Last updated: October 2, 2023
If you need drug testing done in Alaska for pre-employment, random, DOT, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return to duty, and probation drug testing, we’ve got you covered! Schedule employees at one of our drug testing facilities—or at your location, 24/7/365!
Need to schedule drug testing and don’t see your city listed? Just call us at 800-851-2021 and we’ll either get you to one of our locations near you, or we can send a mobile collection specialist to your location, anywhere throughout Alaska.
Call us at 800-851-2021 to schedule an
Alaska drug test now!
Alaska drug testing locations
- Delta Junction
- Hooper Bay
- King Cove
- Mountain Village
- North Pole
- Point Hope
- Sand Point
Don’t worry if your city isn’t listed. Just call 800-851-2021. We’ll be happy to assist you in finding a location nearby. However—and we’re sure to mention it during the conversation—you might decide to have us come to you instead.
That’s right. You’ll never have to search for “drug testing near me” again! We’ll send a mobile collection specialist to your location, anywhere throughout the state— 24/7/365.
Employees on the job site? We’ll find them.
Night shift coming due for the annual fitness-for-duty drug test? Why not have us show up during their shift rather than interrupting their sleep schedule to report for testing during normal business hours? The phrase “drug testing near me” takes on an entirely new meaning when the test rolls right up to your location, doesn’t it?
We offer employee education classes, management training, and DOT services. We can also create your company’s drug-free program. We’ll even customize your policies to specifically meet the needs of your business.
Alaska drug testing laws
Oral fluids drug testing is not allowed in Alaska. All testing must take place in a SAMHSA or CAP certified laboratory. Instant or POCT Testing is not allowed. Case law may limit random testing to safety-sensitive employees.
In addition to the federal drug and alcohol testing law, Alaska has established a voluntary drug and alcohol testing program. The Alaska Drug-Free Workplace Program provides voluntary guidelines for employers that institute drug and alcohol testing programs and policies.
Moreover, employers may be able to deny workers’ compensation benefits to any employee who refuses to submit to drug or alcohol testing, or who tests positive for drugs or alcohol following a workers’ compensation-related injury in the workplace.
Drug and alcohol testing is sometimes affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disability-related inquiries and medical examinations of employees must be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” For instance, the ADA considers alcoholism a disability. Subsequently, an employer must have reasonable suspicion to conduct a blood, urine or breath analysis to test for alcohol use.
However, the ADA doesn’t recognize illegal drug use as a disability.
Alaska marijuana legalization
Alaska legalized medical marijuana way back in 1998. It wasn’t until November 2014 that the state legalized recreational use for adults over 21 years of age or older. The drug is legal for medicinal and recreational use, but with restrictions. Marijuana cannot be sold or consumed in public.
It’s legal to grow marijuana and to possess up to four ounces in your home or one ounce on your person. This is true for both medical and recreational use.
Regarding marijuana in the workplace:
Alaska Statute 23.30.235 – Cases in Which No Compensation is Payable: proximately caused by intoxication of the injured employee or proximately caused by the employee being under the influence of drugs unless the drugs were taken as prescribed by the employee’s physician.
Alaska Statute. 17.37.040(d) – Nothing in this chapter requires any accommodation of any medical use of marijuana (1)u2002in any place of employment.
The State of Alaska recommends drug testing for marijuana only with a strong written drug free workplace policy. The law does not require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.
Types of workplace drug testing
In order to comply with the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Voluntary Drug-Free Workplace Program, an employer may choose to conduct the following types of drug tests:
Once an applicant has been offered a job, they must be tested. However, they may begin work pending the results of the drug test. Limited testing of applicants, based on a reasonable job classification basis, is allowed.
Drug tests must be conducted following any observed behavior creating “reasonable suspicion.” These behaviors must be clearly defined in the policy. Some examples of reasonable suspicion might include:
- Direct observation of drug or alcohol use, or the symptoms of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol.
- Abnormal behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance. Such behaviors should be properly documented in the event that an employee contests the accusation.
- A report of drug use provided by a reliable and credible source.
- Evidence that an individual has tampered with a drug test while working for you.
- Information that an employee has caused or been involved in an accident while at work.
- Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, or solicited drugs while working or while on the employer’s premises or while operating the employer’s vehicle or equipment.
