Last updated: September 25, 2023
Looking to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout Clarkesville? A drug-free workplace program can help you do exactly that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Many states currently offer the incentive, and the savings could range from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services in Clarkesville that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, discourage current employees 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 aspects of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned facilities, we’re here 24/7—and we travel to your company to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets done on time, every time, no matter where your employees are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a drug testing facility during daytime business hours. Never again will you have to send employees off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you perform a drug test
If your business is regulated by the DOT, you are required to adhere to specific regulations in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies follow these regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Clarkesville employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your specific needs. We’ll even create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons to perform workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The DOT requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to drive. 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 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 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). In addition, drivers are entered 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
Train your management staff to identify the signs of substance impairment. If they believe 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 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 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 Clarkesville with a variety of 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 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 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 sample.
The industry standard is still a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you need to disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also present a challenge because a test must be performed by a collector 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 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 drugs from about a half-hour of ingestion up to several weeks after the last 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 every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it identifies 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 most significant advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted 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 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 can identify 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 simplicity 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 urinalysis. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision anytime now.
This test requires the collector to clip 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 employees 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 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 about a year.
The hair test can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.