Category: Drug testing

Lab Drug Testing

When a drug test is sent to the lab, the contents of the vial, swab, or container will be analyzed. It is a sterile environment with clear, yes-or-no answers. Does this person have marijuana in their system? Yes. Has this person used a particular drug within the last 24-hours? No. What these tests do not tell people, however, is context. Drug use is a land of gray area, within which clear-cut answers are few and far between. Drug tests are nonjudgmental by nature They are inanimate objects that cannot furrow a brow at a positive screen, or “tsk-tsk” at one’s choices. Yet somehow, human nature enters the pictures and, in doing so, inserts stigma and turned-up noses, scoffing at the fact that they too could have easily fallen into a situation where their own drug test would reflect substance use. The stigma is real—we see it in all things related to substance use. Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, mailing in drug tests rather than receiving results in person, or ensuring confidentiality in substance use treatment programs. Addiction is often under treated, so how are treatment efforts widened while minimizing the shame, the stigma, of substance use? The conversation needs to be more open, more accepting, and context has to be considered. We exist as a function of our circumstances and our situations; who we are does not exist in a vacuum....

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Doping in Sports: What is it and how DOES it affect our Sportsmen?

The problem of doping in sports has rocked the sports world again this year. With Russia being banned from participating in the Olympics, at least their on-field athletes, it is about time that a panacea to both the athletes and the anti-doping officials will agree. Doping is a two-sided affair. This is because the vice has become more sophisticated to detect and thus measures of ensuring that the nutrients that athletes take do not give them an added advantage on the field have become more stringent. There is a thin line between nutrient enrichment for the athletes and doping (Sport’s Doping Game: Surveillance in the Biotech Age, 2011). Some cases of doping have shocked sports spectators and officials alike as the athlete claim that they have no idea what they have been eating is actually doping. If such a case exists, then the problem cannot be placed entirely on the athletes. The anti-doping officials need to inform all athletes in all disciplines what constitute doping and the nutrients that either directly or indirectly lead to doping. By indirectly, we mean that some nutrient undergo metabolism in the body producing certain products that are actually doping. It is about time that this thin line is addressed and information distributed to athletes before we condemn them. The use of drug testing to regularly monitor the presence or even the increasing popularity of seemingly unknown substances...

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