Last updated: May 22, 2023
Do you want to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace around Atlanta? A drug-free workplace program can help you do just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
We provide a wide range of drug screening services for your business throughout the Atlanta, Texas area that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage current employees 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 business if you’re not. And we can conduct drug testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to traditional facilities, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we come to you to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you get all of the benefits without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is done on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the night shift’s sleep cycle to report to a testing facility during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to send a worker off-site for drug testing at a laboratory leaving the 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 strict regulations on employee drug testing. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies follow those guidelines when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Atlanta employers a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also create and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are many reasons to perform 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 drive. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies require pre-employment drug testing before a new employee begins work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT compliance, 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. This pool is used to randomly produce a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all members of a safety-sensitive workforce have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are entered into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing regularly throughout the year. Post-accident, probationary, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty testing are also mandatory.
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 staff must be trained to spot drug use. 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 a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help determine who is responsible 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 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 perform drug tests throughout Atlanta utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak to one of our specialists if you need advice on deciding which is best for you.
All test specimens go through an initial screening. 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 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 a urinalysis. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is quick, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need to secure a private restroom, and you must disable the sink and toilet, and pour a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns may also present a challenge because a test must be performed by an administrator of the same sex.
Additionally, 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method identifies drug use from about a half-hour after use up to several weeks after discontinuing 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 a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, simple, and cost-effective. It offers the shortest detection window though. Still, it identifies most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The biggest advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be conducted literally anywhere—even in plain sight 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 is 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 identify recent drug use, it’s becoming a popular choice 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 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 soon.
This test requires the collector to cut a small (less than 1” wide) section of hair, ideally from near the base of the scalp, and secure it in a zipper-lock plastic baggie. While this testing method is easy and convenient, some employees may have a problem with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be used 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.