Sri Lanka taking measures to tackle the opium abuse crisis

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Sri Lanka taking measures to tackle the opium abuse crisis

Cannabis continues to be the most reported drug abused in Sri Lanka, however cannabis related offences have decreased from 66.2% to 61.9% in April – May 2018. Heroin is the second highest drug abused at 28.8% of those arrested in April and 35.9% of arrestees in May engaging in heroin related offences. Hashish, babul, madana modaka, opium, methamphetamine and tablets are other prevalent drugs abused in Sri Lankan drug related offences that have been noted. Although cannabis related crime has decreased, drug prevalence and drug related offences are increasing in the country. 

Sri Lanka has been taking measures to tackle the abuse of opium, cannabis and certain psychotropic substances since its independence in 1948. Opium is not cultivated in Sri Lanka, however over the past decade Sri Lanka has been used as a trans-shipment point for heroin from South West Asia and India to other destinations outside of the subcontinent. Heroin seized prior to reaching Sri Lanka is roughly two – three times the quantity of heroin seized in Sri Lanka itself.

Randox Toxicology are the leading manufacturer of the patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT). BAT is a precision multiplex testing platform allowing for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single sample. After the addition of a sample to the biochip, analytes present in the sample bind to the specific biochip bound ligands. The degree of binding is determined using a chemiluminescent light source and quantified using a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera and imaging system.

Additionally, our range of immunoanalysers include the Evidence, the Evidence Evolution, the Evidence Investigator and the Evidence MultiSTAT which individually utilise our Biochip Array Technology for the screening of drugs of abuse. Our extensive toxicology test menu covers a broad range of classical, prescription, synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances. With multiple matrices available, Randox Toxicology are a global leader in the Toxicology market.

Randox Toxicology offer the most comprehensive Drugs of Abuse (DoA) test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our DoA II panel can detect opium and generic opioids. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to ever changing market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.

To find out more about the DoA II panel and our other available test menus, email info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit randoxtoxicology.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Issues Surrounding Drug Residues in the Global Food Market

The potential presence of drug residue contaminants in food products destined for human consumption is an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the industry but what are the main challenges facing the industry to tackle this potential issue?

Drug residue contaminants in food products is a discussion that involves the global community but each individual country or trade bloc has their own protocols and regulations relating to the control and monitoring of residues. The different legislations are designed to protect the general public as well as the food industry interests in their individual countries. Any business that wishes to sell their products within other countries or regions must meet their legislative requirements relating to drug residues. These differences in regulations have increased the need for increased dialogue on the issue as well as the implementation of effective monitoring systems.

The industry must deal with the potential of residues from antibiotics and growth promoting hormones entering the food chain. This will involve ensuring correct dosage per animal and also adhering to withdrawal periods set for their region. The second issue the industry faces is the stigma received from the misuse of these antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.

While there is a potential for misuse it should always be noted that a producer’s main concern should always be animal health, which leads to a quality end product. The use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of the animal and to reduce the potential knock on effect of untreated diseases which could create a downturn on yield. Growth promoting hormones are used to increase this yield also but should never be done so at the expense of a safe end product.

Residues from particular drugs in food produce can have serious implications for human health. As such many countries have set Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or tolerances for these residues in food.  The Maximum Residue Limit is the maximum concentration of a residue that can be present in a product from an animal or animal by product intended for the food supply. These MRLs mean that it is required by law in the enforcing countries that any product in the food chain cannot contain residue levels that are harmful to human health above these limits.

There has been controversy over measures to tackle drug residues in foods as there are no internationally accepted standards for many drugs. Ractopamine in particular has caused trade disputes as it is permitted in food production in some countries like the US & Canada, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and over 100 other countries have banned its use.

The real challenge the food industry faces is ensuring their testing methods are effective and reliable to ensure the safety of a variety of end products. To name a few of these diverse products we can look at the dairy, meat, seafood, feed and honey markets.

Dairy Market

The dairy industry is under constant scrutiny and pressure to constantly produce high volumes of milk whilst maintaining a superior standard of quality in their dairy products. As part of the production process various contaminants are administered to cattle in an effort to systematically treat various infectious diseases and maintain a healthy herd. A direct consequence of this is the requirement of routine monitoring and testing within farms and dairy processors to ensure that the levels of contaminants in milk are within legal regulations not exceeding Maximum Residue Limits and that unauthorised substances are not found at any level in milk.

