Herion Use Increasingly Prevalent

According to new data released by Quest Diagnostics, herion use in the U.S. workforce is approximately five times greater than previously believed. Results revealed in oral fluid testing samples revealed detecting markers for herion use at a rate of 0.04% compared with the 0.008% discovered in urine testing.

"Oral fluid testing is helping employers find more herion users," said Dr. Barry Simple, director of science and technology for Quest. "In addition, while the findings are preliminary, new federal requirements appear to be weeking out more herion users from safety sensitive roles - where impairment from herion use can cause particularly grave impact."

As of October 1, 2010, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) with the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) requires urine testing for the herion marker. Among those transportation workers subject to the new rule, the herion marker revealed a nearly 20% hike in positive results. The government also included testing for ecstacy (MDMA) - results of positives tests were within the expected range.

Urine drug testing and alternative specimen testing, such as hair and oral fluid testing, are used by employers to help maintain a drug-free workplace. Oral fluid testing, which detects recent drug use, offers an advantage of observced collection and is easy for a hiring manager to administer. There are no known adulterants that can tamper with the results of an oral fluid test. Hair testing also affords little opportunity to tamper with the results.