Forgiveness and the Love from Within

Forgiveness is a hard concept for all of us to grasp. It is so foreign to the human mind that only people who are extremely in touch with theirDrug Testing spiritual side find themselves forgiving people easily. Of course, we can all say the words, but there is still residual pain or bitterness if we’re not careful to be aware of our own true natures.

Nature does not like a void. If we are to give up the hate or anger we have within ourselves, there must be something to replace it. That is where love comes in. It’s not enough to attempt to forgive your enemy. You must love them, too. In fact, if you don’t feel any love for them, don’t kid yourself about being able to forgive them. If you understand their point of view and truly get why they do what they do, then you already are beginning to love them and feel the same as they do, and forgiveness comes easily. This love, however, must come from within.

If you work in a close knit group of people and you use employee drug testing to evaluate those who are subordinate to you, then you may be really disappointed in them or even in yourself if any of their screening tests come back positive. Don’t think about it like that. Instead, consider how much psychological pain they must be in to have to resort to substance abuse while at work! Be kind, be caring, be understanding, and also be firm. Either get them into an employee assistance program or make a mark on their record. Even if your company has a multiple strike policy which gives employees a second chance, it is still necessary to document these strikes if they are not willing to go to an employee assistance program which is funded by the company and allows them to receive the help that they need.

CMM Technology provides this quality drug test equipment and we invite you to try our breathalyser recalibration service, for which we are accredited by NATA. Protects your workers and your assets and keep all of them safe: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

Bringing Home the Bacon

Bringing Home the BaconOkay, so when a man (or woman) brings home the bacon, he is said to be appropriately providing for his household. Now, this means that he has gone out and used his time to bring in money and other resources to benefit his family and keep everyone living in comfort.

In your company, you are essentially the person who brings home the bacon, so to speak. You provide for your business, your employees, and your resources by managing them all really well, keeping track of expenses, making sure that the whole business (or family) follows the rules, and by providing both paychecks and training for your workers.

Now, your employees need to be able to come to work (live in their peaceful home) without actually having to worry about being bullied or emotionally drowned in negativity all of the time or being physical afraid from those who make sure that they themselves are out of control. This is true for any family type of situation.

Well, there’s nothing you can do about a particular circumstance if you don’t have the facts, and if your business retains over six employees, it can be pretty near impossible to know what is going on with barely any of your employees, much less all of them, to enough of an extent to determine who is being hurt by a situation. Onsite drug testing keeps everyone feeling comfortable by screening them at work, but it also provides them with a way of giving you scientific data which you will need to have sooner or later.

If you already have a drug testing program, understand that you can buy drug test equipment, like our Rapid STAT saliva drug test, at any time from us. CMM Technology provides the drug test equipment for many companies throughout Australia and select countries, because we specialize in making your workplace a smoothly running household. You’re in charge. You control the stakes. You determine what happens.

We provide NATA accredited breathalyser recalibration. Make sure that nothing happens for very long which is outside of the law or outside of company policy. For more information or to place an order with our fabulous staff, call CMM Technology today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

Be A Leader When You’re Weak

It is sometimes easier to be a leader when you are weak than when you are strong. Why is this the case? It usually happens when someone isoral fluid drug test normally an outcast or someone who blends into the background easily and just does what they are told…until they have to come out of their own comfort zone.

It is this comfort zone which inspires people to rest and rejuvenate, but once that has been accomplished, it is the weakness outside of the comfort zone which turns that rest and rejuvenation into productive energy and something worth looking at.

When you are downtrodden and have given up hope, when your life is a mess and things are all going wrong, and when you feel weak and helpless, remember that it may be because you are still inside of your comfort zone long after your rest was complete. Now you must go out into the real world or into whatever area of your life which is making you feel weak at the moment, and you must get good at what you want to achieve. The only way to do that is to be weak and to practice being weak until you can graduate to a slightly stronger level.