Testing can be conducted at several points during the production process. Firstly, farm level testing can be carried out to screen milk from cows that have been separated from the herd and undergone antibiotic treatment. Secondly, the dairy processor is required to conduct testing both onsite taking samples from tankers and retrospective testing as a method of internal surveillance to ensure the milk supplied from several farms is within global regulatory limits. Thirdly, retailers can test the processed milk end product to guarantee the milk is antibiotic free before it’s added to supermarket shelves for consumers.

Meat Market

Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity in developing countries. Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses.

Growth promoters, which are tested for under the NRCP, are hormonal and antibiotic substances that may be used in food producing animals for growth promotion in livestock animals thus increasing the production of muscle meat and the reduction of fat. The type of growth promoter used is dependent on the animal species and mode of rearing with steroid growth promoters used for beef cattle and antibiotic growth promoters, which are usually added to feedstuffs, such as the coccidiostats used in the poultry industry and chlortetracycline used in the porcine industry. The rapid speed of meat production calls for the need to test for drug residues frequently to prevent them from ending up in the food chain.

Seafood Market

The global aquaculture industry has grown steadily over the past five decades, increasing at an average rate of 3.2%. However, this growth has come at a cost, with the industry facing many new challenges. Farmed seafood is often treated with medicated feeds which contain antibiotics such as leucomalachite green and nitrofurans for example to prevent from disease spreading, they are also exposed to other harmful residues used to treat algae etc. within the ‘pens’ where they are kept.

The FAO (2012) reported that 38% of fish produced globally is exported, highlighting the imbalances in regional supply and the changing tastes of the global consumer. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry.

Feed Market

The global animal feed processing market is estimated at US$21.61 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$ 26.62 Billion by 2023. The market is driven by factors such as the rising awareness of feed nutrition and health, technological advancements in the equipment industry and increase in the demand for feed around the world. Medicated feeds containing veterinary are often used to help prevent disease within livestock and there are MRLs for feed which has created the need for testing as high levels of residues can have an effect on livestock health and also transfer through to meat products for human consumption. With humidity levels rising in recent years there has been an influx in the level of mycotoxins found within feed and cereals. These toxins are fungal and can affect both livestock and human health for example mycotoxicoses which is a disease which can affect the respiratory system. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. These factors have made it necessary for feed and cereals to be tested for both drug residues and mycotoxins to ensure that they do not end up within the food chain.

Honey Market

The global honey market is growing at a rapid pace and the global consumption of honey is to reach 2.5 million tones by 2022. This growth is driven for consumers demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners over cane sugar. There is also a growing awareness of the health and healing benefits of honey which is driving the demand for the use of honey for medicinal use, manuka honey sales continue to grow for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The rapid rise in demand for honey outweighs the amount that can be produced in a natural form globally due to a decline in the number of bees. This has influenced the quality of honey being produced as some producers take to diluting natural honey with high-fructose corn syrups in order to supply the demand. There is a requirement for keepers to treat bee colonies with antibiotics to prevent CCD and other diseases such as varroa mites and there is a chance that these harmful drug residues can be transferred through to the end product ‘natural’ honey. The use of antibiotic drugs in apiculture is globally restricted and there are no MRLs set for antibiotics in honey as it a natural product and needs to be antibiotic free, this has cause the need for testing both for drug residues and the overall quality of the honey being produced.

Detection

Due to the requirement to use a variety of drug treatments in the food industry and also the potential economic benefits to be gained from the use of growth promoters, there will continue to be use in animal production. However, as analytical methods of detection become more sensitive, producers are given further options for testing.

The surveillance for the potential presence of these residues of veterinary substances is regulated by the EU Directive 86/469/EEC. This directive outlines the guidelines for sampling and testing within a residue monitoring programme.

The requirement to meet these standard and the MRLs and detection levels outlined in the legislation has created a need for analytical methods to become more sensitive to ensure correct analysis. On some occasions MRL’s have been lowered which require a technology sensitive enough to detect very low concentrations in a sample.

One such screening method that is commonly used is the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods, which work well for testing and providing accurate results.

Randox Food have developed another method of analysis using the Evidence Investigator which uses similar methodology to ELISA methods. The analyser uses biochip array technology (BAT) to perform simultaneous quantitative detection of multiple analytes from a single sample and can be used across multiple matrix types including the products produced by the industries mentioned.  The core technology is the Randox biochip, this contains an array of discrete test regions containing immobilized antibodies specific to the drug residues under test.

These methods are rapid, reliable, and sensitive so are able to detect residues in very small concentrations. The Randox methods are developed in line with EU Directive 86/469/EEC and as such are an effective testing method for multiple areas of the food industry.

