Last updated: October 19, 2020
Want to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace in Stockton? Drug testing can help you achieve exactly that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug testing services in Stockton that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing employees from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while ensuring DOT compliance if you’re regulated, or just freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional laboratories, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we come to your business to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the advantages without dealing 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 staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to go to a drug testing facility during normal business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for drug testing 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 perform drug testing
If you are regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to strict guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies follow those guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Stockton businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies for 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 to conduct workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted on the road. Many employers for 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 also 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 generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 recognize drug abuse. If they believe someone is impaired, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help determine where responsibility lies and protect 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 after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Stockton using a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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 specimens undergo an initial screen. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 are sent 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 still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private restroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also be a challenge 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 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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use 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 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 relatively newer, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as quick, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest window of detection though. Still, it identifies 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 significant advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered literally anywhere—even in plain view of staff. 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 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 testing method 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 testing method offers the same ease as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it provides a 90-day detection window overrides the added 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 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 staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be collected 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 up to 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.