Expanded Drug Testing Amidst COVID-19
Drug-Related Overdoses Increase As The COVID-19 Pandemic Rages On
Deaths from drug related overdoses saw a decline in 2018 as the nation mounted an on-going fight against the prescription opioid health crisis. Last year in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, overdoses bounced back increasing at a staggering rate as nearly 72,000 Americans lost their lives according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Isolation has always been a trigger for relapse and drug abuse. Now months into the pandemic with no end in sight, the stress and anxiety brought on by the current pandemic is leading to a dangerous outcome for many struggling with substance abuse.
This year as the opioid and coronavirus epidemics collide, all indications point to a dangerous increase in drug related overdoses. An analysis published by the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), presents a 20% increase in suspected overdoses this year compared to the same time-period last year since the first reported case of COVID-19.
Expanded Drug Screening, Monitoring And Reporting Solutions
Perhaps now more than ever, drug testing is helping to keep patients and employees safe as substance abuse is trending upward as two epidemics collide. As a result, Premier Biotech has expanded our drug screening, monitoring and reporting offerings for our customers in the clinical, government and workplace markets. Premier Biotech’s offerings can be utilized independently or combined resulting in a full-circle, testing and reporting solution. Our product and service offerings place the safety of both the Collector and Donor at the forefront of their design so our customers can feel confident proceeding with their screening practices.
Clinical-Medication Monitoring/Treatment Programs
The ability to seek and maintain treatment has been severely impacted by the current pandemic. Users who have adopted harm reduction techniques through medication-assisted treatment and support groups are now forced to leverage alternative options. Treatment providers are scrambling to ensure their patients have the care and support they need as well, seeking alternative methods of treatment. Premier Biotech now offers Telehealth virtual collection services.
Telehealth virtual drug screening offers the ability to stay connected with patients while continuing to provide treatment without in-person interaction requirements. Additionally, our oral fluid screening products can alleviate safety and sanitation concerns that may be apparent at this time. Providers can secure the patient’s sample from a safe (6’+) distance without the need for sanitized restrooms and same gender collectors.
Government-Criminal Justice Agencies
With agencies and county offices closing or limiting their hours due to the pandemic, probation and parole offices are seeking new options to protect the safety of their staff and community. The pandemic has also suspended other programs that support rehabilitation including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, counseling appointments and other in-person rehabilitation options. While traditional screening methods may not be sustainable in the current environment, Premier Biotech now offers a full-circle solution allowing government run screening programs to remain active and effective. Telecollection services are now an available option supported by Premier Biotech. Criminal Justice agencies including probation and parole departments can utilize a virtual solution to schedule assigned or randomized collections up to a year in advance. For safe, distanced collections that can be conducted anytime and anywhere, Premier Biotech’s OralTox rapid oral fluid drug test device provides a fast, flexible option for all testing scenarios.
Workplace-Return To Work/Pre-Employment Screening
Drug abuse in the workplace is expected to rise. As companies find ways to keep their employees and communities safe, return-to-work and pre-employment screening is imperative to help avoid increased cases of employee drug abuse, theft and workplace safety concerns. Compared to traditional collection site/lab-based screening requiring days to obtain a result, Premier Biotech’s combined solution for the workplace takes only minutes, providing a truly competitive hiring advantage.
Rapid oral fluid screening with OralTox, combined with Premier Biotech’s app-based reader and reporting OT-Scan solution combines the many benefits each of these solutions provide. Employers can now offer on-the-spot job offers to qualified candidates following a negative result in minutes. The OT-Scan app scans, interprets and sends OralTox results directly into existing ATS software in real-time.