Last updated: June 27, 2022
Do you want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Patterson, CA area? A drug testing 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’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USA Mobile Drug Testing offers numerous drug testing services for your business around Patterson that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse issue, discourage existing 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 drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing labs, we’re available 24/7—and we travel to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is performed on time, every time, no matter where your team are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing lab during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to pull employees off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving your crew a man short. We show up 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 DOT, you must adhere to particular laws on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those same regulations when developing their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Patterson employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even 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 Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted on the road. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies 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 Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. This 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 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management staff must be trained to spot substance abuse. If they suspect an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is at fault 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 the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Patterson utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. 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 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 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present an issue because a test must be conducted by an administrator of the same gender.
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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Regular users 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 somewhat newer than other methods, yet is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and inexpensive. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies 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 the mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed 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 becomes 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 few days.
Because it can detect 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 test as an alternate 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 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 urinalysis. 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 bag. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some staff may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume instead of 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 up to 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.