CANTON, Mass., June 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avitar, Inc. - (OTC Bulletin Board: - ) - hosted large multi-national and regional contractors, trade unions and insurers who gathered in Washington D.C., May 22, to discuss current and future drug-testing methods and the relationship to jobsite safety.
Panel members agreed that random drug-testing is the best way to reduce employee drug use," said Pete Phildius, CEO and Chairman of Avitar. "Participants also noted that drug abuse in America remains a significant and growing problem. Increases in the use of methamphetamines and prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin®, are now a major concern for safety directors."
General agreement was also voiced regarding concern that urinalysis, a traditional form of drug-testing, is easy for drug abusers to cheat. According to one panelist, "Urine testing can't be directly observed. Drug abusers 'beating the test' by diluting or substituting urine has become the norm vs. the exception. The main reason we switched to oral fluid-based testing is because specimen collection is observed, thus it can't be cheated."
Another panel member commented, "Construction workers know which companies drug test and which don't. As a result of our drug-testing program, our incident rate is down 50 percent from where we started three years ago."
Although not all participants provide rehabilitation services to employees who test positive, all agreed that education and communication are key components to any employee drug abuse program. In addition, some participants stressed the importance of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) as a way to help employees through a difficult rehabilitation process. Participants also noted, however, that the recidivism rate for drug abusing rate is high, typically 60-70% or higher.
The participants noted that providing a safe work environment for all employees, improving productivity, and lowering insurance costs were the primary reasons for instituting drug-testing programs. In this regard, a panelist commented, "As Director of Human Resources and Safety, it is my responsibility to allocate the bulk of my resources to the 80-90 percent of workers that don't abuse drugs. Our corporation has a responsibility to provide a safe work environment to our more than 1,000 employees, and random, oral-based testing is a key component of our safety solution."
Avitar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets innovative and proprietary products. Their field includes the oral fluid diagnostic market, the disease and clinical testing market, and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Avitar manufactures ORALscreen®, the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse, as well as HYDRASORB®, an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. Avitar is also developing diagnostic strategies for disease and clinical testing in the estimated $25 billion in-vitro diagnostics market. Conditions targeted include influenza, diabetes, and pregnancy. For more information, see Avitar's website at avitarinc.com.
Safe Harbor Statement. This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties including the development and marketing of new applications and other risks that are detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In view of such risks and uncertainties, the Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking statements.
Company Contact: PR Contact:
Peter Cholakis Maura Landry
Avitar Inc. SHIFT Communications