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Most Common Drug Test for Employment

There are a lot of companies that drug test their employees and potential new job applicants, and sometimes these common pre-employment tests are just part of the hiring process. In general, companies will notify prospective employees about their pre-employment drug tests that are part of their hiring process, and it’s typically mentioned on the initial application or beforehand on the job posting. Additionally, most companies also reserve the right to test employees for alcohol or drug use during their employment.

Who Requires the Most Common Drug Test?

Most private employers are exempt and not required to test for alcohol or drugs by law; however, major corporations and industries such as defense, transportation, safety, aviation, and transit are required by law to test new applicants and employees for alcohol and drug use. Other job industries that often require alcohol and drug testing are schools, hospitals, universities, and media corporations. State, county, and federal job applicants can also expect the most common drug test for employment.

The Most Common Drug Tests
Urinalysis Drug Testing

Urinalysis screening is the most common drug test that companies utilize for detecting the presence of alcohol and drugs. A urinalysis can detect the presence of drugs in your system, even after they have worn off. The length of time that a drug stays in your system also depends on the drug itself. For example, cannabis generally stays in your system for about 30 days while amphetamines and cocaine typically have a duration of five days. A urine drug test can also detect other drugs like methamphetamines, opiates, nicotine, heroin, and alcohol.

Saliva Drug Testing

Saliva or oral testing is the second most common drug test conducted by companies, it’s also known as a mouth swab test. Saliva drug tests can be utilized by employers who are interested in knowing more about recent alcohol and drug activities; however, this isn’t the most reliable test for long-term use. Their range for detecting usage is within a few hours of consumption for up to three days. Saliva tests are less invasive than urine tests, less susceptible to adulteration, easy to gather samples for, and saliva tests can be utilized for detecting cannabis, methamphetamines, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, opiates, and alcohol.

Hair Drug Testing

Hair Drug testing is typically utilized to detect the use of drugs over the longer term and is very accurate up to 90 days. This type of drug test also eliminates any type of adulteration; however, it’s generally more expensive and is used by certain companies to ensure their employees are staying in compliance with their drug policies. Hair drug testing can detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, phencyclidine, and alcohol.

Blood Drug Testing

A blood drug test is the most accurate test in the workplace environment, and it can be utilized to detect the levels of drugs in the blood at that exact moment. This is a very invasive drug test; however, much like the hair drug test, there’s virtually no chance for adulteration.

A blood drug test generally takes place in a doctor’s office or in the emergency room, and they’re also expensive; therefore, only certain employers will require a blood test. Not only will a blood test detect any type of drug, but they can also benefit the applicant by detecting other health ailments such as diabetes, blood glucose, and electrolyte levels as well as liver, kidney, and heart disease.

State Drug Testing Laws

Drug Testing Laws can vary from state to state. As an illustration, industries that are regulated by the US Department of Transportation fall under federal and state regulations; however, in certain states, there are limits on how and when drug test screening can be conducted. If you’re worried about what a pre-employment drug test may reveal, it’s always best to check the drug testing laws in your state. You can find this information on any official state website, and you should also be able to obtain information on what types of common pre-employment tests are allowed by law in your state.

Drug Testing Employment Facts

Drug testing for pre-employment is the analysis of blood, urine and other types of biological samples that determine if the applicant has been using drugs or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the pre-employment screening process. There are many different circumstances that can also lead to a company to subject an employee to a drug test:

  • Random Drug Test: these are conducted to detect on-the-job drug use, which most companies with work-related drug policies actively pursue and enforce.
  • Post-Accident Drug Testing: these tests can be instigated by on-the-job accidents that involve vehicles and personal injuries where property damage or human casualties have occurred.
  • Safety Drug Testing: these tests are often applied in situations when safety issues were ignored due to the employee’s physical and mental impairment, potentially because the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
US Employment Drug Testing

US Employment drug testing is often conducted when applying for state and federal jobs such as those in the airline industry, transportation, hospital, railways, and other workplace environments where public safety is a high priority.

With the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in many states, workplace pre-employment drug testing is becoming more mainstream for US employers across the board to reduce the impact of drug abuse, increase safety awareness, and limit low work productivity in the workplace.