Last updated: March 27, 2023
Looking to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Alamo, CA area? A drug-free workplace program can help you achieve just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts may range from four up to ten percent.
USA Mobile Drug Testing provides a wide range of drug screening services in Alamo that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, discourage current employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing facilities, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we travel to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your team are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull an employee off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving the crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must adhere to specific guidelines in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic these same regulations when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Alamo employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is allowed to get behind the wheel. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s also common in other industries too. The department requires all members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
The DOT requires a urine test and tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Train your management staff to identify the signs of drug use. If they believe an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is to blame and defend you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A registered SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) works with the driver, or other safety-sensitive employees, who have tested positive for drugs. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Alamo with a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your needs.
All test specimens undergo an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test determines a positive or negative result. Most drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests returning a positive result go on for further confirmation testing. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test confirms the positive result by identifying the drug and the level contained in the specimen.
The industry standard is a urinalysis. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be a challenge because a test must be conducted by a collector of the same sex.
In addition, the privacy factor also provides an opportunity to attempt to cheat the test by adding adulterants, which creates a negative dillute or positive dillute drug test result, or substituting the specimen entirely. However, technological advances in both testing procedures and lab equipment make it increasingly difficult for dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts can test positive for up to thirty days. You can learn more here: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
Employers receive test results in a few days.
Mouth swab / oral fluid
This method of drug testing is somewhat newer than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight of other employees. The test only requires putting a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it becomes saturated. The process rarely takes more than 5 minutes. Despite the claims we hear many drug users make, the only way to pass a mouth swab drug test is to not use drugs.
Results are received in just a few days.
Because it can detect recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular choice for random drug testing. In fact, the HHS (The Health and Human Services Administration) approved the use of this test as an alternative drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s unclear whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the additional cost in the eyes of more and more employers. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, ideally from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume rather than length. Administrators collect enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair provides a longer detection window compared to head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can detect drug use for up to 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for up to a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.