We are so thankful for the support of Chesapeake Toxicology Resources for sponsoring our Legislative Breakfast this year. We sat down with them to learn more about what they do and discovered that the people who make up this organization truly have heart and passion for the health of our community in which they planted roots.
Q: Describe what you do in a very “non-sciencey” few sentences… you know, for the non-scientists among us:
A: Chesapeake Toxicology Resources provides full service clinical and forensic toxicology services to multiple areas of the medical community. These include; county and state agencies, pain management and orthopedic practices, state and county medical examiners, and addiction treatment centers and clinics. Unlike large corporations we pride ourselves in treating each client as if they are our only client. We provide a concierge service tailored to each client’s needs. If a clinician has a question they have direct access to toxicologists with knowledge of each case handled at the laboratory. If testing results require additional interpretation or work we go the extra mile to provide our customer with the results they and their patients deserve.
Q: Why did CTR choose to make Frederick their home?
A: The founders and staff at CTR were government contractors serving the Armed Forces Medical Examiners System since its inception and for well over 30 years. During the base realignment and closure of 2004 AFMES was designated for relocation to Dover AFB in 2011. We super commuted for over four years and realized we could continue to advance the science of toxicology, serve the local community and make family a priority. With all of our experience and knowledge we decided to build our own laboratory and do what we do best…Toxicology. We chose Frederick as it has been our home for decades. Some of us were born and raised in the area and are now raising our children here. We wanted to build a local business that could do its part to help the local community.
Q: With the right information, how can proper, detailed drug screening benefit the health of a community?
A: The best way to combat this epidemic is to have the knowledge of what drugs are being abused. Without this information you are fighting a battle with your eyes wide shut. With this information prevention and education can be tailored to the individual with specific drugs issues whether it be prescription or illicit. Additionally the local communities can identify geographical differences throughout the county and throughout the state on a larger scale.
Q: Why is being involved with this year’s Legislative Breakfast important to your organization?
A: We jumped at the opportunity to be involved with MHA’s Legislative Breakfast because of the opioid epidemic that is crippling our local community, the great state of Maryland and on a larger scale our nation. Our background has been in the area of postmortem toxicology with a strong focus on human performance, deterrence and surveillance. CTR Laboratory can help fight the opioid epidemic by accompanying testing with treatment. Testing and Treatment must be thought of as one and go hand in hand in the ultimate wellness of the individual. The Legislative aspect of the opioid epidemic is crucial as many people struggling with addiction rely on state and federal programs to receive treatment including those of drug testing. Legislators must be made aware of the shortcomings involved in the approach many municipalities and states are taking as well as the multitude of third party payers denying coverage for treatment.
Q: What would you like to see change in the way individuals are screened for illegal substances?
A: Comprehensive and Confirmatory testing to identify specific compounds is a must. Too often programs rely on qualitative testing that is non-specific, unrealistic in approach and clearly not reliable. Obviously cost is a factor in choosing testing but in order to accurately identify the details of the epidemic you must perform confirmation and expanded panel testing.
For more information, check out www.ctrlabs.com