Independent studies show that medical students are more likely to use prescription drugs, mainly stimulants, to improve their grades. A survey of third-year medical students in a single U.S. school suggested a lifetime prescription drugs prevalence use of 20% as compared to about 6.9% among college students in general. The same research found that the prevalence of stimulant use among medical students is 15%. Is there a need for drug testing in medical schools?
Why do drug testing in medical schools?
Medical students will eventually become practicing physicians. Any level of drug use, or worse, drug dependence causes impairment thereby posing significant risks not only to themselves but to their family, colleagues and patients. Data pertaining to drug abuse of medical students and physicians is scarce and outdated. This may be partly due to the reluctance of both students and physicians to refer himself or a colleague for various reasons. It is a fact that medical students have access to prescription drugs and other synthetic chemicals in the university and hospital laboratories. They also have access to prescriptions more so if they are already interns in hospitals. For their sake and of their future patients, drug testing in medical schools is a must.
Licensed medical practitioners comprise the teaching force in medical schools. Statistics gathered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) indicate that 7.7% of the professional, scientific and technical industry workforce are current heavy alcohol users and 9% of this industry’s workforce are currently using illicit drugs. These figures are indications that pre-employment drug testing as well as periodic drug testing and random drug testing should be considered in medical schools.
Instant Urine Drug Testing
Instant urine drug testing is a quick, easy, affordable and accurate tool in testing medical students and doctors teaching in such establishment. The standard urine test detects the five illicit drugs recommended tested by SAMSHA but there are also instant urine test kits that detects up to 12 drugs. If minute traces of illicit drugs are detected, the next step is a confirmation test from a reliable laboratory. The following drugs must be included in a standard urine drug test: marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, opioids, methadone and benzodiazepines.
Saliva Drug Testing Kit
Drug testing with saliva is another quick and easy way to detect illicit substance in person’s system. This method is painless and can be done just about anywhere, anytime, without fear of contamination or adulteration. There is no way to cheat a saliva drug test as swabbing the insides of a cheek is the way to collect the specimen.Instant saliva drug testsare available in 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 panel drug test kits. This is also the recommended drug test for determining current drug use as drug residues do not remain long in the saliva.
Hair Drug Test
This particular drug test is the most reliable method in determining long term use of illicit drugs. Ahair drug testwill detect drugs used 90 days prior to drug testing. This method is more reliable than a urine drug test. Body hair can also be used. Even bleached or chemically colored hair will not affect the results of this drug test. This is highly recommended for pre-employment drug testing on top ofbackground screening.
It must be noted that medical students are more prone to using prescription drugs. Taking this into consideration, it is necessary to test for stimulants such as dexmethylphenidate, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, amphetamine salts, lisdexamfetamine, benzphetamine and other sleep disorders, and ADHD medications such as modafini and atomoxetine.
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