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What is drug testing?

Drugs eventually show up in body fluids and hair in one form or another. There are five primary types of drug tests: urine, hair, nails, blood, and saliva.

The most commonly used specimens are urine, hair, and nail.

Urine analysis is less invasive than blood analysis, typically the least expensive, and can detect infrequent or recent single use.

Hair analysis is the least invasive, but may not reveal recent use. In hair, certain drugs can be detected for longer periods historically, but typically only for heavy-duty and continuous use.

Nail analysis is the most difficult to adulterate. Donors often have to wait to provide a sample, until their nails are long enough to test.

Why should I drug test?

Pre-employment drug test is by far the most common type of drug test used by businesses. It has the advantage of being inexpensive, since only one test per potential employee needs to be paid for by the company.

Random drug testing is the most effective drug deterrence method. The goal of random testing is to discourage drug use among employees.

Post-incident drug testing is not a commonly administered test compared to the other two, but the financial ramifications of not testing employees after an accident (or other on-the-job incident) makes this test worthwhile for most businesses.

What About Prescription and Over-The-Counter (OTC) Drugs?

In the event that your results reveals a potential prescription or OTC medication in your system, the Medical Review Officer (MRO) may contact you to verify any medications you may be taking, if applicable.

What is a Medical Review Officer (MRO)?

These are licensed physicians who are responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results as well as evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results. They must complete ongoing education courses in order to maintain their status as a MRO and act as a safeguard to ensure the quality and accuracy of your results. Certain industries and government organizations, such as DOT, require that a MRO review their employees’ test results.

What Should I Bring With Me to a Drug and Alcohol Screening?

Please bring the following items with you for a drug and alcohol screening:

  • A valid picture ID such as a passport, driver’s license, military ID, employee badge, or any other photo ID that was issued by a federal, state, or local government agency. Identification requires a valid government-issues ID.
  • All authorization forms or paperwork from your employer

Is There Anything I Need to Do to Prepare?

If completing a urine drug screen, you’ll need to be able to provide 45 mL or 1.5 fluid ounces of urine sample. Please do not go to the restroom prior to your test. If you can’t provide a full sample once the collection has started, you will have three hours to complete a full sample. If you leave during the collection for any reason, this is considered a refusal to test and can hold the same consequences as a positive result to your employer.

When will I receive the results?

Immediate results from urine testing are possible, but not guaranteed. Hair, nail and blood testing must be sent to a lab. Lab results are typically available in 1-5 days for urine, and 7-10 days for Hair and Nail.

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