Conducting Drug Tests On Employees – A Basic Guideline For Testing Employees

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Conducting Drug Tests On Employees – A Basic Guideline For Testing Employees


This is a mini handbook on how to perform drug tests on employees. The information presented in this handbook will be of great help to companies who wish to organize drug-screening programs for its workforce and, in some cases, also for its prospective employees.

Drug abuse among employees can cost companies a lot in terms of time and money because drug abusers can absent themselves often and engage in illegal activities such as theft.

Several companies now demand that their employees submit to a drug test because this has been found to be a cost-effective method of managing employees. By spending only 50-70 dollars on a single drug test, companies might avoid having to spend several hundreds of dollars on time lost, accidents, health care, and compensation.

First, you will first learn about the method of performing a drug test. There are two ways to do a drug test or a drug examination.

Laboratory Test

Employees can be requested to go to a certified laboratory to get their urine tested. The results will be available within a day. If the results of the urine test is positive, the urine is further analyzed to find out the particular types of drugs that were used.

Drug Test Kits

Companies can purchase one of the instant drug test kits that are available in stores and perform a drug test in the office itself. Instant drug test kits are inexpensive, but they are just as reliable as laboratory tests. In case a test turns out to be positive, the employees should be asked to go to the laboratory to get a detailed analysis of their urine.

Types of Drugs

Now that you know how to conduct a drug test on a prospective employee, it is time to know the different types of drugs you are have to test for. Usually, employers test their employees for usage of five commonly available drugs such as amphetamines and methamphetamine, PCP, marijuana or THC, opiates such as codeine and morphine, and cocaine.

Drug Retention

The time taken by a person to retain a particular drug within his or her system varies from individual to individual. Generally, drugs stay in a person’s system from two to four days. Some drugs such as marijuana and PCP can remain in the system for around 14 days. Sedatives such as Valium can remain in the system for about a month.

You could also try an expensive drug testing method, such as hair testing, to detect drugs that can remain in the system for around three months. Some companies also perform ten-panel drug testing, which could include testing for legal prescription drugs such a valium. Companies can also test a prospective employee for alcohol.

Employee Methods to Escape Drug Testing

Employees who are into drugs try several methods to escape a drug test. They could even attempt to manipulate their urine samples.

Companies can prevent such cases by requiring employees to provide urine samples within a certain time period. This will deter employees who are attempting methods to make the drugs leave their systems. Some of the drug tests might appear negative, but, at the same time, reveal suspicious abnormalities that, on a further test, would uncover traces of drug abuse.

Drug abuse among employees can also lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in violence. Conducting drug tests of employees every now and then is the only, and the best way, to avoid such problems at the workplace.

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