Last updated: May 22, 2023
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace in the Gulfport, Florida area? A drug testing program can help you achieve exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states currently offer the incentive, and the savings could range from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT offers a wide range of drug screening services throughout the Gulfport, FL area that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage existing staff from using drugs, and identify those who do. All while maintaining compliance with DOT regulations 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 old-fashioned drug testing labs, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we come to you to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your workplace drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your employees are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’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 short staffed. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to conduct drug testing
If you are regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to specific guidelines on workplace drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those same guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Gulfport employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to conduct 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 for 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 regulations, however, it’s also used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. The pool is used to randomly create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The DOT requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to spot drug use. If they believe an employee is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented before approaching that employee. The suspected employee must then report for drug-testing immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident on-site, drug testing all staff involved can help identify where responsibility lies 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 had a positive drug test result. 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 administer drug tests throughout Gulfport utilizing 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 you.
All test samples undergo an initial screen. 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 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 the urinalysis. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, easy, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable the sink and toilet, and pour 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 sex.
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 even 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 can identify 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 relatively newer than other methods, yet is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the smallest 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 a mouth swab drug test is that it can be performed literally anywhere—even in plain sight of staff. 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 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 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 uncertain 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 detection window overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. 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 decision anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to cut 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 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.