Breathalysers ~ reducing your risk

With unemployment amongst white collar workers at an all time high and rising, this is not the time to take any risks with your current employment. Loss of your driving license may not immediately be seen as critical to your employment role, but the fact won’t go unnoticed and at the very least will cost you dearly.

Most of us don’t drink and drive, or at least don’t plan to. It’s the unplanned events which catch us out, the lunch time meeting where your glass gets refilled unnoticed. The morning after when we have an early start. The unexpected call, when you wern’t expecting to have to work, in effect, modern jobs are no longer 9-5 and mobile phones and peer pressure mean we are always expected to be available.

It’s these situations where access to a breathalyser can be invaluable. If its telling your employer with conviction that you are unable to travel, this may be mopre acceptable. In these situations a digital measure should not be undervalued, as alcohol reduces our ability to judge how we are functioning.

The use of most breathalysers has been designed to be single button with tonal indicators of when and how long to blow. Modern units will not give a reading unless the proceedure is completed, making self testing while under the influence more reliable.

Modern digital breathalyers such as the DA5000 breathalyser from Valuebreathalysers offer all this technology for under £50.00 These hand held breathalyser units also have alarm settings at 0.05%BAC well below the UK current prosecution level of 0.08%BAC (correct at time of publishing) giving users a significant warning margin should they approach the legal levels.

All users would advise drivers not to drive until the alcohol blood levels are no longer measurable, as all alcohol will reduce performance. By measuring the blood levels after drinking, breathalysers can help users judge how their body clears alcohol, and help plan and avoid any alcohol drunk during the week and week end.

Click here for more information about digital breathalysers

Cocaine use amongst young increasing

New Home Office figures show the rates of Cocaine use in 16-24 year old increasing for England and Wales.

6.6% report cocaine use within the previous 12 months, a rise from 5.1% on the year.

The rise mirrors a rise in the adult rates to 3% for cocaine and 10% (all drugs) for 16-59 year olds

Lower prices and no overal decrease in supply contributed, with a move towards wider use of cocaine powder.

Test for cocaine use cocaine detection tests

“Drug Driving” on the increase

1 in 10 young drivers have been in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs

A new report by the RAC also shows that a quarter have been in a car when they suspect the driver has had drugs that may affect their ability to safely drive.

The report calls for better education on the effects of street drugs and prescription medication to mirror the campaigns for alcohol, targeted at young drug users.

Visit to read RAC 2009 report on drugs and driving

Drug testing kits UK

Drug Test FAQ’s

Drug testing often raises as many questions as it resolves. Here is a list of the most common queries we receive.

  • Are the drug tests accurate  ~ instant drug tests are very accurate with between 97-99% accuracy compared to lab drug test proceedures
  • How sensitive are the drug tests ~ there is variation between brands but all test to tiny concentration levels ng/ml nanogrammes/ ml
  • How long do drug tests detect for ~ see our drug test detection times section, again brands and types vary
  • Will medications affect the result ~ possibly, the manufacturer will have a list of cross reacting substances available
  • What is best, urine or saliva drug tests ~ urine drug test detection times are longer, but saliva is easier to collect
  • What is chain of custody ~ the proceedure followed in collecting and testing the sample ensuring it’s fresh, unadulerated and from the person you think.
  • Should instant drug tests be confirmed ~ only where a positive indicator is shown, all suspected positive detections need confirmation
  • What is the standard employment combination drug test ~ cannabis, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine & methamphetamine
  • Does drinking massive amounts work ~ only in the few hours around when the result would be turning negative anyway

For a more comprehensive guide to drug testing visit

What is an Oral Drug Test ?

An oral drug test or mouth swab drug test is a drug screen taken using a sample of saliva.

