Best Drug Screen for Your Workplace

Best Drug Screen for Your Workplace: A Complete Guide for Employers

As an employer, protecting your organization from the negative consequences of drug and alcohol abuse is critical. Whether you’re running a transportation company or managing a corporate workforce, implementing a drug testing program is a must. However, with multiple drug screening options available in the market, choosing the right one can be daunting. This blog post aims to provide you with in-depth insights into the best drug screens for your workplace. From non-dot drug screens to DOT drug screens, we’ve got you covered.

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Non-DOT Drug Screen:

A Non-DOT drug screen is a type of drug test strictly governed by an employer’s policy and is non regulated by federal law. This drug screen is typically less expensive than DOT drug screens and is mainly used for non-transportation companies and other employers not regulated by DOT.  Non-DOT drug screens generally test for five types of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, and amphetamines, but can test for other drugs as well. Urine drug tests are the most common type of non-dot drug test, but oral fluid and hair follicle tests are also available.

DOT Drug Screen:

The DOT drug screen is a regulated drug test mandated by the United States Department of Transportation for all employers under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other modes of the DOT like FAA, FTA, FRA, PHMSA as well as the US Coast Guard. DOT drug tests are more comprehensive than non-dot drug tests and test for specific drugs. The test includes five panels: marijuana metabolites, cocaine metabolites, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP. DOT drug tests can be administered in multiple forms, including urine, and oral fluids. Oral fluids were approved in 2023, however, Labs must be certified, devices need to be approved and collected must be certified as well.  As an employer of the transportation industry, it is critical to perform DOT drug screens as required by law to ensure that your employees are fit for safety in the workplace.

Non-Regulated and Regulated Drug Screen:

Non-regulated drug screens are those that are not required by law. These types of drug screens typically test for a broad range of drugs, which can include designer and synthetic drugs, besides the commonly tested five-panel drugs. Meanwhile, regulated drug screens are mandated by federal law governing certain industries, such as transportation. Hence, opting for a regulated drug test program ensures your compliance with federal regulations and provides a safer work environment for your employees.

Types of Drug Tests Available:

Employers have several types of drug tests to choose from when creating their drug screening program. Urine drug tests are the most common type of drug test in the workplace as they are cost-effective and efficient. Oral fluid testing, also known as saliva drug testing, is preferred by some employers, particularly those who are concerned about collecting a urine sample. Meanwhile, hair follicle testing can detect drug use over a more extended period up to 90 days, making it the most reliable option if you intend to detect long-term drug use.  Oral Fluids and Hair follicle testing have more positives due to the drug test collection being observed without anyone removing clothes and prevents donor from cheating.

Supervisor Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training:

Supervisor drug and alcohol awareness training is a crucial component of an effective workplace drug testing program. The training educates supervisors on recognizing signs of drug or alcohol use, creating an open dialogue with employees, and performing reasonable suspicion drug tests. As supervisors have direct contact with employees, they play a significant role in preventing workplace accidents due to drugs and alcohol.  This small investment in your drug testing program pays huge dividends when removing employees from the workplace who are more likely to have accidents and other costs.

Understanding the Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy:

There are several essential steps that employers must take to ensure their compliance drug and alcohol testing. Firstly, employers must establish a written policy that outlines the drug and alcohol testing program for their commercial drivers and/or employees in the workplace . Secondly, they must provide appropriate training and education for supervisors and employees who are subject to testing. Thirdly, they must ensure that all testing procedures and documentation are accurate and meet the compliance requirements.  The majority of this can be accomplished with a well thought out drug and alcohol testing policy.  Do you need assistance with your drug and alcohol testing policy?  Workplace Screening Intelligence provides customizable DOT and NON DOT Drug Testing policies.  Contact us today at 844-573-8378 or for assistance.

The FMCSA Clearinghouse:

Effective January 6th, 2020, the FMCSA Clearinghouse is a secure online database that allows employers who employ FMCSA drivers, state driver licensing agencies, and law enforcement personnel to access real-time information about commercial driver’s drug and alcohol violations. Employers must register and report information about their drivers to the Clearinghouse. This includes positive drug or alcohol test results, refusals to test, and successful completion of return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.  The employer or their designated CTPA such as Workplace Screening Intelligence report positive alcohols, collection site refusals, known knowledge of substance use, Return to duty testing and completion of Follow up testing programs.  The Medical Review Officer will report positive drug test and medical refusals.

As an employer, choosing the right drug test for your workplace is essential to ensure safety, compliance, and productivity. Consider your industry, the type of drug test you require, and the type of substance you want to detect when developing your drug screening program. Incorporating supervisor drug and alcohol awareness training is also crucial to preventing workplace accidents and creating a safer work environment. To stay compliant with FMCSA’s regulations, make sure to use Clearinghouse FMCSA for acquiring drug tests. Order your drug test today to safeguard your workplace, employees, and reputation.