A growing drug problem shouldn’t affect the ability for area workplaces to remain safe and drug free, and one local company is making it easier for employers to do that.
Karen and Ken Kitchen have been operating USA Mobile Drug Testing for two years and their expanding client base includes the Avon Lake Service Department as well as bus drivers for 10 school districts, including Avon Lake schools.
Like other drug testing companies, they have the ability to test employees for a broad spectrum of illegal drugs, including cocaine, opiates (heroin, Vicodin) marijuana, PCP and amphetamines such as Adderall, they offer a service that can save companies time and money: they come to you.
The Kitchens, who live in Avon Lake, bought a franchise after corporate resizing left them with the option of owning their own business.
“We’d often thought about running our own business,” Karen said. “We felt drug testing isn’t going away as drug use increases. We have a passion in helping companies create drug-free workplaces.”
USA Mobile Drug Testing means one of the Kitchens, or their trained employees, goes to the business to collect samples, sparing the company losing several hours of employee productivity had they traveled to an off site testing location.
Drug testing that results from federally mandated requirements accounts for only about one-third of their business.
“Two-thirds that test are not required by the government,” Karen said. “Employers believe it’s important. We have some very small companies that test and want drug-free employees.”
Most employees that have been tested are drug free.
“We don’t see a ton of positive results which is a good thing,” Karen said. “It’s fairly consistent. Marijuana is the number one drug people are showing positive for.”
The company now has five employees including another Avon Laker, Special Projects Coordinator Julie Como. They recently partnered with a physician, Dr. Monica Wloszek, who performs DOT annual exams for some of their DOT customers, as well as the (similar) T-8 physicals that are required annually for school bus drivers.
Hoping for drug-free workplaces
She feels the concept of a drug free workplace dovetails well with Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka’s crusade against drugs, particularly heroin.
Zilka has taken numerous measures in the past months to bring awareness of a growing heroin problem in Avon Lake and across the United States.
She said cocaine, opiates, prescription medication and heroin are becoming more common.
Clients can choose from a list of what drugs they want their employees tested for, including the newest upcoming illegal drugs, K2 and Spike.
Tests are then sent to a lab with negatives results reported the next day.
“Positive results go through more testing, and usually means an extra day,” Karen said.
In addition to convenience, she said the company offers convenience and confidentiality.
Karen and her husband are "approved vendors" by the state of Ohio which means they have spent many hours being trained by the state. Companies who use them get discounts on their workers compensation premiums.