Would you fail a drug test?

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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?

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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.



Central Pain Syndrome discussed

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Central Pain Syndrome also known as Thalamic Pain Syndrome/Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome

We recently acted for a client suffering from a Central Pain Syndrome.

In 1906 two French neurologists, Dejerine and Roussy, found that strokes could give rise to pain. A lesion suffered on one side of the thalamus following stroke might cause pain on the opposite side of the body.

Recently, we acted for a client (“X”) who had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

One of our experts noted X’s significant physical symptoms. X showed signs of being in pain on one side of his body from stimuli that would not normally cause pain e.g. just resting a foot on a wheelchair footplate.

Review of X’s CT scan revealed contusion within the left thalamic brain region causing the expert to indicate that X’s symptoms were in keeping with Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome. Further evidence from a specialist neurologist was arranged.

Central Pain Syndrome

It is now understood that damage to the Central Nervous System (“CNS”) and not just to the thalamus can cause pain and loss of sensation in various parts of the body. CPS can develop following brain tumours, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (“MS”) or other conditions affecting the CNS.

Use of the term Central Pain Syndrome (“CPS”) reflects the fact that damage to various area of the CNS can cause pain and stroke need not be the primary cause.

Where stroke is the primary cause the preferred term now used is Central Post Stroke Pain.

The level of pain caused by CPS varies from one person to another. Some individuals experience pain which is mild and periodic, others may have terrible, unremitting pain which drastically affects their lives and may consequently devastate relationships.

If you, or a loved one, have developed a Central Pain Syndrome following an accident and you would like to discuss it with a serious injury expert please call us on 01285 654875.

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