Public support for marijuana legalization is at a record high in the United States, but not everybody is embracing reform.
Certain industries have a financial interest in keeping weed illegal — private prisons, law enforcement, and Big Pharma, for example — but there’s another opponent to legalization that most people don’t think about: the drug-testing industry.
Against mounting evidence that drug testing is not cost effective, and that it unfairly targets marijuana users, the industry remains steadfast in its opposition to legalization.
The reason? The industry has a lot at stake. There are those who argue it has a conflict of interest in opposing legalization efforts and is ignoring the facts to justify its fat revenues. Continue reading
Milwaukee congresswoman Gwen Moore; “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”
Moore plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that she thinks will even the playing field or, at least, “engage the wealthy in a conversation about what fair tax policy looks like”.
The bill, called the Top 1% Accountability Act, would force taxpayers with itemized deductions of more than $150,000 – which, according to 2011 tax data compiled by the IRS, would only be households with a yearly federal adjusted gross income of more than $1m – to submit to the IRS a clear drug test from a sample no more than three months old, or take the much lower standard deduction when filing their taxes. Continue reading
Why Drug Tests are a Massive Scam – September 3rd 2015 –
Drug testing may seem like an effective way to maintain a healthy and productive workforce and motivate people to abstain from illicit substances, but what drug tests really do is discriminate against users and waste money.
The American Civil Liberties Union put it bluntly:
“Blanket drug testing with no individualized reason for suspicion is unconstitutional.” Continue reading
Urine drug testing has become standard protocol for many patients who are prescribed opioid pain medication.
But a new study suggests the practice may be counterproductive, because it increases the odds a patient won’t come back for further treatment.
I’m not sure I see this as a huge problem. If pain is severe enough, a patient will jump through endless hoops to get any treatment that works. If the drug test is a problem, I believe patients can prove they are not addicts by stopping that illicit substance long enough to have a clean drug test. Continue reading
Doctors frequently order patients to take urine drug tests to safeguard against prescription pain-pill abuse.
But federal investigators and Medicare say these routine tests — designed to ensure patients properly use opioid drugs — have led to questionable billing practices by some for-profit labs, doctors, and addiction-treatment centers.
Millennium Health, the nation’s largest lab and one that has conducted widespread testing in Arizona, agreed to pay $256 million to the federal government in October to settle claims that it conducted unnecessary testing. Continue reading
The CDC and Profit Driven Drug Testing | Pain News Network | January 05, 2016 | Mark Collen
There are a number of conflating factors which have led to the CDC‘s recommendation for urine drug testing (UDT) in pain management — none of which have to do with quality patient care.
- the federal government‘s complicity in the overprescribing of drugs,
- the unethical marketing of OxyContin by Purdue Pharma,
- the profit motive which drove drug testing patients in pain, and
- physicians‘ fears and inability to effectively treat pain.
The pharmaceutical industry‘s direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) has driven demand for drugs and has contributed to the escalating cost of prescription medications. Both Congress and the FDA are largely responsible for this overprescribing public health issue since they have allowed DTCA to exist and spread. Continue reading
New draft guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at reducing opioid abuse and addiction have triggered a backlash from pain management experts, many of whom see the guidelines as being nothing short of misguided
In their attempt to mitigate the real risks and dangers of addiction, critics allege that the new guidelines will cause real harm to a significant subset of chronic pain patients for whom opioids do not pose a threat, and who often do not have any other options to treat their pain.
One nonprofit in particular, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), has drawn much of the ire in the ongoing debate, as several key members of PROP are also members of CDC groups that will have a lot of influence over the final guidelines. Continue reading
Just days after agreeing to pay $256 million to the federal government to settle fraud and kickback charges, Millennium Health has been selected to provide urine drug tests to the Food and Drug Administration for a clinical trial.
The trial will assess the development of opioid tolerance in patients taking pain medication with an abuse deterrent formula. Millennium could potentially make $1.6 million under the FDA contract.
Millennium — the nation’s largest drug testing company — won the contract soon after it agreed to settle fraud charges under the Federal False Claims Act. Continue reading
It is not uncommon for physicians to prescribe both opioids and benzodiazepines for patients with chronic pain.
When used in conjunction with opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines have been shown to enhance pain relief, but the combination can be accompanied by increased risks for abuse and accidental overdose Continue reading
When Nicole Cronin’s parents sent their daughter from suburban New Jersey off to a Florida rehab to treat her opiate addiction, they hoped it would help free her from the relapses they’d watched her cycle through at home.
Instead, she ended up dead at 20 years old. Her body was found in a cheap motel a few miles from the $800-a-month halfway house her parents were footing the bill for, according to a lawsuit filed by her family. Continue reading