CMM Technology provides drug test equipment, including urine drug tests like our Medix integrated pro-split cup 6+6. We know that your business may not be full of people who take their own weakness as a challenge to practice their skills over and over again. We know that you may want to screen your employees, because some of them have been quite a bit lacking in reliability lately. Onsite drug testing is part of this screening process, only more convenient than regular laboratory testing, and with our drug test kits, you will be well on your way to properly testing your employees.

And when you, yourself are feeling weak, remember that leaders can truly lead from both positions, from both strength and weakness. That is the mark of a well developed leader. Therefore, take initiative have your workers tested with drug test equipment from CMM Technology, and give us a call today: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

A Job Well Done

BreathalyserNot many of us have experience with the concept of “a job well done,” but most of us have heard this expression from well wishing parents or authority figures who desire the best for us. Doing a job well seems pretty self explanatory, but we all know workers who just do the minimum effort required before sloughing off to do whatever they want. There is no pride in their work and there is no high standard set for themselves toward which to strive.

Many employees find it difficult to always maintain a tidy countenance or disposition toward their work, but this is precisely what was meant by our parents who wanted us to have “a job well done.” They knew, in their hearts, that if we could manage that, then we could make, produce, and be anything we ever desired to. But, not everyone understands this principle, and drug abusers and alcoholics are the ones who are most likely to skip out on their jobs. Why is this so?

The answer lies in the fact that they are already unable to handle their lives as they currently lead them. They are already stressed out and overwhelmed by their lives that the thought of doing work well seems to be more trouble than it is worth. It would involve bringing higher stress and more pressure upon themselves, which is not something they are naturally inclined toward. If they were inclined toward this type of self strengthening, then they would not need the influence of drugs or alcohol to weaken their stress or to blunt certain attitudes which rise up almost by themselves in their own chests.

CMM Technology has distributed many adulterant tests in our drug test kits, all throughout Asutralia, and our devotion to high quality screening tests is shown in the demand which our customers have for our goods on a regular basis. Employee drug testing is difficult enough without using sub-standard equipment, but CMM Technology’s drug test equipment is strong, durable, resilient, and highly accurate. We have breathalyser recalibration services accredited by NATA. That way, you can focus on the number in your employee data, without having to worry about the readings. As always, give us a call if ever you need anything: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

AIDS and Illicit Drug Abuse

AIDS, which is a syndrome that weakens the body’s immune system, can lead to death. Now, someone does not die because they contract AIDS, Saliva Drug Testbut they die from an AIDS-related illness. What happens is that AIDS attacks the immune system so that it cannot handle any outside sickness at all, and thus leads to death because the immune system is not about to attack and bring down even the most basic of illnesses.

People who have AIDS do not die from AIDS itself, but from a sickness which came upon them after AIDS had destroyed their protective immune system.

HIV, or the virus which eventually leads to AIDS, can only be contracted through the mix of blood between two people, one of whom has HIV. That means that is can be contracted through unprotected sex, where microscopic tears in the flesh lead to blood touching blood. It can be contracted through the bloodstream from an infected mother to a child. It can be contracted through sharing needles infected with HIV positive blood.

In other words, there are several limited ways of contracting AIDS, one of them being through irresponsible drug abuse. When needles are shared between people, one of whom is HIV positive, then other people are exposed to their infected blood and AIDS can take over fairly quickly after it happens.

In a working situation where people sweat, even get cut and bleed, or where they can be injured, the AIDS virus is NOT likely to be contracted. Even in heavy sporting situations, both HIV and AIDS are very rarely within contact of anyone’s skin, much less their direct bloodstream.

In businesses, however, if someone is suffering from AIDS, then they may need to the use of a support group or more information on how to protect themselves. Keep implementing your drug test equipment, watch for people who seem to regularly abuse substances, and make a point of helping out any employees who may be weakened by the virus or syndrome within their bodies. CMM Technology provides high quality employee drug testing and we do so by using our recalibration service, our drug test kits, and our breathalyser devices. CMM Technology is committed to protecting your business: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

A Day of Remembrance

Urine Drug TestWhenever we hear the phrase, “A day of remembrance,” we think of loved ones who have passed on in death, and we assume that the phrase is referring to holding someone in loving memory. However, it is good to have days of remembrance for other things, as well.

