Last updated: January 24, 2022
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the La Mesa, CA area? A drug testing program can help you accomplish exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide numerous drug screening services around La Mesa that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional facilities, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to your company to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits 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 employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing facility during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for a drug test at a facility leaving the crew a man short. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform a drug test
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to strict guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce use those regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers La Mesa employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many 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 allowed to get behind the wheel. Many employers of 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 Department of Transportation 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 produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees are 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 periodically throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also required.
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 staff to recognize the signs of drug use. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything 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 who is responsible and defend 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 administer drug tests throughout La Mesa using 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 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 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 a urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, 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 an issue because a test must be performed by a collector of the same sex.
In addition, 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 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 can identify drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several 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 relatively newer, yet is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only identifies 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 administered literally anywhere—even in plain view 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 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 choice for random drug testing. In fact, the HHS (The Health and Human Services Administration) approved the use of this test 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 simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some employees may have an issue 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 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.