Boards vote to modify drug testing policies

Published 10:03 am Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lincoln County and Brookhaven employees will now be required to take a 10-panel drug test that checks for benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene and Quaaludes.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors voted to modify the county’s drug testing policy Tuesday. The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen also voted to adopt the 10-panel drug testing policy for city employees Tuesday.

Previously, employees were required to participate in a five-panel drug test, which tests for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and PCP.

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Although the county is not required to use the additional five panels, it is highly recommended, county attorney Bob Allen said.

“They are adding five drugs that are found in prescription drugs, so they can see if somebody is abusing prescription drugs without a prescription,” Allen said.

Under the new 10-panel drug testing policy, county employees will be required to declare the use of any prescription drugs upon taking a drug test, Allen said.

“If you don’t declare that you are taking them and it shows up, then you fail the drug test,” Allen said. “That would mean you are taking it on the side, without a prescription.”

If a county employee fails a drug test, then the county will take action, Allen said.

“If it’s going to make everybody safer, I mean I’m for it,” District 1 Supervisor Rev. Jerry Wilson said.

The 10-panel drug testing policy costs the same amount as the five-panel drug testing policy, said Mike Jinks, city clerk.

“I don’t know anything about drugs, but it seems like the more we test for, the better,” said Karen Sullivan, alderman-at-large.