violations for drivers required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). When a driver completes the return-to-duty process, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse. What are Employers required to query from the Clearinghouse? Employers will be required to query the system for all current employees annually and prospective employees at hire. Records can be accessed via online by the employer or TPA to search for violations that would prohibit the driver or prospective driver from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as driving a CMV. When does the Clearinghouse regulation begin? On January 6, 2020, employers will be required to query CMV records. When can Employers and TPA’s...

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New software regarding FormFox ordering of test

Starting Monday, April 29th, we will be successfully transitioned to our new software regarding FormFox ordering of tests. Please refer to the following link regarding training of users of this portal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vok2xiKVq70 Thank you everyone for your continued patience and support!

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Urine Testing

Urine Testing

1.      Urine drug testing is the most commonly used drug test specimen type because of its proven methodology and broad range of drug panels. It is the only specimen type used for regulated drug testing programs. 2.      Urine drug tests detect drug use in the previous 24 to 72 hours. Drug detection in urine testing can vary depending on the drug, the amount ingested, and the donor’s metabolism.  3.      Urine testing can be used for nearly every drug testing reason which includes pre-employment, random, periodic, return-to-duty, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident. 4.      Adulterating, substituting, and diluting a specimen are common ways that donors try to cheat a urine drug test.  Specimen validity testing can help ensure the integrity of a urine test by measuring pH, creatinine, and specific gravity (when indicated) and identifying if these results are consistent...

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CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

In just over nine months, the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is scheduled to go into effect. Signed into law in 2016, the Clearinghouse will serve as a central database where drivers’ drug and alcohol violations are stored. Last week the FMCSA issued an update on the status of the Clearinghouse, confirming that it’s scheduled to go into effect on January 6, 2020. On that date, all FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs) and other agents will be required to report information on drivers’ drug and alcohol testing violations. This information will be housed in the Clearinghouse database, where it will be accessible to all DOT-regulated employers and state licensing agencies. Employers will be required to check the Clearinghouse before hiring a new driver – as well as annually for the duration of their employment. State licensing agencies will be...

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Top 10 U.S. Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Marijuana Positivity

Top 10 U.S. Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Marijuana Positivity

Marijuana positivity for the American workforce is up for the fifth consecutive year, a trend showing no signs of slowing. Drug positivity in states without marijuana use statutes has kept pace with the national average of 2.1% for the combined U.S. workforce. However, data from Quest Diagnostics shows that the states with the highest positivity rates do not necessarily contain the cities or metropolitan areas with the highest marijuana positivity. Quest Diagnostics' interactive drug testing map reveals the 10 states with the highest marijuana positivity rates in 2017, averaging 2.96%. •Oregon (3.9%)•Maine (3.5%)•Massachusetts (3.1%)•Rhode Island (3.1%)•Vermont (2.9%)•Michigan (2.8%)•Nevada (2.7%)•Washington (2.6%)•Arizona (2.5%)•Colorado (2.5%) Interestingly, when you examine the highest positivity for marijuana in a metropolitan area, only three of the areas are located in one of the top 10 states. 1.Dallas, TX (5.27%)2.Reno, NV (3.54%)3.Worcester, MA (3.48%)4.Jackson, TN...

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CBD Oil in the Workplace: What You Should Know

CBD Oil in the Workplace: What You Should Know

Epidiolex Cannabidiol (CBD) was approved by the FDA in 2018 to treat seizures in people (primarily children) with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. While CBD remains on the DEA Schedule I list, it has been decriminalized in 47 states. As a result, thousands of CBD products such as oils, tinctures, pills, and liquids used in vaping devices are now widely available in retail stores and online. However, there are currently no uniform standards or widely accepted testing certifications for CBD. In regard to federally mandated drug testing, MROs must follow the current DOT rules and HHS mandatory guidelines, which state that medical marijuana and CBD products that cause a donor to test above the DOT urine cut-off for THC must be reported as a positive drug test. Consequently, a number of lawsuits have already been filed against manufacturers of CBD oil from customers who relied on the labelling that the product contained only trace amounts of THC or none at all, but still...

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DOT Supervisor Training

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DOT Supervisor Training    If you are a trucking company with one or more employed drivers, you fall under the Department of Transportation regulations. One of those mandated requirements isyou must ensure that all supervisors that are designated to supervise CDL drivers undergo a one-time 2-hour training requirement. The training, at minimum, must include at least 60 minutes of alcohol misuse training and 60 minutes of controlled substance use training, which enables supervisors to recognize physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of drug use or alcohol misuse that support reasonable suspicion testing. §382.307 (FMCSA-Supervisor Training Rule) This 3 hour course covers a comprehensive look at: DOT revised Drug and Alcohol Procedures Effects of Drug and Alcohol use Procedures and Intervention Guidelines...

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Cocaine’s Deadly Comeback

Cocaine’s Deadly Comeback

Deaths from cocaine, after holding steady for many years, increased an alarming 52% between 2015 and 2016, according to the CDC, with the trend continuing in the most recent federal data. The stimulant is now killing approximately 13,000 people a year, on track to rival painkiller pills and heroin. Although researchers don’t fully understand why cocaine overdoses are spiking, they know that one of the biggest drivers is fentanyl. Once an obscure hospital drug, the synthetic opioid has taken over the US illicit drug market in just five years, killing tens of thousands of people including Prince and Tom Petty. In 2016, a synthetic opioid such as fentanyl showed up in more than 83% of the cocaine-related overdoses in New Hampshire; 70% of cocaine-related deaths in Massachusetts; nearly 64% of those in Maine; and 54% of those in Connecticut. Since cocaine is a stimulant and fentanyl a depressant, mistaking the two might be especially dangerous. “They might take what they think is cocaine...

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The Consequences of Refusing a Test

The Consequences of Refusing a Test

Many employees do not realize the ramifications of refusing a DOT drug and/or alcohol test. The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) website offers a poster that helps employees understand what could happen to them should they decide to not complete a DOT test. If you refuse to take a DOT drug or alcohol test: ·        You will be immediately removed from the performance of any safety-sensitive function until you complete the Return-to-Duty Process ·        You will need to see a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional and comply with the education and/or rehabilitation requirements ·        You could have a hard time finding another job ·        You must complete the Return-to-Duty Process, including directly observed tests, and you may have to pay for those tests ·        Your...

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Thinking Green on the Job? Think Again.

Thinking Green on the Job? Think Again.

The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) – does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. State initiatives have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. That section states: § 40.151 What are MROs prohibited from doing as part of the verification process? As an MRO, you are prohibited from doing the following as part of the verification process: (e) You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.  Therefore, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana” nor if it is used recreationally. Please note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains...

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