How Drug Screening Works

  • Published: May, 26 2020
  • Updated: May, 26 2020

It’s not a surprise for any business to want to maintain a drug-free workplace. It makes for a safer workplace where people have the necessary focus and reflexes to do their jobs correctly. It also makes for a more productive workplace, as judgment is not impaired, and decisions can be made quickly.

However, wanting a drug free workplace, and maintaining that policy are two different things. To maintain a drug-free workplace, mechanisms must be in place to enforce this policy. One of those is professional drug screening services. Here’s how it works.

The Process

Professional drug screening services consist of two phases. The first phase is the collection of a sample that is viable for testing. Depending on the type of drug test administered, this can be as simple as alcohol molecules for a handheld breathalyzer, or urine, blood, or even hair samples.

Excepting a breath test, most samples will need to be analyzed by specialized equipment in the controlled environment of a lab. This is the second phase, where the sample is sent to a lab and broken down, usually to test for metabolites. Metabolites are the “residue” leftover in the body after a drug has been processed. Different drugs create different metabolites.

A Better Quality Hire

One area where professional drug screening services can immediately benefit you is in the hiring process. Many potentially harmful applicants will withdraw from applying once they know a successful drug test is a requirement for hiring.

This means that fewer unsavory and unqualified applicants will apply for the positions you offer, leaving a smaller but better pool of qualified, responsible applicants.

Legal Requirements

If you have a business in professional transportation, this means your business likely falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation and its specific agencies. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, Federal Railway Administration, or the Federal Aviation Administration examples of this.

Any business that works under the DoT and its respective agencies must adhere to federal compliance with drug testing. This drug testing is both periodic and sometimes randomly assigned. In either case, professional drug screening services are required to produce the results the DoT wants to see to allow businesses to continue to operate.

If you want to maximize the effectiveness of professional drug screening services for your workplace, make sure some of your staff are adequately trained. Look into programs like drug awareness training courses for supervisors, and think about filling a position for designated employer representative to handle drug testing-related matters.

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it. We give great legal advice, but this page (and the rest of our site) is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual legal advice. If you’d like to establish an attorney-client relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official. Sending us an email or reading this page alone doesn’t mean we represent you.

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