CANTON, Mass., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avitar, Inc. (Amex: - ), developer of the world's first on-site, oral test for drugs-of-abuse, today issued a safety advisory to warn the public of the danger posed by drugged drivers during the holiday season. As millions of Americans visit families and friends during this period, many will make bad choices regarding driving and drug use putting themselves and others at risk.
Motor vehicle safety campaigns typically focus on the danger from drunk drivers but neglect to mention the significant risk posed by drugged drivers. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), many teenage drivers even believe it's less dangerous to drive under the influence of marijuana than alcohol.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), 2003 National Survey on Drug Use & Health report estimated that 19.5 million Americans use illegal drugs. Furthermore, SAMHSA reported that in 2002, about 11 million persons reported driving under the influence of illegal drugs during the past year. The report went on to point out that drugged driving was more prevalent in the West and Midwest and in large and small metropolitan areas.
"We are concerned that drugged driving is a growing public safety problem that is being overlooked. We would hope that individuals would act responsibly, especially during this holiday season," said Peter Phildius, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avitar. "We continue to advocate for appropriate laws and hope that our government, like the European Union and Australia, take steps to protect individuals from drugged drivers."
The Victoria Province of Australia began a roadside drug testing study this past weekend to learn more about the scope of the problem. Within the first fifteen minutes of the program, the fourth person stopped tested positive validating the need for such a study.
Avitar, Inc. recently presented at the European Union sponsored Rosita-2 (Roadside Testing Assessment) which is a multi-year project tasked with the evaluation of roadside oral fluid drug tests and other appropriate on-site tests. Avitar's also introduced ORALscreen DRUGOMETER(TM) in November of 2004, a saliva-based drug screening product that enables roadside drug testing and could make it a standard practice used by law enforcement, like breathalyzers. Avitar's oral-based technology for illicit drug testing is currently being used in the workplace sector.
Peter Phildius has over 30 years in the healthcare technology industry and is considered a leader in the oral-based drug testing market. To schedule an interview with Mr. Phildius on oral fluid based drug testing, please contact Monica Pandolfi at or .
Avitar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets innovative and proprietary products in the oral fluid diagnostic market, disease and clinical testing market, and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Oral fluid diagnostics includes the estimated $1.5 billion drugs-of- abuse testing market, which encompasses the corporate workplace and criminal justice markets. Avitar's products include ORALscreen®, the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse. Additionally, Avitar manufactures and markets HYDRASORB®, an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. In the estimated $25 billion in vitro diagnostics market, Avitar is developing diagnostic strategies for disease and clinical testing. Some examples include influenza, diabetes and pregnancy. For more information, see Avitar's website at https://avitarinc.com.
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