Drug & Alcohol Abuse

News & Analysis as of

Governor’s Council recommending mandatory use of SCRIPTS program

Prescription drug abuse is epidemic across the nation, and South Carolina has not been immune. According to a 2013 report from the State’s Inspector General, South Carolina ranked 23rd per in per capita opioid painkiller...more

How to Drink: A Skill That May Have Been Pre-Learned and Finely Honed in Law School

Mark Perlmutter is back for the fourth post in his six-part series on law school lessons that are not advisable for a healthy home life. Be sure to read the first, second and third posts if you missed them. Mark is a Texas...more

Doctors, Lawyers and the Controversial Prop 46

What's the most controversial measure on California's November ballot? The insurance regulation bill, Prop 45, may be a good contender – but more than likely the controversy over Proposition 46 will win the contest hands...more

Curtailing Access to Combat Abuse - New DEA Regulations Focus on Prescription Medication Collection

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) new regulations aimed to cut down on prescription drug abuse will soon allow patients to return unused pharmaceuticals to authorized locations. The new rules go into effect October...more

Medical review officers can help eliminate disability discrimination claim

Oklahoma consistently ranks at or near the top of all states when it comes to prescription drug abuse. The prescription rate for opioids (i.e., painkillers) in Oklahoma is among the highest in the nation, and the state also...more

Federal Court Rules that Minnesota Drug Testing Law Does Not Apply to Employment Outside of Minnesota

Employers with operations in multiple states have long known that Minnesota has the most restrictive drug and alcohol testing law in the country. To make matters more difficult for employers, the Minnesota law, by its terms,...more

NLRB Continues Its Busy Summer with Important New Decisions on Weingarten Rights, Noel Canning Issues

The National Labor Relations Board continued its busy summer over the past two weeks. First, the Board issued a decision reaffirming the importance it places on an employee’s Weingarten rights, even if they impede an...more

Alcoholic Truck Driver Case Is Good For Transportation Employers, But Be Careful

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which hears appeals from federal courts in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, recently affirmed summary judgment for Crete Carrier Corporation. Crete fired one of its truck drivers...more

Appelate Court Notes

SC19092 - Stafford v. Roadway - The plaintiff, a “20 year old minor,” (admittedly experienced with drinking) filed a twenty-four-count complaint against the defendants for personal injuries allegedly sustained after he...more

SAMHSA to Hold Part 2 “Listening Session”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) has scheduled a “public listening session” on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, to seek input on potential changes to the federal Confidentiality of Alcohol and...more

NY Bill Seeks to Strip Insurers of Discretion When Substance Abuse Services Should Be ERISA Preempted

The New York State Senate is considering passing Bill No. 4326 which seeks to address an epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by requiring insurers to provide in-patient treatment to addicts. Publicity over the...more

Ohio’s New Rules for Opioid Maintenance Treatment

Ohio has experienced an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and dependence, specifically involving opioid controlled substances. Because of this epidemic, more physicians are offering opioid maintenance treatment for persons...more

Is An Employee Who Is Six Days out of Rehab “Disabled” Under the TCHRA?

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) provides that a “current condition of addiction” to alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a covered “disability.” In Melendez v. Houston Independent School District...more

A License to Wed: Can You Be Denied a Marriage License?

In October of 2013, the Illinois couple of Colette Purifoy and John Morris were denied a marriage license because of John’s inability to consent. In 2009, John suffered permanent brain damage after unexpected complications...more

Who Cares About Reelection, Could You Fire the Toronto Mayor?

While many Toronto residents spend their time wincing at the infamous antics of their elected (and possibly soon-to-be reelected) mayor, Rob Ford, I’ve been imagining what a Minnesota employer would do if he was its employee...more

Drug Testing Index Shows Sharp Decline in Employee Drug Use

Illegal drug use among American workers has declined 74% in the 26 years since enactment of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, according to Quest Diagnostics’ Drug Testing Index (DTI). The national laboratory network bases...more

RWAs Can Help Manage Alcoholic Employees

Although alcoholism is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers may terminate employees who violate agreements to get sober. A U.S. court of appeals recently reaffirmed this principle, ruling in...more

Last Chance Drug and Alcohol Use Policy Did Not Violate ADA

Some employers believe in giving employees a second chance. When the reason for taking action is related to drug or alcohol use, employers frequently require employees to agree to certain terms as a condition of returning to...more

Final Mental Health Parity Rules Released

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury jointly issued a long-awaited final rule that implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008...more

Morphine Equivalent Dose: Ohio’s New Tool against Prescription Drug Abuse

The Ohio Boards of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing have adopted new guidelines pertaining to prescribing opioid medication. The guidelines are part of Ohio’s continuing effort to combat and reduce prescription drug...more

Is Sec. Aldona Wos Challenging the Goliath - Like MCOs? Will She Win?

I attended a Women in Leadership conference the other day. The keynote speaker asked for us to come up with a one sentence mantra or mission statement that we would use to describe our purpose in life. I had never thought...more

Firing Alcoholic Employee for Relapse Is Not ADA Violation, Third Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a freight transportation company did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other antidiscrimination laws when it fired an alcoholic employee...more

Group Homes Can Move Forward With Their Lawsuit Challenging an Ordinance that has the Practical Effect of Prohibiting Group Homes...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging a city ordinance that effectively banned group homes for alcoholics and drug users with an...more

Health Law Alert - August 2013: New York’s I-STOP Law Goes into Effect for Practitioners – August 27, 2013

A new law, the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Law (§3343-a of the NYS Public Health Law) enacted one year ago, will go into effect on August 27, 2013, requiring practitioners who prescribe controlled...more

New, stricter consequences for boating under the influence in Washington State

Washington State boasts 3,200 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes, and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound has the highest per capita boat usage in the country....more

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