Would you fail a drug test?

Posts Tagged ‘medication’

Would you fail a drug test?

Posted on: May 24th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Would you fail a police drug test on your prescription medication?

Telephone our legal experts NOW

England and Wales have put in place some of the strictest drug driving laws on the planet in an effort to get drug-impaired drivers off the roads.

From 2 March 2015 the introduction of roadside ‘drugalyser’ tests has made it easier and faster for drug drivers to be prosecuted by police.

Police can now use ‘drugalysers’ to screen for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside and for other drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, at a police station, even if a driver passes the roadside check.

Roadside ‘drugalysers’ can detect cannabis or cocaine in the saliva, but laboratory testing is needed for other banned substances.

The new law sets permissible limits at very low levels bordering on ‘zero tolerance’. The illicit drug limits have been set at the lowest possible level that rules out accidental exposure. For example, passive inhalation of marijuana smoke at a party.

The law covers for eight illegal drugs including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy but more alarmingly covers eight prescription drugs, typically used for insomnia or anxiety although the limits generally exceed normal prescribed doses.

The prescription drugs for which legal levels have been set include morphine, methadone and diazepam. People using these drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

Penalties will be stiff with up to six months in prison, up to £5,000 in fines and a license disqualification for at least 12 months. The penalties are designed to be in line with drink driving penalties.

Setting aside the illicit drugs the limits set for prescription drugs are as follows:

  • Clonazepam, 50 µg/L
  • Diazepam, 550 µg/L
  • Flunitrazepam, 300 µg/L
  • Lorazepam, 100 µg/L
  • Methadone, 500 µg/L
  • Morphine, 80 µg/L
  • Oxazepam, 300 µg/L
  • Temazepam, 1000 µg/L

The new rules may be worrying to those people prescribed medication to cope with serious injuries, chronic pain and PSTD.

It is very difficult to provide an estimate of how much of a drug such as Valium or Temazepam will put you over the limit and for how long, because body physiology varies so greatly. Davey Law recommend anyone taking any of these prescription  drugs consult with their doctor about what might constitute safe usage.

There are clearly social consequences to setting limits on prescription drugs. Some people may be forced to give up driving, or stop taking their medication to stay on the road.

If you are feeling any kind of effect from one of these drugs then stay off the roads.



Bionic Eye Trial

Posted on: January 8th, 2016 by Mark Tawn No Comments

The BBC have reported wonderful news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35220615 arising from a clinical trial at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

‘Six patients who have had little or no sight for many years are having a cutting-edge “bionic eye” implanted in an attempt to give them some sight, and independence, back’.

The BBC’s article explains Rhian Lewis from Cardiff was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (which destroys light sensitive cells in the retina) which left her blind in her right eye and almost completely so in her left eye.

In summer a device (which replaces the light-sensitive retinal cells in the eye) was implanted into Rhian Lewis’ right eye. The device was connected to a tiny computer placed under the skin behind her ear. When switched on a signal travels to her brain via her optic nerve. Within seconds of the device being switched on Rhian Lewis (who had seen nothing with her right eye for over 16 years)  experienced a “flashing” in her eye.

That flashing, became more like a line at the top and bottom of her eye and with the passage of time is now “..more of a shimmer..much less distracting and a little more accurate.”

The clinical trial team have performed tests and an elated Rhian was “chuffed…like a kid at Christmas!” to be able to locate shapes on a table; outside to be able to see the sun shining on a silver car and to realise it had gone dark when walking beneath a tree.

Rhian Lewis describes the excitement and “..pure elation..pure joy..” she experiences at being able, for the first time in 16 or 17 years, to locate items such as spoons and forks on a table. She continues to practise interpreting the signals and regaining her independence. We wish her very well indeed for the future.

The clinical trial continues, with the team reportedly hopeful that if it is successful there may be a possibility of the implant being made available on the NHS and that the technology may one day apply to other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.

We have successfully acted for (and secured damages/compensation) for many clients who have been left partially or totally blind e.g. Malcolm who lost sight in one eye following a paint-balling accident; John who suffered a knife-wound to one eye whilst working as a butcher and Ian who suffered chemical burns to both eyes whilst at work.

We know how devastating loss of eyesight can be.

Rhian Lewis’ blindness was not accident-related and even with her condition she “still had an intact optic nerve and all the brain wiring needed for vision”. Whilst the clients we have mentioned may not have benefited from technology such as that mentioned above, we always carefully consider how, if possible, our client’s lives may be improved by advances in medication, therapies, treatment, aids, equipment and technology.