For further information please contact the Randox Food Diagnostics team by emailing: info@randoxfood.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randox Toxicology on Spain’s War with Heroin

Neighbourhoods across Spain recently came together to form the National Network of Cities and Neighbourhoods affected by Narcopisos, which are abandoned buildings used as drug flats. The Guardian reported how the organisation aims to raise awareness of Spain’s drug problem and shut down the empty properties being used as distribution points to buy, smoke and inject heroin.

Neighbours living close to narcopisos have described the scene as filthy, loud and dangerous. Blood, faeces and syringes have been found on the stairs and doorways to the buildings accompanied with people passing out or fighting. With cheap heroin of a poor quality, the largest narcopiso in Carrer d’en Roig was shut down after receiving up to 150 clients an hour. Barcelona’s city council cleaned up areas and secured properties in Raval as part of a €500,000 project. However, drug dealers are reportedly moving quicker than the courts and police.

When it comes to heroin, dealers do not discriminate and neither does the product. Business executives, pregnant women, teenagers and people with disabilities have all been victim to narcopisos in Spain. In areas such as La Linea de la Concepción, unemployment is at 80% and drug dealing is seen as an opportunity for the youth to make money. In 2017, director the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Alexis Goosdeel reported, “Opioids and often heroin, are present in the majority of cases, often in combination with alcohol or benzodiazepine.”

Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, our DoA ULTRA panel offers the most comprehensive drugs of abuse screen across multiple forensic matrices. Detecting up to 20 targets drugs including heroin and other opioids, it has the largest cross-reactivity profile of over 240 analytes. Our excellent assay precision and performance eliminates false reporting, offering CVs of typically <10%. Randox Toxicology produce an accurate drug profile to ensure confidence in results.

 

 

For more information about our revolutionary Biochip Array and DoA ULTRA panel, email info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit www.randoxtoxicology.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randox Clinical Laboratory Services: Accelerating Your Clinical Trial

Randox Clinical Laboratory Services is built upon Randox’s 35 years as an invitro diagnostics company, and is on hand to assist your drug discovery ensuring the toxicity and efficacy of your drug before proceeding to Phase 1 of your clinical trial.

RCLS currently has four state of the art, fully functional ISO12025 accredited laboratories across the UK. They are situated in Liverpool, London and two in Northern Ireland, Hollywood and Randox Science Park in Antrim.

RCLS looks to expand their team of experienced scientists, working towards further accreditations and furthermore setting up two additional labs in Dubai and Los Angeles. The addition of these purpose-built labs will give RCLS the ability to increase output to both the pharmaceutical, health and research market.

The RCLS laboratories offer unrivalled sample management and workflow with a unique identifier and sample traceability allowing patient history to be 100% accurate and guaranteed. The storage locations of sample are located separately with a duration of 15-25 years in fire proof cabinets. The sample rejection criteria and sample destruction processes are different from diagnostics standards as we offer multiple bar coding, sample manifests dictated by LIMS and double blinding of samples undergoing genomic testing.

A variety of analysers are situated across all RCLS laboratories not only including our RX Series and Evidence Series of multiplex immunoassay analysers but also third party analysers ensuring the testing abilities are diverse. The equipment covers chemistry, haematology, urinalysis and immunoassay testing capabilities.

With a greater understanding of human complexity, pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on developing safer drugs tailored to specific patient groups or sub-groups and the expansion plans in motion at RCLS will help these organisations bring new drugs to the market quicker.

If you would like more information on RCLS please contact info@rcls.com


The Effect of Drug Deliveries and MDMA

A recent report by the Independent discussed how buying drugs has become as easy as buying ice cream. The report comes after experts named London as a city where cocaine is now delivered faster than pizza. According to the NHS, in the UK 2.7 million people between the ages of 16 and 59 took an illicit drug in 2015 and 2016 (roughly one in 12 adults). As a result, the Global Drug Survey are now looking at the impact of encrypted mobile phone messaging services and other methods that have enabled quick drug deliveries.

However, the drug problem is worldwide. In the US, life expectancy has fallen for the second consecutive year amid concerns of increased drug related deaths, the first multi-year drop since 1962 and 1963 according to the US National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NCHS documented that more than 63,600 US deaths in 2016 were due to drug related overdoses, a number that continues to increase.

