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Alcohol Use and Abuse in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers

Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs in Canada.As you probably know, alcoholism can have a devastating effect on an individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing. It can also lead to high-risk situations in the workplace. Drinking in inappropriate situations, like while at work, is a tell-tale sign of alcoholism...

Opioid Medications: A Growing Concern in the Workplace

Since 2010, the total number of opioid prescriptions dispensed has risen from 17.5 million to 21.7 million annually. Opioid-related fatalities exceeded motor vehicle accident-related fatalities in 2010. Here's how you can protect yourself and your workplace from accidents and fatalities due to opioid use.

New Developments in Suncor’s Push for Random Drug Testing

In 2014, Suncor’s proposal to incorporate a random drug testing policy was quashed when an arbitration panel found that the program would constitute an unreasonable violation of worker privacy. However, a Court of the Queen’s Bench judge overturned this decision after reviewing the evidence, and plans are in the works to review Suncor’s drug testing plan in the coming months.

Managing Substance Abuse in the Workplace

This increased awareness around substance abuse has also raised questions about drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. While there is no clear-cut answer, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

Hair Drug Tests: Can You Cheat?

The rising popularity of hair drug testing has seen a rise in the amount of “how to cheat your hair drug test” videos and online suggestions. Some of the methods include shaving all of the hair off, detox shampoos, and home remedies including substances like tar shampoo, laundry detergent, detox salts, and vinegar. Some people even dye their hair after using these remedies to help mask the changes made to their hair. But is it actually possible to cheat and pass a hair drug test?

More Positive Drug Test Results Mean Fewer Employees For Companies

A recently posted article in the Edmonton Journal has shed some light on to what is now becoming a big problem in the workplace. Leonard Banga of Xtreme Mining and Demolition, located in Saskatoon, has said nearly all of the recent applicants to the company had failed a routine drug test. During a ten day period, 22 out of 26 individuals failed the drug test.

Oral Fluid Drug Testing

Oral fluid testing has recently increased in popularity for several reasons: it requires less private testing environment, less testing time, and less invasion than a urine test. Urine testing can take up to 4 hours, whereas oral fluid testing takes between 1-3 hours.

Prescription Opioid Use in Safety Sensitive Environments: Three ways to Mitigate Risk

The emergence of synthetic opioids has seen a surge in prescription usage to treat chronic and acute pain in the last 10 to 15 years. In that time, addiction to opioids has become more prevalent. Not surprisingly, opioid use in the work place can cause some concerns, especially for employees operating machinery and performing other safety sensitive work.

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

In today’s world, the increased use of medical marijuana has brought into question whether or not a drug-free workplace is even possible. Lisa M. Bolton looked into this idea in her article “Is the expectation of a drug-free workplace a thing of the past?” She says that obtaining medical marijuana in today’s world is quite easy, as you only require a doctor’s prescription.

More than 100 deaths in Alberta linked to illegal fentanyl in 2014

Fentanyl is an opioid medication that acts as a fast acting narcotic analgesic and sedative that can be abused for its heroinlike effect. Fentanyl is commonly used as part of anesthesia to prevent pain after medical procedures. Often what starts as appropriate pain management can turn into a situation bordering on addiction without the individual recognizing they are taking the medication for non-medical reasons.

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