Some of the greatest leaders of our world have set aside days for no other purpose than to remember their accomplishments, and other days set aside to just remember their goals. Having a good idea of where you are coming from and where you are going to is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

People often wonder what it takes to be a true master of their field, and technical knowledge is hardly ever even part of the picture. They look and look, and they wonder and wonder, but the truth is that their attitude and vision for the future and understanding of the past are all a part of the true success of a master.

A day of remembrance can include quiet reflection in a garden, with a book, or a silent walk in the park. Perhaps, you are more social, and a day of remembrance would be better if you are with old friends, observing how far all of you have come over the years, as you think about where you’d like your individual road to go.

CMM Technology believes in business success, but our drug test kits and alcohol breathalyser devices are a part of so many companies resources in success. We know how many people have invested in the drug testing field, knowing how effective it is. For more information, bring the magic of CMM Technology into your own home. Watch and see what kind of results you get when you regularly use employee drug testing. You might be surprised by your findings. CMM Technology is accredited by NATA for our breathalyser recalibration services, and we take pride in bringing your goals to you. And, hopefully, when you look back on your successes, you will see your interaction with our company as being a good hour of remembrance: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

A True Working Partner

BreathalyserWhether you think of your partner in life or a business partner when you see the title of this article, our principles of advice will apply in both situations. You see, when you have a true working partner, or one who works with you really well, it means that both of you are able to achieve synchronicity together, and you both contribute evenly to the work or life you create together.

Again, this does not have to apply to a romantic relationship in any way, but it certainly can if that’s one of the partners you have in your life. Now, we return back to the top at hand.

You see, you and your friend feel the best working together when each of you is able to achieve your maximum potential, or at least your maximum potential within the divided work or labor which the two of you do. It can look like either of the following situations:

The first situation construct looks like the two of you moving through each of your daily tasks, and each of you sharing the same exact task, breaking it down quickly and evenly between the two of you.

The second situation construct almost looks like you don’t have anything to do with each other at all. This occurs when each person is better at a different situation than the other, so the different types of tasks are divided, and one partner takes on some types of work, while the other takes on other types of work. This is a typical construct in a marriage, where one partner works for the money and the other partner stays home and tend the household, children, and domestic construct and development of the home. Both partners are equal, but their labor consists of different kinds of tasks.

A true working partner wants the same thing that you want and the two of you are working toward the same goal, even if that goal involves a situation with a lot of different details and factors. This cannot reasonably be accomplished between two people if one of them is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

That is why CMM Technology, a company which is NATA accredited for our recalibration services, distributes drug test equipment to businesses all over Australia. Our saliva drug tests are very popular, but we carry other types of drug test kits and breathalyser devices. Come form a true working partnership with us, CMM Technology: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Whether you think of your partner in life or a business partner when you see the title of this article, our principles of advice will apply in both situations. You see, when you have a true working partner, or one who works with you really well, it means that both of you are able to achieve synchronicity together, and you both contribute evenly to the work or life you create together.

Again, this does not have to apply to a romantic relationship in any way, but it certainly can if that’s one of the partners you have in your life. Now, we return back to the top at hand.

You see, you and your friend feel the best working together when each of you is able to achieve your maximum potential, or at least your maximum potential within the divided work or labor which the two of you do. It can look like either of the following situations:

The first situation construct looks like the two of you moving through each of your daily tasks, and each of you sharing the same exact task, breaking it down quickly and evenly between the two of you.

The second situation construct almost looks like you don’t have anything to do with each other at all. This occurs when each person is better at a different situation than the other, so the different types of tasks are divided, and one partner takes on some types of work, while the other takes on other types of work. This is a typical construct in a marriage, where one partner works for the money and the other partner stays home and tend the household, children, and domestic construct and development of the home. Both partners are equal, but their labor consists of different kinds of tasks.

