Last updated: May 16, 2022
Looking to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout the La Mirada, 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’ comp insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug testing services throughout La Mirada that enable you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage current staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring compliance with DOT regulations if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other areas of your company if you’re not. And we can perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional labs, we’re available 24/7—and we come to your company to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the benefits without dealing 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.
You don’t need to interrupt your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing lab during regular business hours. Never again will you have to send a worker off-site for a drug test at a laboratory leaving the crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to specific guidelines on employee drug testing. Many employers of the general workforce mimic these same laws when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers La Mirada employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons for 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 on the road. Many employers of the general workforce 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 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 create a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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 personnel to spot the signs of substance use. 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 staff involved can help identify who is responsible and defend you from legal liability.
Return to duty drug testing
A registered 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 the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout La Mirada using several different methods, depending on your needs. Each method has pros and cons, and you should talk with one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for your circumstances.
All test samples go through an initial screening. 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 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 urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you must disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge because a test must be performed by an administrator 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 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 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 than other methods, yet is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 is 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 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 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 business owners. 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 decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 baggie. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue 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 provides 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 up to a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.