Last updated: January 17, 2022
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Homestead Valley, CA area? A drug testing program can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug screening services for your business around the Homestead Valley, CA area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining compliance with DOT regulations 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 screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing laboratories, we are here 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce 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 done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing center during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to send an employee off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform drug testing
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to particular laws in regard to workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies use these guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Homestead Valley employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll also write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT 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 employee can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, however, it’s common 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 members of a safety-sensitive workforce 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 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
Your management personnel must be trained to identify drug use. If they believe an employee 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 employees involved can help identify who is to blame 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 once that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can administer drug tests throughout Homestead Valley with a variety of 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 undergo an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test determines 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 returning a positive result go 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 urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you need to 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 a collector of the same gender.
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 drug use from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 somewhat newer, but is still just as accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only detects 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 is saturated. The whole 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 detects 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 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 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 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 passing through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the administrator 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have a problem 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 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 about a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.