Outdated Drugs: Reevaluating Your Company’s Substance Abuse Policy

Substance abuse policies are a crucial component of a safe and productive work environment. However, as drug trends change over time, it’s essential for companies to reevaluate their policies to ensure they remain relevant and effective. In this article, we will discuss drugs that were once popular but have become less prevalent in recent years. By understanding the shifting landscape of drug abuse, companies can make informed decisions about which substances to include in their policies.

Phencyclidine (PCP)
PCP, also known as angel dust, was a popular recreational drug in the 1960s and 1970s. Initially developed as an anesthetic, PCP gained popularity for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. However, due to its dangerous side effects, including extreme agitation, hallucinations, and violent behavior, PCP use has significantly decreased. While PCP may still be abused in some areas, its overall prevalence has diminished, making it less relevant for inclusion in a company’s substance abuse policy.

Peyote is a small cactus that contains mescaline, a powerful hallucinogen. Used for centuries in Native American religious ceremonies, peyote became popular among countercultural groups in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, peyote use is relatively uncommon, and its cultivation and distribution are heavily regulated. As a result, peyote may not warrant inclusion in a modern substance abuse policy.

Quaaludes (Methaqualone)
Quaaludes, a brand name for methaqualone, were widely prescribed as a sedative and sleep aid in the 1960s and 1970s. Due to their euphoric and relaxing effects, Quaaludes became a popular recreational drug. However, the drug was associated with a high risk of overdose and addiction. As a result, Quaaludes were classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States in 1984, and their production was discontinued. While Quaaludes may still be found in some areas, their rarity and limited availability make them a less pressing concern for company substance abuse policies.

Barbiturates (BAR)
Barbiturates, a class of drugs used as sedatives and hypnotics, were widely prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and seizures in the mid-20th century. Their abuse potential led to a surge in recreational use, often resulting in overdose and death. With the introduction of benzodiazepines, a safer alternative, barbiturate prescriptions declined, and their abuse has become less common. While some barbiturates are still prescribed for specific medical conditions, their reduced prevalence and abuse rates may warrant their exclusion from a company’s substance abuse policy.

Propoxyphene (PPX)
Propoxyphene, an opioid analgesic once commonly prescribed for mild to moderate pain, was removed from the US market in 2010 due to its association with severe cardiac side effects. At the time, propoxyphene was widely abused and was responsible for numerous overdose deaths. With the drug no longer available, its inclusion in a substance abuse policy may be unnecessary.

As the landscape of drug abuse changes over time, companies must regularly reassess their substance abuse policies to ensure their continued effectiveness. It’s essential to err on the side of caution when updating your policy. If you are aware of unusual production and use of a specific drug in your area, even if it’s considered outdated, it may be wise to include it in your policy to address potential risks.

Additionally, companies should be prepared to collaborate with other businesses or clients that may have different substance abuse policies. In these situations, it’s important to remain flexible and adhere to the policy of the partnering company, even if it includes drugs that you may not consider relevant to your own policy.

By staying informed about the prevalence and risks associated with various drugs, employers can create targeted policies that address the most pressing concerns and promote a safe and healthy work environment. Open communication and adaptability in working with other organizations will ensure that your company remains compliant and maintains a strong reputation in your industry.


Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is intended for informational purposes only. RiskProducts.com is not a law firm, and no attorneys were employed or consulted in the compilation of the information contained herein. It is highly recommended that users consult with an attorney or a drug testing expert before making any policy decisions based, in part or in whole, on the information contained in this article. All forms of diagnostic and employment testing must be conducted in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. Ensuring compliance is the sole responsibility of the user of this information and the entity they represent.