- If the testing is conducted on a “reasonable suspicion” basis, the employer must promptly record the circumstances which formed the basis of the determination that reasonable suspicion existed to warrant the testing. Any documentation the employers have noted about an employee’s behavior must also be provided to the employee upon request.
If an employer requires an employee to enter a drug rehabilitation program as a condition of continued employment after a confirmed, positive drug test, the employee must then submit to random drug testing, at least once per year for a two-year period after completion of the program. Advance notice of the testing date must not be given to the employee. Also notable, if the employee voluntarily enters the program, the employer has the option to not require follow-up testing.
If annual physical fitness for duty examinations are required, these examinations must include drug testing.
Random drug testing
An employer may conduct random drug testing on employees.
Basic rights for employees
An employer has the right to require mandatory drug testing of their employees; it isn’t against an Alaskan employee’s rights to do so. Moreover, employees are forbidden from bringing any legal action against their employer for either taking negative actions against an employee who failed a drug test, or for failing to test for a particular drug. In addition, if an employer acted in good faith regarding a failed positive, meaning that they believed it to be accurate, then their employee is still not able to file suit.
Employers are forbidden from revealing the results of the drug test to anyone other than the employee. Doing otherwise would be in violation of the employee’s right to privacy.
Why have a drug-free workplace policy?
Studies have shown that a well-planned program reduces substance abuse and can increase productivity, reduce accidents, and decrease costs due to insurance claims. Moreover, all employees become more aware of the importance of safety in the workplace. Therefore, everyone benefits from a safer work environment.
An employer implementing this program will also receive additional benefits:
- If an employee incurs a work-related injury and refuses to take a drug test when requested, the injured employee may forfeit eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of the cause of the accident.
- An employee who loses a job or is denied employment as a result of a positive drug/alcohol test, may not qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. In that case, the contributory employer could be relieved of charges in connection with the unemployment claim.
- If drugs are found in the employee’s system at or above threshold levels, the injured employee may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This applies to employers who are certified and in compliance with the program. If the employer is not certified as a drug-free workplace, and the injured employee is able to show that the cause of the accident was not related to the presence of drugs in his or her system, he or she may still be entitled to benefits.
- Employers who do properly implement a Drug-Free Workplace Program may be eligible for a 5 percent credit to their workers’ compensation insurance premium.
Drug testing methods
There are three primary methods used for employee drug testing.
- Hair follicle
- Mouth swab tests
It’s also possible to drug test employees using a blood test, however, it’s extremely rare. They’re expensive, extremely intrusive, and must be performed by trained medical personnel under proper medical conditions. Blood tests may be named for post-accident testing, however, as they identify the parent drug and, therefore, can determine current impairment. This is useful information for investigators trying to determine the accident’s cause and who’s responsible.
All test samples, meaning hair, urine, and saliva, undergo an immunoassay (IA) test first. Subsequently, those testing positive go on for a second test to confirm the results. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test identifies the drug level contained in the specimen as well.
Mouth swab test
At this time, these tests are not recognized for use in Alaska.
By far, the most widely used drug test on the market is the urine test. They’re cost-effective, accurate, and, to be honest, although considered intrusive, they’re the ones employees expect upon learning there will be “a test.”
The range of detection varies from within a few hours of use up to a few days or weeks, depending on the drug itself. Heavy marijuana users, however, may test positive for over thirty days.
Employers receive results in less than a week.
Hair follicle drug test
The hair follicle drug test affords employers the longest detection period justifying its cost for many employers. This test identifies any and all drug use for a ninety-day period. In fact, there’s no limit as to the length of time the hair test identifies drug use.
Drug metabolites store themselves all over the body until excreted. Those stored in the hair follicle don’t get too far away. They grow out into the hair shaft infusing themselves with the hair. Consequently, they remain there leaving a permanent record of drug use.
Human hair grows about half an inch every month. Hair samples are cut to a standard test length of one and one-half inches, thus, establishing the ninety-day window.
There are instances when a court order requests a longer period of detection. Laboratories can easily accommodate the request by increasing the length of the hair sample.
It takes about a week to receive results.
USA Mobile Drug Testing uses the above methods to identify all types of drugs. Unless regulated by the DOT or some other entity, employers are free to choose the drugs included in the company drug test.
