Common Types of Drug Tests Used by Employers
Toxicology tests are performed by employers for various reasons and at varied intervals. There are federal laws for drug testing requirements, however, at the state level these requirements are different based on the state.
The Supreme Court imposed a ruling that basically says that, although drug tests do infringe upon an employee’s privacy, they may need to be performed so that the health and safety of people can be protected. Some states such as Delaware, Minnesota, and Arizona have laws where employers can deny employment or fire employees based on the results of their drug tests.
The testing methods are generally minimally invasive, with the exception of blood testing, and give employers capabilities to test for a wide variety of substances. Passing a tox screen for employment purposes is something that many people face daily, so read below to find out the most common tests performed and why they are done.
- Urinalysis – Testing urine for an employment drug test used to be the most commonly used drug test because it is cost-effective and has a quick turn-around time. However, urine tests can be unreliable because they are easy with which to tamper and only show substances in the system for a short period of time. Because of these factors, they are becoming less commonly utilized by employers.
These urine drug screening (UDS) tests can detect a wide range of substances like, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, marijuana, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, and methadone. Although this test is the most commonly used, there is a chance that the primary test, the immunoassay UDS, can miss the detection of some substances and also provide false positive results. When there is a question in regard to the results of this first test, a follow-up gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test may be performed. The GC/MS test can also provide false positive results. Both of the UDS tests may not detect drug usage if the drugs were used on the day of the test.
also see: Product that help you pass a Urine Test
- Saliva – Saliva drug tests, also referred to as oral fluids drug test or mouth swab drug tests, are minimally invasive and involve a sponge or other absorbent type of padding on the end of a collection stick. These are performed frequently when employers would rather do these tests versus urinalysis tests. Oral fluid tests are sometimes preferable to employers because they can be taken with the person in view at all times and are much more difficult with which to tamper.
They are also quick to administer. With the detection capabilities similar to that of a urine drug screen, an array of substances can be detected during this test. Another difference between the saliva test and a urine test is that the saliva test can much more quickly detect substances in the system. Drugs can generally be detected with a saliva drug test approximately within 30 minutes of consumption.
On average, drugs can be detected in the saliva anywhere between 5 and 48 hours, however the detection does vary based on things like the frequency of use and the type of substance that was used. The use of saliva tests is quite common because of their high accuracy rate at nearly 98 percent.
also see: Product that help you pass an Oral Swab Drug Test
- Hair – Hair follicle drug testing has a higher accuracy rate than that of urine screening, and is now the most commonly used drug test by employers. Hair drug testing involves testing the hair closest to the scalp and soaking the strands of hair in a chemical to open up the follicle and remove any masking agents to get to the inner layers of the hair strands.
For employers looking for test results that can detect longer substance use times, hair drug tests are primed for this. Drug residue can be detected for up to 90 days depending on the amount and type of substance used. Insurance companies are frequent users of hair drug tests as drug usage by employees can carry risks and up insurance costs. When it comes to the longevity measure of a hair test, think of it like this: a hair test means you do not DO drugs, whereas a urine test means you are not currently ON drugs.
also see: Product that help you pass a Hair Drug Test
- Blood – These tests are found to be a highly accurate drug test and are actually the most accurate test for current drug use.
This means that employers will use this test if they have concerns that someone is presently under the influence of a substance. Blood analysis tests do offer a quick detection time when there are traces of drugs currently in your blood. That said, these are the least common drug test used by employers.
Employers are looking more at habitual drug use and blood tests cannot detect long term drug use. Blood tests are performed only by professionals in this area, thus the risk of altering the test/results is eliminated. Blood analysis tests are also least commonly used because they are both expensive and invasive.
Professions that require drug testing
Depending on your area of work, drug tests may be more commonly performed as opposed to others. County, state, and federal jobs are among those that are highest in requirements of drug testing.
Teachers, hospital workers, transportation drivers, athletes, and construction workers are a few of the other types of career paths that are going to require drug testing. Many of the employers in these professions (as well as others) utilize pre-employment drug testing to select their candidates. Along with the pre-screening, you should be prepared for random or periodic drug testing if the company at which you work requires this.
Drug tests are frequently performed status-post work accidents as well, as employers try to verify if substances were a factor in the accident.
While there are not methods to utilize to pass all types of drug tests, for passing a hair drug test, you can use Mike’s Macujo Method. This hair follicle treatment method should be used appropriately before your hair test to help ensure that you remove the toxins from your hair effectively.