Last updated: March 20, 2023
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business around Alhambra? A drug-free workplace program can help you do exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug screening services throughout the Alhambra, California area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can perform drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing labs, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we travel to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing lab during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to pull staff off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving the crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to particular regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic these regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Alhambra employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers of the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees to have their names added to a random pool. This pool is used to randomly generate a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all safety-sensitive employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to spot substance abuse. If they suspect someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident at work, drug testing all staff involved can help identify who is responsible and protect 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 after that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Alhambra with several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens go through an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 are sent on for 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 testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, 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 performed by an administrator of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual users can test positive for over 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 relatively newer, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, simple, and inexpensive. It offers the smallest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain view of other employees. The test only requires placing 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 identify recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular option for random drug testing. In fact, the HHS (The Health and Human Services Administration) approved the use of this testing method as an alternate drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s uncertain whether or not the DOT will approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more employers. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urinalysis. The request is passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word soon.
This test requires the administrator to cut a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, preferably from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used instead and is tested by volume rather than length. Administrators gather enough hair to equal the size of a cotton ball about an inch in diameter.
Body hair provides a longer detection window than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head will detect drug use for about 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.