We have to start by saying that the main goal of conducting employment and pre-employment drug tests is to create a healthy and safe workplace in which nothing can happen.
If you wish to do so, you have to be strict as an employer and conduct regular drug tests for both applicants and current employees, because that way you will be able to avoid accidents and problems that may happen with the drug abuse.
The most common testing methods are:
- Urinalysis – You have probably heard that this is the most common and popular testing method for most drugs that you have consumed regularly, especially if you have in mind that it was the gold standard back in the day.
- Hair Analysis – This is not that common due to the expensive price tag, but nowadays, more and more employers are deciding to combine it with a urine drug test, or to conduct only this particular one. The main reason for that is that it is accurate, can determine whether an applicant or employee has a history of drug usage, and it is challenging to cheat. The best way to cleanse your hair from THC and other drug metabolites are by finding hair detox shampoo for a drug test.
- Saliva – The other affordable choice is an oral fluid drug test that requires mouth swabbing and determining whether you have active drug compounds within your saliva. The main issue is low detection window which is why it is not efficient as pre-employment screening, but after an accident, it is an exemplary method to conduct so that you can see whether theemployee is currently under the influence or not.
Majority of employers are choosing urinalysis because it is the most affordable, and it has decent accuracy if performed under the supervision and in medical facility or lab. On the other hand, the hair drug test is not that common, but it is efficient, especially for chronic users.
Some federal industries are using urine drug test as the standard such as DOT, but the next step is to approve saliva drug test as the efficient way of testing, which will happen in the next few years.
The main problem with urinalysis is its inaccuracy and ability to tamper with the results, which is why oral fluid and hair analysis are gaining prominence, and more and more companies are becoming aware that these methods are more efficient for finding abusers.
Urinalysis features the lowest number of positive rates, and even though that is okay, the question lies in the idea is that real state of things or that happens because people found ways to cheat through it.
Both hair and urine drug tests can detect numerous drugs and even prescription medications which are problematic for specific industries because they can reduce productivity and unable people to handle their job efficiently.
Most screening methods will check for both prescription and illicit drugs, and if you notice that your employee features problem with prescription meds, you should get doctor’s report so that you can see whether a person is using them per instructions.
We recommend you to check here if you wish to learn DOT guidelines when it comes to drug testing.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Urinalysis – Urine drug test is the only approved method by federal law so that workplaces can conduct them without breaching privacy regulations as well as other laws that are protecting employees. The best thing about it is the ability to perform and collect the specimen, and you can screen them for numerous prescription meds and illegal drugs. However, the main problem lies in the idea that people have found ways to cheat this particular test and to tamper with the results. Therefore, they can easily manipulate urine specimen by using fake pee, synthetic urine, and other methods such as dilution that will mask theeffects. Of course, in the last few years, professional labs noticed ways for cheating, so today is not simple to do it at all. The main idea is to conduct observation and testing under supervision, while other methods will determine the amount of creatinine, pH levels, and temperature to ensure that the specimen is relevant. In case that an employee brings a diluted sample, you have to conduct another test in the short-term period.
- Hair Testing – Taking this particular type of test is simple and completely non-invasive, which means that you can handle everything with ease. It can detect drug abuse for a long time, up to three months, and it is efficient if you wish to see whether applicants or employees feature the history of drug use such as opiates, meth, and cocaine that leaves saliva and urine in a matter of days. It is the best method possible that will allow you to reduce the issues that may come with long-term drug abuse, and it is almost impossible to cheat the test in general. Of course, they can use detox shampoos for at least a few days before the test to remove everything from the hair follicle, which is an efficient way to do it, but these shampoos are not that cheap and they will affect the hair’s integrity as well. If someone consumes drugs sporadically, this particular test is not efficient, and it may show negative results. At the same time, if you consume anything right before the test, it will not show in your hair until it reaches the point of five days after consumption.
- Saliva – We have mentioned above that oral fluid screening can happen onside and immediately, which is the main reason for its popularity. It can easily detect the previous and recent usage, but it is not efficient for long-term patterns because every drug passes the saliva in 48 hours after consumption. Even though it is appealing due to fast results and non-invasive method, the problem lies in the detection window. However, testers have to find FDA (visit their official website: https://www.fda.gov/) approved swab tests and send to the lab for confirmation so that you can get the relevant and accurate results.