Last updated: March 20, 2023
Do you want to create a safe and drug-free workplace around the Balcones Heights, TX area? A drug-free workplace program can help you do just that so that you can improve workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even receive a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance. Thirteen states offer the incentive, and the discounts ranges from four up to ten percent.
We offer numerous drug screening services for your business throughout the Balcones Heights, TX area that help you to screen out new employees who have a substance abuse problem, discourage existing employees 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 perform screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned drug testing labs, USAMDT is available 24/7—and we come to your workplace to minimize downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you enjoy all of the advantages without dealing with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing gets conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are located or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your employee’s sleep cycle to report to a testing facility during regular business hours. Now you won’t need to pull staff off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving your crew a man short. We show up on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When should you conduct a drug test
If you are regulated by the DOT, you must follow particular laws in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic those same laws when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Balcones Heights businesses a program that tailors your drug testing policies to meet your specific needs. We’ll even write and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons for 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 allowed on the road. Many employers for the general workforce require a pre-employment drug test before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT 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. The pool is used to randomly produce a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive staff have been drug tested before they use a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, drivers are placed 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 looks for the following drugs:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Opiates including synthetic opiates
Reasonable suspicion drug testing
Your management personnel must be trained to recognize substance impairment. If they believe someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and document everything 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 identify who is responsible 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 after the safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can perform drug tests throughout Balcones Heights utilizing several different methods, depending on your needs. 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 undergo an initial screening. 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 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method approved for DOT drug testing.) Urinalysis is quick, easy, 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 place 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 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 dishonest employees to succeed.
This testing method can identify 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. Regular users can test positive for up to 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 somewhat newer, but is still every bit accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and cost-effective. It provides the smallest detection window 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 biggest advantage of a mouth swab drug test is that it can be administered 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 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 detects 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 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 approve this method into its regulations.
The less common hair follicle drug test offers the same simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window 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 administrator to cut 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 easy and convenient, some staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken instead and is tested by volume instead of 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 than head hair. Hair collected from an employee’s head can detect drug use for about 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.