..Drug Testing Industry Experts and Professionals Gather in Miami Florida ...
The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) celebrated its 20th anniversary at its annual conference June 2 – 4 at the Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.
WOW and WOW, this was a jam-packed conference filled with good useful information for all attendees. There were a record of over 700 attendees for this conference. If you did not attend, you missed out some very important information if you are working in the drug and alcohol testing industry. With discussions about the E-CCF, oral fluid, hair testing, testing for additional drugs, those were must attend sessions to get all the latest news and what is happening. This was very important information that was delivered from the Federal policy makers that was very relevant to all attendees that have regulated clients.
Not to be outdone, there was the elephant in the room, MARIJUANA and the legal challenges that the industry has to face to be effective in advising clients on what to do in the face of the ever rapid changing landscape of medicinal and recreational marijuana. This is a result of what the individual states are doing. That can be combined with the upcoming Federal elections and the possibility of a change in Federal Government policy.
Of course the update from DOT as presented by Ms. Patrice Kelly was a very informative presentation that revealed some guidance on the direction that DOT will be going in once SAMHSA finalizes their work. The individual modes presented their outstanding issues, again asking the industry to work with them to help achieve a better compliance rate. The issue of safety was very strongly stressed by DOT and the individual modalities.
Another topic presented was on the emerging industry of drug and alcohol testing in other countries particularly in those countries with developed or currently being developed in the oil and gas industry. That discussion was coupled with the current status of global guidelines for testing in the oil and gas industry. International drug testing is now occurring in a variety of arenas and with new challenges being faced. This international testing also occurs with US business interests in overseas locations where testing is required, for example US flagged vessels operating in foreign locales.
There were several concurrent sessions covering a wide range of tropics from employee intervention, audits, breath alcohol testing expert testimony and around table discussion with several well informed individuals from the federal government and civilian sector for a panel discussion on the Electronic – CCF. One piece of information given was how the public will be informed when a lab has been given approval to use and issue the E-CCF.
Other topics covered were numerous that ranged from best practices for a TPA; synthetic drugs, legal issues related to workplace drug and alcohol testing, workers’ compensation, collection site issue were among the many topics covered.
The final sessions covered marijuana trends as presented by Jo McGuire and new drug testing challenges which was a very comprehensive discussion on the all the marijuana state laws presented by Ms. Faye Caldwell.
The evening events were very well attended with the party having an international flair. There were exhibition dancers doing dances from their home countries.
It was a great conference and one befitting the twentieth anniversary for the founding of DATIA.
By Robert C. Schoening