Last updated: June 27, 2022
Want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace around Cherokee? A drug-free workplace program can help you do just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug testing services for your business around Cherokee 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 aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you get all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is conducted 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 go to a testing laboratory during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull employees off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving the 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 are required to follow specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use those same laws when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Cherokee businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for 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 to perform 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 permitted to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive employees 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 employees have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing at various intervals 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
Your management personnel must be trained to recognize substance abuse. If they suspect someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help determine 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 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 conduct drug tests throughout Cherokee using a variety of different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples 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 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 testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private bathroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present an issue 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 adulterating the specimen, 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 several weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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 a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The 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 few days.
Because it identifies 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 testing method as an alternative 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 added cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. 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 collector to cut a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, ideally 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 staff may have a problem 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 offers 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 about a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.