MDMA has continued to appear in the news, after the deadly substance was responsible for the recent deaths of multiple teenagers in the UK. Also known as Ecstasy, MDMA is often described as the original designer drug due to its link with the dance culture in the late 80s and early 90s. Randox Toxicology’s DoA II panel tests for common drugs of abuse, including MDMA and generic opioids.

With the use of Biochip Array Technology, we have made multiplex testing capabilities possible. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to the ever-changing drug market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.

Cross Reactivity

Analyte Compound Cross Reactivity %
MDMA MDMA 100
MDEA 321.7
PMMA 23.75
MDA 5.5
d,I,BDB 4.8


Purity is a concern with MDMA, which is regularly sold containing other fatal drugs. Newshub released information from Wendy Allison at KnowYourStuffNZ, who stated that only 20 percent of the drugs they tested in New Zealand contained MDMA. KnowYourStuffNZ’s website advises people to avoid certain pressed pills containing large amounts of MDMA. Theses pills include “Green Guccis”, a rectangular green pill with the Gucci logo and “Yellow Rolexes”, a yellow pill shaped like the Rolex crown logo. The comedown of Ecstasy can cause users to feel depression, whilst long term users can suffer from memory problems and anxiety. The use of the Class A drug has also been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems.

For further information on our DoA II panel and how Randox Toxicology are advancing the future of toxicology, email info@randoxtoxicology.com


Addressing Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Within any business, companies seek to outline clear methods in which employees should act and behave whilst carrying out their roles. These rules are outlined in company workplace policies. Every business – no matter which industry it operates in – should have well-documented and comprehensive workplace policies and procedures in place.

According to the Employment Law Handbook, a workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to provide guidance to managers and workers in how to behave in the workplace. They can be in place for numerous different issues – bullying, harassment, internet use, health and safety are just a few that can be implemented.

Health and Safety

As mentioned above, health and safety is an important aspect of any workplace policy. The health and well-being of the working community is of utmost importance for sustainable development. Specifically, a drug and alcohol policy is a key part of the overall health and safety policy within a company. Alcohol and drugs through their effects on health, safety, work performance and absenteeism can jeopardise productivity, deny businesses the leading edge and curtail competitiveness. Effectively implemented drug and alcohol policies will help employers in the legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees.

The need for a Drug and Alcohol Policy

Drugs and alcohol misuse can have dangerous consequences within the workplace. All organisations can benefit from an agreed policy that applies to all staff. There are wide range of statistics available to highlight the worrying impact that drugs and alcohol can have on individuals. In 2016, it was estimated that £7 billion was lost in productivity through unemployment and sickness. Furthermore, 10.8 million adults in England are drinking at levels that pose some risk to their health. A survey carried out by UK based Health and Safety Consultants Protecting.co.uk showed that; from 2,600 workers in office, factory, retail and the public sector, 85% admit to being drunk at work in the last year; not including the Christmas party. 28% of those surveyed admitted using drugs at work, including NPS (formerly legal highs) cannabis and other illegal substances.

From a legal point of view, employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of employees. Also, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees. If an employer knowingly allows an employee under the influence of drug misuse to continue working and his/her behaviour places the employee or others at risk, they may face prosecution.

 Advantages of having Policies in place

Having well-developed policies and procedures can provide a range of benefits to an organisation. An effectively implemented drug and alcohol policy will ensure a clear understanding within the workplace of the rules relating to drugs and alcohol. It will also provide a greater awareness in workplaces of the effects of drugs and alcohol an consequently early recognition. Furthermore, it ensures that the necessary structures and procedures are in place should a problem arise. An up to date policy will also provide assurance that key staff have been trained to understand the issues involved and have the necessary skills to deal with any problems should they arise.

How can Randox Testing Services help?

At Randox Testing Services we offer a comprehensive consultancy service to help employers create, an effective substance misuse policy. By providing this service we offer practical advice, guidance and support in composing a substance misuse policy.

Our confidential policy review service provides assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy. With this service, we help to modify existing documents to ensure it is legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.

For more information on our comprehensive consultancy service, visit our website: www.randoxtestingservices.com or contact us by emailing testingservices@randox.com.

To read more on workplace policies and their importance within an organisation, click here.

 


Cocaine on the Rise

Newly emerged figures from Public Health England have documented that the UK’s current approach to drug treatment has failed to reduce drug related deaths. With UK drug abuse now at an all-time high, 2017 saw a 23% increase in treatment presentations for crack cocaine use, according to The Conversation. An additional article by the Business Insider UK reported that seizures related to cocaine in Britain are now at their highest since 2008.

Crack cocaine is a powerful stimulant designed to temporarily speed up the mind and body. Freebase cocaine (powder cocaine) and crack cocaine (rock form cocaine) can both be smoked to reach the brain quicker, whilst snorting the substance causes a slower effect. A very addictive substance, cocaine is reported to make a user over confident and careless with risks including, breathing and mental health problems, depression and the risk of an overdose related death. When taken in conjunction with alcohol the dangers of cocaine are increased, as the mixture produces the toxic chemical, cocaethylene.

The Conversation highlighted “Cuts to drug treatment budgets are extremely shortsighted. Not only do effective services save lives, they reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses, including HIV. About half of people who inject drugs have hepatitis C. Getting them into treatment is an essential part of plans to eliminate the disease.” At Randox Toxicology we offer the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu across multiple matrices. Our DoA ULTRA panel detects up to 20 targeted drugs, offering the largest cross-reactivity profile of over 240 analytes, including Benzoylecgonine/Cocaine. Benzoylecgonine is the most common metabolite measured in urine drug screens to detect cocaine. Using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology provide cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities for rapid and accurate drug detection from a single sample.


The price of cocaine has fallen by 13% since 2007 according to Business Insider UK. Price trends in addition to new and emerging UK supply routes have made the drug more appealing and readily available. Whilst the average age group using cocaine is 35 years old, a 30% increase has been seen in young people under the age of 25 years old. A rise which has not been witnessed in a decade.

The increase of cocaine use has shown how vital drug treatment is in responding to the ever-changing market, with services needing to adapt quickly to the needs of varied groups. Amidst the ongoing cocaine problem, Randox Toxicology are leading the way in developing new tests through significant research and development.

For further information on how Randox Toxicology are fighting drugs of abuse, email info@randoxtoxicology.com


The Importance of a Workplace Substance Misuse Policy

What is a workplace substance misuse policy?

Many organisations implement a policy that outlines the expectations they have concerning the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol and how this can affect performance and safety in the workplace. This can often be referred to as a substance misuse policy.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures. Fundamentally, this is to guarantee complete workplace safety. The policy itself holds a vital importance providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them in the workplace.

To ensure transparency of information, it is imperative that the policy is written in a clear, comprehensive manner. This should allow them to understand without confusion or misinterpretation the implications the organisation has in place for users who misuse substances.

Why is this policy so important for businesses to implement?

Alcohol and / or drug use increases the chances of problems occurring in the workplace. For example, studies have found that employees with alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work.

Some of the main issues that associated with substance misuse in the workplace are:

  • Absenteeism – It’s estimated that there are 17 million lost days of work per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – Employees may lose focus in different tasks and become de-motivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – Some cases of substance abuse may lead to inappropriate actions or in extreme cases crime

Evidence suggests that many people who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse are in employment. Studies show that 25% of registered drug addicts are in full-time employment and that 3.3% of all adults in England and Wales aged 16 – 59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to put in place a workplace substance misuse policy to guarantee the welfare of all stakeholders. Under the Health & Safety Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees is met to all principles. Introducing an effective workplace policy is a key part in maintaining these standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing them there is support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if they feel they have a problem.
  • Its importance can reduce the number of sick employees, it can also increase staff turnover & productivity levels.
  • Employers who implement a workplace policy can also see a rise in efficiency, improved staff relationship, communication and improved corporate image and in some cases customer relations.

 

What we at Randox Testing Services can do:

Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by safety-critical companies all over the world. We provide complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a range of blue chip companies across multiple industries including aviation, transport, construction, maritime, retail and occupational health to name a few.

Our expert consultancy service allows employers to create an effective drug and alcohol misuse policy. We offer comprehensive advice, guidance and support in composing an effective policy and explaining best procedures and testing methods to use. We also provide assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy, helping to modify existing documents to ensure they are legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.

To ensure clear communication of any policy changes, our experts can come to your workplace and present the policy to your staff. By having a third party explain the policy employers can ensure all the benefits are communicated effectively. This way staff do not feel like they are being victimised or persecuted, but know their employer is looking after their workplace wellbeing.

Combining our consultancy service with our drug and alcohol testing service and / or point of care products, employers can find a complete testing solution from Randox Testing Services.

For more information on our products and services call +44 (0) 28 9445 1011, email, testingservices@randox.com or visit our website www.randoxtestingservices.com

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.

