Last updated: December 5, 2022
Want to create a safe and drug-free workplace throughout the Newton, TX area? Drug testing can help you do just that so that you can boost workplace safety, increase productivity, and you may even get a discount on your workers’ comp insurance. Several states currently offer the incentive, and the savings range from four up to ten percent.
We offer a wide range of drug screening services in Newton that enable you to screen out new employees with a substance abuse problem, 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 parts of your business if you’re not. And we can perform testing at your location or ours, 24/7/365.
Unlike old-fashioned labs, we are available 24/7—and we come to your workplace to reduce downtime. When we’re managing your entire drug-free workplace 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 performed on time, every time, no matter where your staff are or when you need them tested.
You don’t need to interrupt your night shift’s sleep cycle to visit a testing laboratory during daytime business hours. Now you won’t need to pull an employee off-site for drug testing at a facility 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 a drug test
If your business is regulated by the Department of Transportation, you must adhere to strict guidelines on employee drug testing. Many employers for the general workforce mimic those regulations when creating their own drug free workplace program.
USAMDT offers Newton employers a program that tailors your drug testing policies for your unique needs. We’ll even develop and then implement your policy, and provide employee education and staff training at your request.
There are several reasons for 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 the general workforce 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 used in other industries too. The department requires all safety-sensitive staff to have their names added to a random pool. This 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 employees are drug tested before they operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In addition, 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 recognize the signs of drug impairment. If they suspect someone is under the influence, they should know the company policy and have everything documented 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 staff involved can help identify where responsibility lies 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 have tested positive for drugs. 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 administer drug tests throughout Newton utilizing several different methods, depending on your situation. 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 you.
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 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 still a urine drug test. (This is currently the only 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 have to disable both 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 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 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 a few weeks after the last use. Chronic marijuana use is an exception to the rule. Habitual 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 just as accurate as a urinalysis. Additionally, it’s just as fast, easy, and inexpensive. It provides the shortest window of detection though. Still, it drug-testing most drugs within minutes of use. It only detects drugs for a period of up to 72 hours prior to the test.
The most powerful advantage of mouth swab drug testing is that it can be administered 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 becomes 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 detects 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 simplicity as mouth swab testing, however, it’s more expensive.
The fact that it offers a 90-day detection window overrides the added 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 passing 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) amount 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 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.