Last updated: November 29, 2021
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Avalon, California area? Drug testing 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. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the savings may range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug screening services around the Avalon, California area that help you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current staff 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 company if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional facilities, USA Mobile Drug Testing is here 24/7—and we come to your business to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting the employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving your crew a man short. We roll up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must follow specific laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use those laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Avalon employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s also used 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 safety-sensitive staff have been 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 regularly 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 personnel to identify the signs of drug abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that 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 employees involved can help identify where responsibility lies and protect you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A certified SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) works with the driver, or other safety-sensitive employees, who had a positive drug test result. The SAP signs them off as able to return to work once the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Avalon utilizing a variety of 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 screen. 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 registering 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 approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you need to disable both the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present an issue 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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method can identify drugs from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users 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 relatively newer than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most significant advantage of mouth swab drug testing 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 entire process usually takes less than. 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 couple of 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 test 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 testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers 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 urinalysis. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision soon.
This test requires the collector to clip a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 offers 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.