This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
In 1988, President Reagan passed the drug free workplace act, enabling employers to maintain safer workplaces by testing employees for illegal drugs. At first, drug testing was primarily done in a doctor's office, but now it has become an industry in and of itself.
Before starting her drug testing business, Intermountain Toxicology Collections, Ann Petrik fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. But when her husband passed away when she was in her early 50s, Ann felt she needed a way to additionally provide for her family and also to give her something more to do. That's when a man, who was getting a drug test in the doctor's office where she worked, suggested she start her own toxicology company.
Believing it could be done, Ann received training and subsequently opened Intermountain Toxicology Collections, located in Vernal. Now, more than 10 years later, her business has steadily grown to serve clients including the oil field and truck driving industries, department stores, high schools and fast food chains.
Ann and her team collect blood, urine and hair samples, bag them according to regulations and then send the samples to a laboratory to be tested for drugs. Ann tells me most results come back negative, but when they are positive, the individual must meet with a physician who reviews the test to ensure illegal drugs caused the positive results. When certain that illegal drugs are the cause, the individuals are given the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation program. Those who do not participate are dismissed from their workplace.
Ann believes you can't stop drug abuse if you don't confront it, which is why her company also teaches employers how to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse and the federal regulations involved in drug and alcohol testing.
Ann feels grateful she was able to start her business and says it has been a worthwhile effort she is proud to participate in.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.