Last updated: May 29, 2023
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around Helen? 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. Many states offer the incentive, and the savings can range from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug testing services throughout Helen that help 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 aspects of your business if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing centers, USA Mobile Drug Testing is here 24/7—and we travel to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the benefits 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 staff are located or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your staff’s sleep cycle to visit a drug testing center during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew short staffed. We roll up 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 Department of Transportation, you must follow specific regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce follow those same guidelines when developing their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Helen businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your unique needs. We’ll also write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons for workplace drug testing, such as:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that a negative drug test result is on file before a driver is permitted to get behind the wheel. Many employers of the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing 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 are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, 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 tests for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to identify drug abuse. If they suspect an employee is impaired, 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 on-site, drug testing all employees involved can help identify who is at fault 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 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 administer drug tests throughout Helen utilizing a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for your needs.
All test specimens 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 registering 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 a urine drug test. (This is currently the only method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and inexpensive, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure 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 an issue 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 adulterating the specimen, 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 drug users to succeed.
This testing method can identify drugs from about a half-hour after use up to a few weeks after discontinuing use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Addicts 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, but is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as quick, easy, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest detection window 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 largest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain sight of staff. The test only requires placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is 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 test as an alternative 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 convenience as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day period of detection overrides the additional 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 working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final decision soon.
This test requires the administrator 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 provides 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 can’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.