With instances of drug use and abuse increasing, many employers in the US emphasize on pre-employment drug testing. Illicit drug use and abuse not only affects the mental and physical ability of an individual but also impacts their productivity at the workplace. In extreme cases, such individuals may also put other employees at risk. According to a study by Concentra Inc., which is a leading national healthcare company in Texas, pre-employment drug testing can help employers save $740 billion annually. Most of these costs are associated with employee medical costs, low productivity or absenteeism, increased healthcare costs, and workplace accidents caused by careless or drugged employees among others.

MedWay Onsite Health Solutions, Inc., has been helping its clients improve the quality of workplaces by identifying or screening individuals addicted to illegal drug use and abuse. Many clients are yet to realize the benefits of Pre-Employment Drug Testing service. This post aims to educate them on the importance of pre-employment drug testing services.  

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Mandatory for All Jobs?

No, it is only mandatory in the following circumstances.

  • A person has applied for a job that recommends mandated safety testing as per federal guidelines. Many government organizations such as the United States Armed Forces, the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) and Customs and Border Protection mandate job seekers to undergo drug testing. The US States Armed Forces was the first to introduce this testing in 1980s due to increasing number of people under the influence of drugs. Today, many private organizations such as nuclear power generation and transportation companies also mandate drug testing to avoid workplace accidents and other risks and losses.
  • A person has applied for a job that mandates safety testing as per state guidelines. These may include childcare or healthcare organizations or petrochemical industries.  
  • A person has applied for a job at an organization that is participating in incentive programs that acknowledge drug-free workplaces or considers drug consumption dangerous owing to the sensitive nature of their workplace.

In addition to this, it may also be used by employees who may be returning to work after a long absence such as sickness and accidents.

Know About the Types of Drugs Tested During Pre-Employment Drug Screening

Typically, pre-employment drug tests screen individuals for the use of the following drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines such as crank, meth, ecstasy, and speed
  • THC such as hash, cannabinoids, and marijuana
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) such as angel dust
  • Opiates like codeine, morphine, heroin, and opium
  • Barbiturates

How is a Specimen for Pre-Employment Drug Screening Collected?

Urine, oral fluid, and hair are normally collected for specimen testing. Each of these specimens has different detection windows as well as pros and cons.

  • Urine: This is the most popular sample type, which is mandated by federal agencies such as the DOT. Urine samples are usually collected in private, which makes it comfortable for most employees and employers. Traces of many illicit drugs are detectable in urine sample up to five to ten days.
  • Oral Fluid: It is also known as the saliva test and it has even a shorter detection than urine testing lasting between seven and twenty one hours. Oral fluid testing is sometimes preferred over urine testing to avoid instances of insufficient urine sample provided by employees. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), this testing cannot detect many drugs; however, the technology associated is evolving rapidly.
  • Hair: This testing is expensive than the other two types because it can detect illicit alcohol or drug use for up to 90 days. According to NSC, this type of testing cannot detect the effect of sedatives and alternate tests are recommended in such cases.

When performed correctly, pre-employment drug testing can improve a company’s reputation and productivity by reducing instances of absenteeism, workplace violence, and workplace accidents. To take advantage of the process, it is important that you partner with a trusted drug-testing service provider like us. Along with on-site drug and alcohol testing services, we also provide DNA Paternity Testing, flu shots, blood draws, pulmonary function, respiratory mask fit and biometric fitness screening services in Arlington, Texas.  

Medway OHS