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Oral-fluid drug-testing bill signed by governor

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POSTED: June 28, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Gov. Sonny Perdue recently signed Senate Bill 96 into law that provides the option for companies in Georgia to drug test employees using an onsite rapid result saliva test.
Within 10 minutes at the job site, an employer can know if an applicant or employee used up to six different drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, methamphetamine and phencyclidine.
If the rapid test is negative, the testing is complete. Any preliminary positive specimens must be sent to the lab for a confirmation prior to any adverse action against an applicant or employee.
The bill was introduced by State Sen. Tim Golden (D-Valdosta) and overwhelmingly passed the state Senate and House of Representatives.
“This legislation had  strong support of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and many other advocates of safe and drug-free workplaces that protect not only business owners, but employees and consumers as well,” Golden said.
Since 1993, companies throughout Georgia who comply with the Georgia Drug Free Workplace law have received a 7.5 percent reduction in their worker's compensation insurance premiums. But until 2002, the only option for drug testing under the law was traditional lab based urine testing.
In 2000, the law was amended to allow the use of instant rapid drug tests using urine. The use of a saliva-based test was not approved until now
The option of using a rapid saliva test instead of urine offers unique advantages to employers.
The collection is easily observed reducing the likelihood of adulteration or dilution of specimens.
The use of saliva eliminates the problem of “shy bladder syndrome” that occurs when a donor can’t provide or intentionally avoids providing a urine specimen. Since no restroom facilities are needed, collections can be performed at remote work sites, particularly those in the construction industry.
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, an affiliate of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the coordinator of Georgia’s Drugs Don’t Work Program, is providing informational seminars across the state for companies interested in learning more about the use of the rapid result saliva drug testing
For more information, contact Leanne Mulherin, Drug Free Workplace director at (404) 223-2482 or email Lmulherin@LiveDrugFree.org
 

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