A true working partner wants the same thing that you want and the two of you are working toward the same goal, even if that goal involves a situation with a lot of different details and factors. This cannot reasonably be accomplished between two people if one of them is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

That is why CMM Technology, a company which is NATA accredited for our recalibration services, distributes drug test equipment to businesses all over Australia. Our saliva drug tests are very popular, but we carry other types of drug test kits and breathalyser devices. Come form a true working partnership with us, CMM Technology: (+61) 130

Whether you think of your partner in life or a business partner when you see the title of this article, our principles of advice will apply in both situations. You see, when you have a true working partner, or one who works with you really well, it means that both of you are able to achieve synchronicity together, and you both contribute evenly to the work or life you create together.

Again, this does not have to apply to a romantic relationship in any way, but it certainly can if that’s one of the partners you have in your life. Now, we return back to the top at hand.

You see, you and your friend feel the best working together when each of you is able to achieve your maximum potential, or at least your maximum potential within the divided work or labor which the two of you do. It can look like either of the following situations:

The first situation construct looks like the two of you moving through each of your daily tasks, and each of you sharing the same exact task, breaking it down quickly and evenly between the two of you.

The second situation construct almost looks like you don’t have anything to do with each other at all. This occurs when each person is better at a different situation than the other, so the different types of tasks are divided, and one partner takes on some types of work, while the other takes on other types of work. This is a typical construct in a marriage, where one partner works for the money and the other partner stays home and tend the household, children, and domestic construct and development of the home. Both partners are equal, but their labor consists of different kinds of tasks.

A true working partner wants the same thing that you want and the two of you are working toward the same goal, even if that goal involves a situation with a lot of different details and factors. This cannot reasonably be accomplished between two people if one of them is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

That is why CMM Technology, a company which is NATA accredited for our recalibration services, distributes drug test equipment to businesses all over Australia. Our saliva drug tests are very popular, but we carry other types of drug test kits and breathalyser devices. Come form a true working partnership with us, CMM Technology: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

0 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

Asking for Advice

Employee drug testingWhen you ask for advice from a business coworker or partner, they will probably give you the best answer for them, and may even tell you that this is just for their own circumstance and suggest that you may need to find a situation which works best for you. When you are thinking about how to tailor their solution to you situation, remember that consultants are often the type of people who are most valuable in this situation. They see a lot of different businesses, and they work with a lot of different types of people.

CMM Technology is frequently consulted about what we think would be best for a small business or a certain type of business environment, especially if you are changing over your drug test equipment to our types of drug test kits and alcohol tests. Drug testing is meant to be clear, concise, and easy to implement. It shouldn’t be difficult to work through, but people are more familiar with different types of drug test equipment than with others. In this situation, we suggest that you order onsite drug testing from our sister company, Mediscreen.

CMM Technology is NATA accredited for our breathalyser recalibration services, and we really want to be your recalibration specialist, even if you are still using your own alcohol tests. We know that you may not ask us for advice, and we know that you really may already know what you want. Therefore, we are sure that you will fully explore our website, and pick out the supplies which are correct for you.

Screening tests, especially ones with which you can become quickly familiar, are a godsend when your company regularly implements employee drug testing. It is okay to consult with our staff and to ask us what is comparable with equipment which you are currently using and would perhaps like to replace. Whatever your choice, know that CMM Technology is here for you and is eager to step into the shoes of your former drug test equipment supplier. We will always seek to do justice to the title of being your supplier. For more information or to place your order today, call CMM Technology: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , ,

An Overseer of Greatness

Urine drug testPerspective is one of the most important things to have while on the jobsite, and anyone who is a leader absolutely must have it. In this regard, it is of paramount importance that you, in whatever position you are in, are able to gain almost instant perspective at any time about anything which comes across your desk or to your attention. This is especially important in situations where there is an emergency or there is an immediate need for action of some kind.

To be an overseer of greatness, you must be able to follow along with people who are under your care and guidance. If you are aware of what they are doing, and more importantly, how they think, then you can anticipate problems quite a few moves before they surface on the horizon.

CMM Technology provides high quality drug testing equipment just for this purpose. We have saliva drug tests, as well as our popular Lifeloc FC10 breathalyser device. All our employee drug testing equipment, though, is part of moving forward in your business’ future. All of the tools we provide for you are meant to be used in making sure that the future is just as safe and just as secure, if not even more so, than the present.

To be an overseer of greatness, you must be great yourself. That involves recognizing quality people, quality systems, and quality drug test equipment. Even the most minute details are part of the success of your business. If you are already aware of the other two factors, then let us introduce you to the drug test equipment which your business is likely to use ever after this. You will also want to keep a nice supply in your business, for situations where you need to document an individual employee who is obviously affected by drugs or alcohol in a negative or irresponsible way.

To recognize the greatness in our products, call CMM Technology today and ask us any questions you may have. If you already use drug test kits or alcohol tests, then refer to any problem areas you have with your own equipment. CMM Technology is here for you: (+61) 1300 79 70 30.

Tags: , , ,

Types of Workplace Drug Testing Strategies

Australian employers know there are always critics of workplace drug and alcohol Workplace Drug Testtesting. However, after much debate and analysis, the Australian government has recognised that drug and alcohol testing is a strategy for improving health and safety or else there would not be industry-specific legislation already in place that requires or supports drug and alcohol testing. They include industries like coal mining, railways, the military, prisons, aviation, and others.1 Also serving as proof that drug and alcohol testing benefits workplace health and safety and lowers employer risks is the increasing use of testing in a greater variety of workplace situations. The recognised types of testing programs include pre-employment screening, random testing, for-cause testing, and post-accident testing.

Not Substance Free? No Job!

Pre-employment screening is drug and alcohol testing done before a person is hired. There is general agreement that this type of testing is quite justifiable. Why should an employer assume the risks associated with someone already known to be using drugs or alcohol? The people who test positive during pre-employment only prove that they care so little for their health and chances at employment that they are unwilling to stay substance free. They are presumptuous enough to expect to be hired despite their substance use.

One of the advantages of pre-employment testing is that the employer can set the rules because the person is not employed. If someone does not want to work for the business, then that individual can choose to not apply. Some employers are concerned that job applicants have become expert at cheating on the drug and alcohol tests by using adulterants. If successful, and the person is hired into a high-safety risk position, the consequences can be tragic. There are adulterant tests for urine specimens, and the employer has a right to require urine testing during pre-employment even if saliva testing is used after employment. Adulterant testing of urine samples especially makes sense when hiring for positions like pilot, engineer, miner, prison officer, and so on.

Taking Turns

Random testing is another type of drug and alcohol testing program, and this approach has been tested in court and allowed by law, as long as it is as fair as possible. In random testing, the entire workforce is tested over time but only a certain proportion during any particular testing period. In a truly random testing program, people are randomly selected using a random number generator or some other selection method that does not indicate the names of the people. This will help avoid any appearances of targeting certain people. This is a procedurally fair process and should include take into consideration whether non-safety versus safety-sensitive positions need testing at the same rate.2

There are almost no critics of for-cause testing as long as the program is not abused. In this type of program, employees are screened when there is a reasonable suspicion the person is under the influence of some type of substance. To avoid abuse, employers must never use the program to harass or punish particular workers. Also, the “cause” should be fairly obvious. For example, the person is stumbling around, speaking incoherently, becoming violent, performing work in such a way that it jeopardises the safety of co-workers, and so on. The behaviour should be well-documented to support the employer’s actions should there be a legal issue arise at a later time.

Adapting to Circumstances

There is actually another type of for-cause testing that is not included on typical lists of types of drug and alcohol testing. The “cause” in this case is an employee transferring or promoting into a safety-sensitive position from a low-safety-risk position. For example, an office worker moves into a position requiring operation of heavy equipment.

Yet another type of drug and alcohol testing is post-accident testing. This also has very few critics because the employee has already been involved in an accident or a near miss. It is up to the supervisor to manage the department in a way that ensures workers report all minor accidents and not under-report to avoid testing.

The many types of drug and alcohol testing programs reflect the importance of maintaining a substance free workplace. The employer has a duty to keep the workplace as safe as possible. The choice of program types is the employer’s decision and should take into consideration the type of business, the typical work of employees, and the appropriate response to certain events. No matter what type of drug and alcohol testing programs the employer puts in place, CMM Technology at cmm.com.au can provide the appropriate high-quality supplies and equipment.

References

1 Australian Law Reform Commission. (2014). The Use of Genetic Information in Employment. Retrieved January 04, 2013, from Australian Government: http://bit.ly/1g1bOd7

2 Ken Pidd, Ann Roche & Michael White. (2011, October). Workplace Drug and Alochol Testing. Retrieved from NCETA and Flinders University: http://bit.ly/1fNqMUs

Tags: , , ,

Triggering One Brain Molecule at a Time with Opiates

Drug Test equipmentThere are many types of illicit drugs, and each one triggers the release of dopamine in a different way. As far back as the late 1980s and early 1990s, Amphetamines, opioids, cocaine, cannabis and alcohol have been found to work on what is called the nucleus accumbens brain structures. However, it was not until more than 10 years later that it was proved they produce rapid and large increases in dopamine or reduce the reuptake of dopamine from synapse.1 Since then, much more has been learned about dopamine signalling, transporter blocking, and so on. With the advent of technology and the ability to better track and identify the progress of illicit drugs in the body, fascinating new study results are now regularly reported by medical researchers working in laboratories around the world. Just recently, Canadian scientists discovered an addiction switch triggered in the brain by opiates.

The Addiction Research Group at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada not only discovered an addiction switch. Remarkably, they were able to track the molecular process of opiate addiction in the brain. The study was first published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and reflects the growing ability of scientists to literally track molecule movements and actions. In this case, the results of the study link the past research on activity in the brain reward systems to opiates.2

Pulling the Switch for Opiate Addiction

It has been known that opiates influence brain systems functioning. However, this newest study reports the scientists were able to identify a specific memory molecule in the basolateral amygdale brain region. This is the region that has been associated with controlling the powerful reward memories connected to opiate addiction. Though the research used a rodent opiate addiction model, the findings represent an important step in identifying the molecular process of addiction and withdrawal. The neuroscientists discovered that an opiate addict experiencing withdrawal from the drug goes through a process in which a switch between two molecular pathways is triggered. Withdrawal in this case refers to the opiate wearing off. The molecular pathways control opiate addiction memories.

When a person is not dependent on opiates, a molecule called extracellular signal-related kinase is involved in the early stage development of addiction memories. Once addicted to opiates, there is a switch to a different memory pathway controlled by a different molecule. The addiction molecule is named calmodulin-dependent kinase II.

Switching Back to a Productive Life

Why do employers care? Australia has taken a position of harm minimisation and restoration of a person’s ability to productively function in society. There have been numerous global reports that the “War on Drugs” has failed with its system of arrests and imprisonment, so Australia has been on the right track. What each new research study is proving, like the Canadian study, is that people addicted to drugs are experiencing a process in their brain that leads to loss of control over behaviour the longer illicit drugs are used. They are not just choosing to be drug addicts. They are driven to use drugs through molecular processes.

When a random drug test indicates someone is using opiates, informed employers realise their worker may be an addict and thus needs help. Some people question the cost of employer EAP programs or claim that once an addict, always an addict. That is simply not true. Researchers believe the science will reach a point where legal, novel drugs can be developed to target specific addiction processes at the molecular level. Once a worker has switched off the addiction, a return to employment is possible.

Returning people to pre-addiction status and helping employers retain valuable Human Resources talent is the ultimate goal of an effective drug program. Everyone wins in that scenario. However, the research studies also prove once again that drug testing is a critical safety procedure and the best method for keeping illicit substances out of the workplace. People using powerful opiates and other illicit drugs are not “thinking clearly” so it is up to the employer to find the drug users and take appropriate action.

