Over the last few years, synthetic drug use has expanded among young adults. Concerned employers should include a provision in their drug testing policy specifically prohibiting the use and/or possession of synthetic drugs while on company property, similar to policies regarding alcohol and illicit drugs. Employers should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice in their state to help develop their policy. Finally, a decision to test for synthetic drugs in workplace drug testing should take into account user demographics, regional patterns of drug use and testing benefits and limitations.
In some areas we see drug users switching from smoking marijuana to smoking K2 or Spice in order to avoid being caught with a positive drug testing for marijuana, this is an issue and can be dangerous. The product components of synthetic cannabinoids vary from one product to another, despite a similar appearance in “potpourri-like” ingredients and colorful packaging. All synthetic cannabinoids are labeled “Not for Human Consumption” to evade FDA regulatory requirements. These folks do not know what they are smoking.
Employers can set up testing programs with their drug testing provider for K2, Spice, Bath Salts, and other synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. These tests are typically special order and can be more expensive than traditional five or ten panel drug tests.