Last updated: May 16, 2022
Looking to create a safe and drug-free workplace for your business in the Hawkins, TX 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’ compensation insurance. Several states offer the incentive, and the savings ranges from four up to ten percent.
USAMDT provides a wide range of drug testing services throughout the Hawkins, TX area that help you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse issue, 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 parts of your company if you’re not. And we can conduct screening at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
As opposed to old-fashioned labs, we are 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 is conducted on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt the staff’s sleep cycle to report to a testing laboratory during normal business hours. Never again will you have to pull workers off-site for a drug test at a laboratory 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 Department of Transportation, you are required to follow strict laws in regard to employee drug testing. Many employers for non-DOT-regulated companies mimic these same guidelines when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Hawkins businesses a program that customizes 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 to conduct workplace drug testing, including:
Pre-employment drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires an employee to have a negative drug test result on file before a driver is permitted to drive. Many employers for the general workforce require pre-employment drug testing before a new hire can begin work as well.
Random drug testing
Most people associate random drug testing with DOT regulations, 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 create a list of employees who are required to take a drug test.
DOT drug testing
The Department of Transportation requires that all safety-sensitive employees have been drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, drivers are placed into the random test pool and may be called up for drug testing at various intervals 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 impaired, they should know the company policy and document everything before approaching the employee. The suspected employee must then report for a drug test immediately.
Post-accident drug testing
If there is an accident on-site, drug testing all staff involved can help determine who is responsible and protect 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 that safety-sensitive employee has a negative drug test result.
Drug testing methods
We can conduct drug tests throughout Hawkins using a variety of different methods, depending on your circumstances. Each method has pros and cons, and you should speak with one of our specialists if you need help deciding which is best for you.
All test samples undergo an initial screening. The immunoassay (IA) test identifies 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 returning a positive result go 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 the urine drug test. (This is currently the only testing method the DOT will accept.) Urinalysis is fast, simple, and cost-effective, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
You need access to a private bathroom, and you have to disable both the sink and toilet, and place 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 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 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. 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 relatively newer, but is still every bit accurate as urine drug testing. It’s also just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest detection window though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drug use 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 placing a mouth swab between the lower cheek and gum. The employee holds it in place until it is saturated. The entire 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 can detect 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 unclear whether or not the DOT will incorporate the test 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 provides a 90-day period of detection overrides the added cost in the eyes of more and more employers. 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 collector to clip a small (less than 1” wide) amount of hair, preferably 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 staff may have an issue with having their hair cut.
Body hair can be taken 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 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 doesn’t detect current impairment or very recent drug use.