Drug use and abuse are some of the biggest issues of the global community – in the legal and criminal perspective, as well in the scientific and medical point of view. Despite the fiscal allocation to solve the issue of drugs, agencies still need education and guidance in executing a well-planned drug policy by implementing best practices in drug testing. Drug testing is one of the prescribed solutions that does not pose severe collateral damage. Taking a prevention is better than cure approach, facilitating regular testing can nip the problem in the bud, and is also a way to monitor rehabilitation progress and recovery.
Mark Hendershot has more than three decades experience in probation supervision and implementing best practices in drug testing. He is the current Chief Information Officer at Treat Assessment Screening Center (TASC), and is our resource speaker for this webinar. He discussed the history leading to the practice of conducting drug tests, the modern drug testing procedures, laying out a fair and effective drug testing policy and the different types of drugs that law enforcement, justice, and medical professionals deal with.
Mark deep-dived on these themes covering specific subjects as:
- Drug overdose and deaths statistics providing a snapshot of the gravity and extent of the issue.
- The early history of drug testing through Henry Ford’s internal employee surveillance to check on alcohol consumption and gambling as parameters on providing and refusing benefits and promotions.
- The Nixon administration’s response to the positive drug tests of servicemen during the Vietnam War by establishing numerous agencies and enforcing “Operation Golden Flow”
- The accident on USS Nimitz under the Reagan administration that shone the spotlight back to drug use and abuse to government workers and contractors.
- How the Department of Defense defined forensic drug testing requirements and the creation of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to certify drug testing laboratories.
- The pushback met by mandatory drug testing.
- The different fields and conditions where individuals are subject to drug testing.
- The different reasons for workplace drug testing.
- Dealing with resistance from workplace testing, and best practices in drug testing.
- Reasons why some workplaces decide not to subject their new hires and/or employees to drug tests.
- The importance of understanding a company's purpose for conducting drug tests, doing research, developing policies and educating both workforce and leadership to ensure fidelity in drug testing.
- Various justice agencies that deal with and benefit from drug testing.
- Different ‘catchphrase’ drug policies and its results that do more harm than good.
- Lessons learned from both effective and ineffective drug policies.
- Agencies, educational institutions and foreign government policies that were used for these learnings.
- Publications that resulted from these lessons, and recommended procedures and guidelines for drug testing.
- The drug court selection process, factors considered and guidelines.
- The purpose of drug testing for justice clients.
- The significance of staying updated on research, uniformly applying policies, educating staff and striving for transparency for justice agencies and clients.
- Procedure on collection standards.
- Process and common issues encountered in this sample collection phase.
- The critical step of chain of custody and control to ensure results are attributed to the correct sample provider.
- The different methods of administering drug tests, its benefits and disadvantages.
- The varying detection times and other useful information for different types of drugs.
- Debunking misconceptions on drug exposure.
Resources Mentioned During the Webinar: