Last updated: June 20, 2022
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the El Cajon, CA area? Workplace drug testing can help you accomplish exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services for your business in the El Cajon, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing 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 business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing centers, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we travel to your company to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the benefits without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets performed 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 go to a testing center during normal business hours. Never again will you have to send staff off-site for drug testing at a facility leaving your crew a man short. 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 are required to adhere to specific regulations in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow these laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers El Cajon businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet 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 an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is allowed to drive. Many employers of the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire begins 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce to have their names added to a random pool. This 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). In addition, drivers are entered 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 recognize the signs of substance abuse. If they suspect someone is impaired, 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 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 conduct drug tests throughout El Cajon with several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with 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. The majority of drug tests are negative and this cost-efficient test saves employers money because no further testing is needed.
Tests registering 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 sample.
The industry standard is still the 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 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 may also be a challenge because a test must be conducted by a collector 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 even 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 identifies drugs from about a half-hour after use up to several weeks after discontinuing 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 than other methods, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered 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 entire 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 couple of days.
Because it identifies 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 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 business owners. 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 collector 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 simple and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 will detect drug use for about 90-days, while hair collected from the body will detect drug use for up to a year.
The hair test doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.