The collection format varies from brand to brand. Some oral drug tests are a single step drug test, with the absorbant membrane incorporated directly onto the test membrane. Others use a seperate collection tool, mainly variations of a sponge on a stick. The saliva is then transfered either directly to the test membrane, or in 3 stage tests to a collection reservoir or storage vesel, allowing retention of an element of the original sample for later laboratory analysis (confirmation testing)

The drug screen depends as with urine near patient tests on the group of drug selected by the tester. Saliva drug tests are available in single drug formats, just screening for single drugs such as cannabis or cocaine.

More common are multiple drug combination allowing simultaneous screening for a range of common drugs. Common membranes include opiates, methamphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, benzodiazepines and  methadone. PCP is also available but the range is not as extensive as for near patient urine drug screening.

 Unlike urine formats there is no commonly agreed international cut off level for detection in oral fluid. As a result the detection levels vary considerable from brand to brand, with manufacturers competing for ever more sensitive membranes and the longest detection periods from usage. Check the specifics of the saliva drug test used as comparing the results from different products may otherwise cause confusion, and will invariable vary from an alternative urine based test.

The interpretaion of oral drug test results can also be less clear than with urine drug testing, as the detection levels are set much lower with the resultant take up of reagent forming thinner and fainter negative result lines. Full reaction times are also needed and must be allowed before reading results.

Despite these factors saliva drug testing has become more widespread, particularly in business and employment screening where the handling of urine is seen as problematic and the advantage of non invasive, easy direct sample observation is seen as a major compliance advantage to testers.

The shorter detection periods are also better for employers more interested in the issue of “under the influence in the workplace” versus “recreational weekend exposure”  which may not necessarily affect performance.

Oral Drug test fact file

  1. suitable for employment and healthcare screening
  2. cost around 20% more than urine equivalent
  3. expect to pay £5-7 for 5 or 6 panel combination test
  4. most detect for 12-72 hours after usage of drug
  5. check detection times and proceedure, select a major label branded product

Click here to see our range of professional oral drug tests

Poly-drug use on increase in UK according to recent Drugscope survey

Just read this in the news today:

DrugScope’s annual Street Drug Trends Survey finds that drug users are taking a wider variety of substances together or separately.

Here is an extract from findings of survey:

Downward trend in the quality of illegal drugs on the UK’s street drug market could be driving changes in patterns of drug use, with users increasingly interchanging or combining a range of low quality drugs, according to DrugScope’s 2009 Street Drug Trends Survey.

The survey compiles and analyses feedback from 70 drug services, police forces, drug action teams and service user groups in 20 towns and cities across the UK. It illuminates patterns in the use and supply of substances to give a snapshot view of current UK street drug trends [1]. The survey also compiles the national average prices of different drugs on the UK street drug market [2].

This year’s findings show a fall in the reported quality of illegal drugs available in most areas over the last year. Seventeen out of twenty areas reported a drop in the quality of powder and crack cocaine, echoing a growing body of evidence showing declining cocaine purities [3]. In one area, police reported seizing cocaine powder with purity levels as low as 2%. Twelve out of the twenty areas reported a decline in heroin quality, while the majority of areas also highlighted a fall in the MDMA content in ecstasy pills and a continuation of the long-term trend in poor quality amphetamine.

The fall in quality has also occurred in the illicit market in prescription tranquillisers, notably diazepam. While authentic 10mg pills diverted into the black market were being sold in most areas for £1, fake, low quality, versions reported to be from labs in China and South East Asia were available for half the price in some areas.

The survey found that the drop in the quality of drugs could be accelerating a longer term trend towards poly drug use – taking a variety of different substances in combination or at different times – as users look to ‘top up’ on low quality drugs or experiment with alternatives. In turn, some survey respondents suggested that the shift towards people using a more varied menu of drugs means users are less concerned about the quality of each individual substance.

Click here to find out more at Drugscope

5% Discount Coupon on Drug testing Kits & Alcohol Breathalysers

Use this coupon code at any of  our websites until end September 2009 to get a 5% discount on your drug and alcohol testing products including breathalysers.

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Coupons valid until end of September 2009. 

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