CMM Technology (cmm.com.au) supplies employers with high quality drug testing supplies able to detect the most commonly used illicit drugs. They include the DrugWipe 5S, the popular Oraline Saliva Drug Test, and the Alere DDS2 Saliva Testing System. There is also a range of alcohol testing products available for use in the workplace.

References

  1. Adrian Carter, Wayne Hall, Den Capps, Mark Daglish. (2009, January 30). Neurobiological Research on Addiction – A Review of the Scientific, Public Health and Social Policy Implications for Australia. Retrieved from Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy: http://bit.ly/1kk215T.
  2. Danika Lyons, Xavier De Jaeger, Laura G. Rosen, Tasha Ahmad, Nicole M. Lauzon, Jordan Zunder, Lique M. Coolen, Walter Rushlow, and Steven R. Laviolette. Opiate Exposure and Withdrawal Induces a Molecular Memory Switch in the Basolateral Amygdala between ERK1/2 and CaMKIIα-Dependent Signaling Substrates. The Journal of Neuroscience, September 2013

Tags: , , ,

The Brain on Cocaine or Meth? Same or Different?

Scientists are on a quest to identify how the intake of particular substances affects theEmployee Drug Testing brains of humans. Does cannabis have the same impact on the brain as cocaine? What parts of the brain are most impacted by particular drugs? Is permanent brain damage possible? Why do some people get addicted after one or two drug uses, whilst others are able to use drugs sporadically and not get addicted? How can recovered addicts learn to say “no” to drugs the rest of their lives, even after their brains are rewired through drug use?

These are just a few of the questions that still cannot be answered with absolute certainty. However, with each research project, more information is added to the knowledge base and the closer medical professionals get to understanding how illicit drugs change brain functioning. Though this will be a long process involving one study after another, it is a quest that may eventually lead to new therapy drugs that can help addicts overcome their cravings.

Slowing and Changing Brain Activity

In January 2012, a study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt led a research team to investigate the impact of psilocybin, which is a hallucinogenic chemical found in certain mushrooms. The study on brain activity during drug use focused on tracking the continuum of responses from normal to being under the influence.1 When the study subjects used magic mushrooms, imaging technology showed brain activity decreased in the part of the brain with the densest connections to other brain areas. In other words, the psilocybin did not just slow brain activity. It interfered with the connections between sections of the brain.1 As an employer, it is easy to imagine the consequences of slowed brain activity and interrupted functioning on the ability of employees to safely manage their jobs.

A very recent study researched whether there are differences in brain responses to cocaine versus methamphetamine, using lab raised mice. The study was led by Joseph Takahashi from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. There were two sets of mice and the two groups came from different substrains to make it easier to track the differences in brain reactions to the drugs. After administering cocaine to one group and meth to another, the researchers identified differences in the response of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Cyfip2 gene when comparing brain reactions in the two mice groups.2

It Is All About the Brain

Though these types of research projects may not seem to have much relevance to the workplace, they are important steps taken in an attempt to better understand addiction. The Australian statistics show a significant increase in drug use in 2010 following a four year period of decline. As seizures of illicit drugs and drug precursors rise, there is no doubt substances not seized will end up in workplaces. Having a better understanding of the impact of drugs on work performance is important, and it all comes down to the brain.

To facilitate administration of a drug and alcohol testing program, CMM Technology (cmm.com.au) offers a wide range of quality testing supplies. Employers can choose the type of testing equipment that best suit their workplaces, including supplies for saliva and urine drug testing and alcohol testing. They will also find critical documentation forms, including important chain of custody forms.

References

  1. Robin L. Carhart-Harris, David Erritzoe, Tim Williams, et. al. (early ed. 20 Dec 2011) Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119598109. 1-6.
  2. Jackson Laboratory. (19 December 2013). Cocaine, meth response differ between two substrains of lab mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 3, 2014, from http://bit.ly/Mx6svN.

Tags: , , ,