Author(s): Bush DM
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Abstract The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) drug testing standards were published in 1988 and revised in 1994, 1998, and 2004. In 2004, significant revisions defining, standardizing, and requiring specimen validity testing on Federal employee donor urine specimens were included. In a separate notice, HHS proposed to establish scientific and technical guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program to: (1) permit laboratory testing of hair, oral fluid, and sweat patch specimens in addition to urine specimens for marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, opiates (with focus on heroin), and amphetamines [including methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)]; (2) permit use of on-site point of collection test (POCT) devices to test urine and oral fluid at collection sites; (3) permit use of instrumented initial test (screening only) facilities [IITF] to quickly identify negative specimens; and (4) add training requirement for collectors, on-site testers, and MROs. This proposal was published in the Federal Register on 13 April 2004, with a 90-day public comment period. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS, reviewed those comments and is preparing the Final Notice that will define the requirements for such testing, including: specimen collection procedures, custody and control procedures that ensure donor specimen identity and integrity, testing facility, initial and confirmatory test cutoff concentrations, analytical testing methods, result review and reporting, evaluation of alternative medical explanations for presence of drug or metabolite in the donor's specimen, and laboratory certification issues. Voluntary pilot performance testing (PT) programs for each specimen type are on-going since April 2000 to determine how to prepare PT materials for specimens other than urine to evaluate laboratories' ability to routinely achieve accuracy and precision required. Certification programs will be developed using the current urine drug testing National Laboratory Certification Program model. The addition of accurate and reliable workplace drug testing using hair, oral fluid, and sweat patch specimens will complement urine drug testing, and aid in combating industries devoted to suborning drug testing through adulteration, substitution, and dilution. For example, hair testing may detect chronic drug use for up to 90 days and be useful in pre-employment situations; oral fluid testing may detect drug use in past hours and be useful in post-accident situations; sweat patch testing may be useful in follow-up drug testing and treatment programs; POCTs and IITFs may be most useful for quickly identifying specimens that are negative for drugs and indicate that the specimen is valid.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques