Testing Drugs

A Comprehensive Guide to Drug Testing: Why it Matters and How to Get it Right

In today’s society, drug use is prevalent. From the opioid epidemic to the use of recreational drugs, it’s an issue that can affect any organization. With this in mind, companies take drug testing seriously and use it as a tool to ensure a safe workplace. Therefore, it’s vital to understand drug testing procedures and the different drug tests’ nuances. This blog aims to walk you through the varying drug tests’ basics, including non-regulated drug tests, random drug tests, and more. We’ll cover the common types of drug tests, the reasons why employers test their workers, and legal implications to get a comprehensive understanding of drug testing.

Need to order a drug test, physical or other testing service?  Contact our knowledgeable support Staff at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/

Drug Tests Basics

Drug tests are either regulated by the Federal government or non-regulated. Regulated drug tests are mandatory and standard across various industries, and they’re supervised by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Non-regulated drug tests, as their name suggests, are not regulated by any government agency. Private employers usually require them to establish a drug-free workplace policy and follow state voluntary drug free workplace programs. Employers can choose the type of drug test they want to conduct, but they should ensure it’s reliable and meets their state’s laws and regulations.

Common Drug Tests

The most common drug tests are urine tests, hair follicle tests, and oral fluid tests. Urine tests are familiar because they’re convenient, noninvasive, and quick. Hair follicle tests are notoriously expensive, but they’re a great tool to detect if an individual has recently abstained from drugs in the past three months. Oral fluid tests require a mouth swab, and they’re increasingly popular for their speed, accuracy, and ease of administration. With any of these methods, drug screens can use either a 5-panel or a 10-panel test.

What is a 5-Panel Drug Screen Test?

A 5-panel drug screen test is a popular drug screening test that looks for five of the most commonly abused drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates. It is a quick and relatively inexpensive test that is used by many companies to detect employees who are under the influence of these drugs. This test is widely used for pre-employment drug screening, random drug testing, and post-accident drug testing.

What is a 10-Panel Drug Screen Test?

A 10-panel drug screen test is a more comprehensive test that looks for a broader range of drugs compared to the 5-panel test. In addition to the five drugs detected in the 5-panel test, the 10-panel test also includes testing for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone and propoxyphene. This test is more expensive than the 5-panel test but provides a more thorough assessment of drug use. It is often used in industries that have higher safety risks, such as non-dot transportation and construction.

Why Employers Drug Test

Employers have various reasons for drug testing their employees. For one, drugs in the workplace can affect productivity, safety, and work quality. Drugs can prevent employees from coming to work regularly and can slow down productivity. Workers who use drugs may be a danger in the workplace as their decreased cognitive functioning may lead to injuries or fatalities. Typically, sleep is affected and thus the safety concern.  Additionally, in transportation companies, DOT-mandated drug tests ensure that employees that operate heavy machinery or public transport are clear of drugs and meet federal requirements.

Legal Implications

The law provides guidelines on how employees should conduct drug tests. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 mandates federal contractors to maintain drug-free workplace policies. Employers can test their employees randomly or post-accident. An employer could test prospective workers as part of the onboarding process or when there are reasonable suspicions of drug-related activity. State laws vary on employee drug testing. For example, in New York it is prohibited to test for Marijuana for pre-employment test unless you are DOT or an approved safety sensitive non-reg position.

How to Get Drug Testing Right

Employers must understand how to ensure a reliable drug testing program. For example, medical review officers (MROs) can help organizations understand drug test results and discuss results with employees to address any questions or concerns processed through the confidential manner. Employers can execute random drug testing or join a random drug testing consortium as well as reasonable suspicion drug testing when they have objective and specific proof that a worker’s behavior indicates drug use or when an employee is involved in an accident that compromises the workplace safety. Additionally, employers should identify certified drug testing locations that sell standard drug screening products and are capable of correctly administering the chosen method for drug testing. Or even simpler, hire a company like Workplace Screening Intelligence to handle all of your employment screening needs and remove the hassle out of testing with our electronic ordering, tracking and reporting.

Need to order a drug test, physical or other testing service?  Contact our knowledgeable support Staff at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/

Absolute minimum to drug test:

  1. Have a drug and alcohol testing policy. Without a policy nobody know their rights and responsibilities nor the consequences for testing positive or the necessary resources needed when an employee test positive. Every employee should either have a copy or have it easily accessible in the building (i.e., place in HR or on a bulletin board).  Need assistance creating a drug and alcohol testing policy.  Contact our knowledgeable support Staff at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com
  2. Provide Supervisor Training. If supervisors aren’t trained to recognize impairment as well as  symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. This will allow you to remove the most costly employees from the workforce and allow them to rehabilitate and become healthy citizens. Need assistance with Supervisor   Awareness Training?  WSI offers an affordable and unlimited Supervisor Training Program.  Contact our knowledgeable support Staff at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/product/drug-and-alcohol-supervisor-training/
  3. Finding drug test near me.  You will want to have access to drug screen collection sites that are located near your workplace or near your employee’s home.  At WSI, we have access to 20,000 plus locations that are electronically enabled so you can order a drug screen today that is close to your applicants or employees’ home or workplace.

Drug testing can improve a company’s productivity and safety while eliminating poor work or at home habits that could compromise the workplace. Companies that take drug testing seriously can receive many benefits, including minimizing risk, maintaining a healthy workforce, and reducing potential legal actions. Employers should choose the right type of drug test to administer, ensure they’re following state law and regulations, have certified testing locations, hire MROs, and invest in random testing. This ensures reliable results that accurately identify drug users and enables employers to make informed decisions.

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