A pre-employment drug test is a test that an employer will administer to prospective employees before they can be hired for the job. This test is typically done to ensure that the employee will not pose a safety risk or any kind of liability while they are on the job and ensure that they do not use drugs.
A standard drug screen includes testing marijuana, cocaine metabolites, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP. Most employers require their employees to pass all six tests before being considered for hire (if you don’t pass one of these tests, you’ll need to reschedule your interview).
Why Are Employers Asking For Pre-Employment Drug Tests?
Employers are asking for pre-employment drug tests to ensure the workplace’s and employees’ safety. Employers want to make sure that their employees are not impaired at work, which could result in injury or death to themselves or others around them.
If an employer sees signs that an employee may be stealing drugs, they will conduct a drug test. Other reasons employers ask for pre-employment drug tests include ensuring that the employee is not taking dangerous drugs (for example, prescription painkillers or steroids), addictive (heroin), or illegal (cocaine).
What Is Included in a Standard Drug Screen?
The standard drug screen is a urine test. This is the most common type of test because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to administer. It checks for the presence of drugs in your body, including:
- Amphetamines (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)
- Marijuana (THC)
A blood test can also be used for drug screening. The results are usually ready within two hours but may take as long as four hours, depending on how busy the lab happens to be that day. A hair follicle test looks at substances from approximately 90 days before the collection date using this method (so if you’re going back further than 90 days before your interview, probably not worth it). Finally, saliva tests examine saliva rather than urine but give similar results in detection and time needed for analysis.
What About People Who Take Prescription Drugs?
If you use prescription drugs, it’s good to read the label on your medication to see if it contains any prohibited substances. If so, there are ways around this issue. According to DrugAbuse.gov, many drug tests don’t test for drugs metabolized by the body quickly enough to affect test results severely.
For example, some prescription medications like hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin) show up in urine tests but not blood tests; therefore, if your employer is only conducting a urine test and you do not intend to quit taking your medication due to employment concerns, then there is no need for alarm!
However, suppose your employer does require both types of testing and requires that all applicants pass both types before being hired or promoted. In that case, it may be time for an intervention with their HR department over this matter because what they’re asking for isn’t reasonable or fair at all — mainly since many people who take these medications rely on them medically!
Some cities and state governments also prohibit employers from taking drug tests without any substantial reason. Albany, for instance, has recently passed an order that prevents employers from testing their employees for weed.
According to the orders, employers cannot ask for a drug test from employees unless they have a visual appearance of consuming drugs. In such a case, employers can go ahead and find centers for blood tests available in Albany, NY or any other location and ask the employees to provide samples for a drug test.
How Accurate Are Urine Tests?
In the United States, drug testing can detect drugs in your system for up to three days. But how accurate are these tests? The short answer is not 100% correct. In fact, urine tests have a margin of error of around 20 percent, and more sophisticated tests often have higher margins of error than that. In other words, this means that if you test positive for marijuana use on a urine test, there’s a 1 in 5 chance it’s a false positive (meaning you don’t have marijuana in your system).
There are different types of drug tests which vary depending on what kind of test is being performed and what kind of sample is being tested (urine versus hair follicle). For example, hair follicle testing provides longer detection times than urine testing, giving employers more time to investigate an employee who may be using drugs off the clock.
However, this also means that if any employee has smoked weed at home or in their car during their lunch break or after hours when they’re supposed to be working, then it will show up as part of the standard background check conducted by most employers before bringing someone on board permanently after working there as temp/contractor for several months already!
Do You Have to Provide Samples on the Spot?
You can provide urine samples at home, but you cannot offer blood, hair, or saliva samples. You also cannot provide breath samples at home.
Urine tests are usually done on-site and require you to urinate in a cup for five minutes before bringing it to the lab for testing. However, suppose you have a medical condition that prevents producing a clean sample within the time limit (urine test results must be reported within two hours). In that case, you can request an alternate method of collection—which means giving it at home instead of in front of the employer’s representative who did not see your peeing process.
Blood tests involve getting tested first thing in the morning when your blood alcohol level is lowest: no later than 10 am! It will take about three days before the results are ready for review by your potential employer. Hair follicle drug testing is one method that only takes three days from start to finish; however, it requires taking off all clothes during collection as they’ll pull out some hairs (about 50) from around your head, which labs will later test after being shipped back there.
Are There Other Types of Pre-employment Drug Test?
Other types of pre-employment drug test include:
A Saliva Test
The saliva test is a relatively non-invasive procedure that can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Saliva samples are collected using a cotton swab, which is rubbed on the inside of your cheek and then sent to a lab for analysis. While this method isn’t as accurate as urine or laboratory blood testing, it’s helpful if you’re looking for an alternative to other methods.
A DNA Test
A DNA test is another option for drug screening that’s less invasive than other testing procedures because it does not require any blood or urine samples from you or anyone else involved (i.e., your doctor). Instead, all that’s needed is a simple cheek swab where you’ll provide some saliva under pressure from the inside of your mouth so it can be analyzed later by professionals who specialize in genetics research.
A pre-employment drug test is essential as it gives a chance to the employer to find out if a potential employee has any sort of problems. Employers who do not run the tests can lose big time as they might hire someone who can mess up their company’s reputation and financials. Pre-employment drug testing is an absolute must for everyone involved to get the best employees.