We identify amphetamines and methamphetamines within our amphetamine test panel. THC identifies medical marijuana users and even CBD use when the product contains high levels of THC hidden within them due to poor extraction processes.
We also have the capability to identify “specialty” drugs, like bath salts or steroids, for instance. We have a panel to identify synthetic marijuana too.
We’ve established that the amount of time that a drug remains in the system is dependent on the drug itself. Subsequently, even those detection windows vary.
So, why is that?
There are several factors that play a part in the length of time that specific drugs can be identified in the body.
- Genetics—The speed at which your body metabolizes everything is unique to your genetic makeup. Therefore, our DNA has everything to do with it.
- Dosage and frequency—It makes sense that the amount of drug ingested and how often it’s taken determine the amount of time it remains in the system. For example, someone that uses once in a great while versus someone with an addiction.
- Body Mass Index—Your height, weight, and fat cell ratio play a part in how and where drug metabolites are stored. For instance, heavier people may retain drug metabolites in the system longer because those stored in fat cells take longer to clear.
- Age—Younger people tend to metabolize things faster than older people.
The Department of Transportation was created to ensure the general public’s right to safe passage. It regulates the industries that transport people and products.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Federal Transit Administration
- United States Coastguard
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Part of the regulations includes employee drug testing.
DOT drug test
It won’t be much longer and the DOT will be changing from the urine drug test to the hair follicle test. At this time, an official request is circulating through the chain of command and is not expected to meet with resistance at any point.
This is the second change the DOT has made to its drug testing regulations in the past few years. In January 2019, it extended the opiate panel to include four synthetic opioids.
Physicians heavily prescribed these prescription painkillers until realizing their high potential for addiction. By then, however, the damage had been done and addiction to these drugs was and is running rampant through our country.
The trucking industry stands behind the DOT’s decision to use the hair follicle test. In fact, some employers in the industry incur the additional cost of using both the DOT drug test and the hair follicle test as well.
Moreover, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed changes to its drug testing policy to include mouth swab testing. The proposals were published on Monday, February 28th, 2022. The proposal is aimed at saving employers in the trucking industry time and money because the mouth swab test is completed in minutes getting the driver back out on the road in the least amount of time.
Beginning January 6, 2023, employers are no longer required to query both the FMCSA Clearinghouse and previous employers (for a three-year period) on all potential drivers to search for unresolved drug or alcohol violations. As of that date, an accurate and “real-time” database was determined to be established. Employers need only access the Clearinghouse when hiring new employees.
Employers are required to report any drug or alcohol violations to the database within 3 business days. They may designate their C/TPA to handle testing and reporting on their behalf.
Can I dispute a drug test result if my employer used a mouth swab test? Won’t they get in trouble for that?
Employers that utilize a mouth swab drug test can’t participate in Alaska’s drug-free workplace program. Employers that don’t participate in the program are free to use this method of testing.
Can I access the Clearinghouse and see if there’s any information there about me?
Yes. Drivers can register with the Clearinghouse and are free to access it at any time at no charge.
I’m an owner-operator so does that mean that I query myself?
The FMCSA requires that all drivers be queried once a year. However, you need to have your C/TPA (consortium/third-party administrator) handle the particulars for you. If you’ve already registered with the Clearinghouse, you’ve probably designated them to access the database on your behalf already.
I have a prescription for my oxy—my back’s in really bad shape—that’s going to keep me in the clear, right?
If you’re holding a safety-sensitive position, it’s technically possible. You’ll have a chance to provide medical evidence of your claim. But, a prescription isn’t going to do the trick. Your doctor needs to contact the MRO to discuss alternatives. If none can be decided upon, the doctor needs to state that in writing and verify that you are able to function normally while under the influence of the painkiller.
Ultimately, though, the decision is left up to your employer. Your odds are pretty low because it’s a pretty big risk to incur on your employer’s part.
Can I admit that I have a problem with drugs to my employer and keep my job?
If this is the first time that you’ve considered getting help for your problem, do it! Hopefully, your employer will work with you and your job will be waiting for you. Don’t let the fear of losing your job stop you from seeking help with your problem with drugs or alcohol though.
Enroll in rehab and fight like you’re fighting for your life! We’re rooting for you. And, when you step out clean and sober on the other side, you’ll be amazed at the doors of opportunity that open for you. Stay strong!