Last updated: May 16, 2022
Trying to enforce a safe and drug-free workplace for your business throughout the Chico, Texas area? 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’ comp insurance. Many states offer the incentive, and the discounts could range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug testing services around Chico that enable you to screen out new employees who use drugs, discourage existing 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 areas of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct drug screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike traditional drug testing facilities, we’re available 24/7—and we travel to your company to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug testing program, you receive all of the advantages without having to deal with the administrative details. With us in charge, you can be sure your employee drug testing is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
No more interrupting your employee’s sleep cycle to go to a testing facility during regular business hours. Never again will you have to pull employees off-site for a drug test at a lab leaving the crew a man short. We arrive on-site—no matter where it is—totally prepared to professionally administer the test.
When to perform drug testing
If your company is regulated by the DOT, you are required to follow specific guidelines in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce use these same laws when creating their own drug testing policies and procedures.
USAMDT offers Chico businesses a program that customizes your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll also develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are a number of reasons to perform 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 permitted to drive. Many employers of non-DOT-regulated companies 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 compliance, however, it’s used 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 generate a list of employees who are instructed to report for a drug test immediately.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation 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 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
Train your management personnel to identify the signs of drug use. If they believe 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 a workplace accident, drug testing all staff involved can help determine 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 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 conduct drug tests throughout Chico utilizing several different methods, depending on your circumstances. 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. 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 still 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 need to disable both the sink and toilet, and place a bluing agent in the water in the toilet bowl. Privacy concerns could also be an issue because a test must be conducted 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 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 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 somewhat newer than other methods, but is still just as accurate as a urinalysis. It’s also just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the smallest detection window 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 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 becomes saturated. The 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 detect 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 testing method as an alternate drug testing method for all federally mandated employers as of January 1, 2020.
At this time, it’s unclear 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 additional cost in the eyes of more and more business owners. In fact, the DOT officially requested that the hair test replace the urine drug test. The request is working through the chain-of-command and many expect to hear the final word anytime now.
This test requires the administrator to clip 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 simple 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 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.