Last updated: May 29, 2023
Looking to create a safe and drug-free workplace around Riverside? Workplace drug testing can help you accomplish just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings can range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug screening services for your business in Riverside that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage current staff 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 areas of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned drug testing labs, USAMDT is here 24/7—and we come to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal 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 staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing lab during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull workers off-site for drug testing at a lab leaving the crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic those guidelines when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Riverside employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even create 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 permitted to drive. Many employers of the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with Department of Transportation regulations, however, it’s also common 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 produce a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees 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 required.
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 recognize drug impairment. If they suspect 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 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 perform drug tests throughout Riverside with a variety of 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 your circumstances.
All test samples undergo an initial screen. 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 returning a positive result go on for further 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, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you must disable 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 performed by an administrator of the same gender.
In addition, 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 identifies drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to a few weeks after discontinuing 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 relatively newer, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies most drugs within just a few minutes of use. It only identifies drug use 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 performed 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 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 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 provides a 90-day period of detection 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 word 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 bag. While this testing method is simple and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 up to 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.