 

 

 


Drink and Drug Drive Limits UK and Ireland

As part of Randox Testing Services‘ ongoing efforts to raise awareness around issues related to drugs and alcohol we will be running a drink and drug drive campaign in the first two weeks of December. This campaign will detail the different drink and drug drive limits across the UK and Ireland and highlight how these limits differ from border to border.

Drink Drive Limits UK & Ireland

As can be seen in the table below, the drink drive limits across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are the same whereas Scotland has a lower limit. In December 2014 the limit was reduced in order to bring Scotland in line with most other European countries. The drink drive limit in the Republic of Ireland is the same as Scotland.

General Public
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Scotland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Rest of UK 35µg 80mg 107mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

The limits above apply to the general public, however across Ireland lower limits have been set for professional drivers:

Professional Drivers
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 9µg 20mg 27mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

In the UK the Railways Transportation Safety Bill was passed introducing these lower limits for HGV drivers, pilots, train drivers etc. This bill is active in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland replicated the UK by introducing this in Ireland’s Road Traffic Act 2010. Scotland currently don’t have regulations in place so the drink drive limits are the same regardless of occupation.

Drug Drive Limits UK & Ireland

Section 5A Road Traffic Act was passed in the UK on 2nd March 2015 which requires only the presence of drugs above a specified limit can provoke criminal proceedings against a driver. Roadside swab tests are currently being utilised across England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Roadside tests are used to detect the presence of four different types of drugs, the main two being cannabis and cocaine. The roadside tests only show a positive or negative reading that identifies traces of these drugs in the users system. If traces are shown, a blood sample is taken to identify the limit of the substance in a person.

If a roadside test doesn’t pick up traces of a substance an arrest can still be made if police have strong concerns that a driver may be under the influence of a substance they cannot detect at roadside. A blood sample is then taken for a more in-depth analysis to see if there are any drugs in the drivers system. The Scottish Government won’t have roadside testing put in place until 2019. It is still illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Scotland and arrests can still be made.

Unlike alcohol, there are no separate drug drive limits for the general public and professional drivers:

Drug Driving Limits
Cannabis Cocaine Heroin
Ireland 1µg 10µg 5µg
England and Wales 2µg 10µg 5µg

*Values are amount of substance per 1 litre of blood

The Scottish Government confirmed drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland in 2019. Currently in Scotland and Northern Ireland it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs and when police suspect a motorist of drug-driving, they carry out a field impairment test.

This method is still used in the UK and Ireland for drivers under the influence of other drugs not picked up in a swab test.  If the individual fails this they can be arrested and taken for a doctor’s examination to see if the person is impaired to the extent that they are unfit to drive. Then a blood sample is taken to prove if these drugs are in their system.

For more information on these limits follow us on Twitter @RandoxTesting to avail of the information and resources we will be sharing over the first 2 weeks in December.

You can also access our download wall which includes a range of educational posters, brochures and resources by visiting http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/downloads/

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.


From Columbia to the UK: The trail that’s fuelling the worldwide cocaine epidemic

With the demand for cocaine in the UK rocketing, Top British Chef Gordon Ramsay has recently travelled to Columbia to the source of the problem, to learn more about this growing epidemic.

Having spent time with local farmers who own cocaine plants that resemble vineyards, and visiting Honduras, one of the most dangerous countries and known as the world’s warehouse of cocaine, he emphasized the urgent need to combat the drugs industry that is consuming this country.

Highlighted throughout the two-part series was the amount of cocaine that is being trafficked to the shores of the UK each year. Speaking with the metropolitan police who tackle up to 200 drug gangs in London alone, it was estimated that up to 300 tons of cocaine, with a street value of £10 billion, is being brought in to the country through a web of secretive routes used by drug traffickers.

Gordon commented that not only is cocaine a growing global problem, but it is one that is prevalent within the culinary world, including his own restaurants where he has been asked to dust the drug on top of soufflés as icing sugar, and found traces of this deadly drug in both his staff and customer toilets.

With the cocaine problem showing no signs of slowing down, Randox Toxicology are constantly working to develop the newest drug tests to meet the demands of the ever-growing drug market. The Evidence MultiSTAT was developed for use in non-laboratory settings such as workplaces, police stations and low throughput laboratories and to provide highly accurate qualitative as quickly as possible.

This revolutionary analyser enables on-site simultaneous detection of up to 21 classical, prescription and synthetic drugs from a single patient sample, reducing the burden on current systems, the risk of adulteration and helping the fight against the cartels who control the cocaine trade in South America.

For more information on our Evidence Analysers or any of our drug panels email info@randoxtoxicology.com


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