December 2015

December 2015 CFTN

An AACC/CAP Educational Newsletter for Toxicology Laboratories

CFTN is registered with the U.S. Library of Congress, ISSN 2374-9679.

Read the December 2015 issue of CFTN

Welcome to CFTN for December 2015. Articles in this last issue of the year are centered on the complexities of using alternative testing matrices for illicit drug use and changes to federal workplace drug testing guidelines. Send us feedback and let us know what you think.

Suggested citation for CFTN

Author’s last name(s), first and middle initials. (Date of Publication). Title of article. Clinical and Forensic Toxicology News (Quarterly, AACC/CAP), pages. Available from [specific web URL of posting].


Huestis MA (December 2015). Cannabis and Driving Risk: Legalization Brings Urgent Need for More Evidence on Effects. Clinical and Forensic Toxicology News (Quarterly, AACC/CAP), 5-9. Available from

Hair Testing for Illicit Drugs
Do the Advantages of this Matrix Outweigh the Disadvantages?
By Kendra L. Palmer, MD and Matthew D. Krasowski, MD, PhD

There is still limited understanding of the mechanism of drug incorporation into growing hair, and different drugs incorporate at varied rates. While it’s true that hair testing provides a much longer detection window than that of more conventional matrices and requires no specimen refrigeration, it also has limitations.

Cannabis and Driving Risk
Legalization Brings Urgent Need for More Evidence on Effects
By Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD

Oral fluid is an effective alternative matrix for cannabis testing. The tests also offer better identification of recent exposure and correlation with blood than urine concentrations. Cannabinoid testing is particularly important for investigating impaired driving, and there is tremendous interest in developing a cannabis-specific roadside test and markers in biological fluids that identify recent intake. 

SAMHSA Proposes Changes to Federal Drug-Test Guidelines
By Jennifer Collins, PhD

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA) has proposed major changes to the Urine Mandatory Guidelines as well as the Oral Fluid Mandatory Guidelines. Laboratories certified under the National Laboratory Certification Program to perform workplace drug testing for federal employees and those working in regulated industries such as transportation will be affected.

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Clinical Forensic and Toxicology News is a member only benefit of AACC.