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Drug Testing in the Workplace

Almost 22.5 million people abuse drugs. Out of that number, close to 70 percent are employed. The numbers go even higher for alcohol abuse. Almost 80% of alcohol binge drinkers have a full-time job.

Drug testing in the workplace is critical to ensuring that other employees, clients, and patients are safe. It can also open doors for employees who have an illicit drug use problem or alcohol use disorder to seek help for their addiction or abuse.

If you are wondering about a drug test for work, then keeping reading on for more information.

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Why is employment drug testing important? Drug testing for work is critical to assessing an employee’s safety and ability to perform their job efficiently.

Testing is not solely performed at random once an employee is hired. Testing is common for pre-employment screens, suspicion of abuse, following accidents, at random, periodically, and for a return to duty.

A drug test is conducted if a supervisor suspects behaviors or instances that indicate potential drug or alcohol abuse. Another common instance is following an accident at work.

This is common for people who handle machinery or vehicles. Twelve hours post-accident is the typical window for drug testing an employee involved in an accident. It is also advised that the employee not return to work until receiving a negative result.

Finally, some employees who have gone through a rehabilitation process following drug abuse need a drug test to return.

Guidelines for Testing

In the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) there is a branch that addresses substance abuse. This branch is called the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The SAMHSA gives guidelines for many industries when using drug testing. It also provides an outline of the testing procedures.

This is to avoid any tampering with the results and ensure that the results are accurate. The guidelines are:

  • Chain of Custody
  • Initial Screen
  • Confirmation Test
  • Split Sample

Essentially, the chain of custody is the consent form and reason for testing. It also helps identify the sample. This paperwork is critical to keep on file for record.

False positives happen – for that reason, it is advised for a second test to be conducted following a positive result. A split sample follows this guideline slightly. It places the urine sample into two different testing cups.

This gives medical examiners the opportunity for two tests. A common industry that uses this method is the Department of Transportation.

SAMHSA requires testing for five different illicit drugs. Private employers can choose to test for more substances. However, SAMHSA gives industries a good idea of what groups of drugs and substances to include.

The most common drug test for employment include:

Usually, drug tests have panels that test for multiple substances. Knowing which bulk drug testing supplies your facility needs is the most important step.

Urine Drug Test

A urine drug test benefits the workplace for many reasons. One of the main ones is its ability to detect multiple substances over a longer period of time.

You can choose to add other substances to a urine drug screen such as alcohol. Ethyl glucuronide is the breakdown of ethanol in alcohol and shows up in urine samples. If you suspect there is alcohol and substance abuse, this is the testing route to go with.

A typical urine sample will test for many prescription misuses and illicit drugs. Included in this list are opioids, benzodiazepines, and even THC.

For an accurate result, employees are usually instructed to remove everything from their pockets before entering the bathroom. Testing samples need around 45 millimeters of urine in the test cup.

Depending on the type of urine test and where you have it, the testing results time frame may vary. However, some tests have results ready in just a few minutes.

These tests are commonly conducted at home as well.

Cut-Off Levels

With any urine sample, there are certain cut-off levels on the testing strips. These are in place to avoid increased numbers of false-positive results. For instance, if a numeric value for testing was too low, then someone who is not taking illicit drugs will show up with a positive result.

This is because there are small amounts of substances in many foods and drinks. A cut-off mark tries to eliminate unknowing encounters from people.

Cut-off marks do not tell the person reviewing the sample how much someone has taken. Each person processes medications and substances differently. It also fluctuates based on how much someone took and when they took it.

However, it is important to have an idea of common cut-off marks for substances. Additionally, drugs remain in someone’s system for average periods of time. Each test may differ – but some average time frames for substances detected in the urine are:

  • Marijuana – three to 30 days (depending on use)
  • Barbiturates – one day
  • Amphetamines and Heroin – two days
  • Morphine – two to three days
  • Cocaine – two to four days
  • Benzodiazepines – three days
  • PCP – eight days

12-Panel Drug Test

Urine tests are the most common form of drug testing in the workplace. It is easy, accurate, and reliable.

The 12-panel urine drug test gives employers a good idea of an employee’s illicit substance abuse. As you can probably guess, the 12-panel test includes 12 different compounds or substances.

Some of the 12 drugs tested are usually:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • Oxycodone
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants

The 12-panel urine drug test from 12 Panel Now follows SAMHSA cut-off regulations and is FDA approved. Better yet – it gives results in just a few minutes and is 99% accurate. This is one of the best urine tests for an overall viewpoint of illicit drug abuse.

Cut-Off Levels

With a 12-panel urine drug test, there are various cut-off levels. 12 Panel Now has accurate readings and detections. Their cut-off frame for substances are:

  • Amphetamines – 1000 ng/mL
  • Barbiturates – 300 ng/mL
  • Benzodiazepines – 300 ng/mL
  • Cocaine – 300 ng/mL
  • Ecstasy – 500 ng/mL
  • Marijuana – 50 ng/mL
  • Oxycodone – 50 ng/mL
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants – 1000 ng/mL

What does ng/mL exactly mean? As discussed earlier, it would be nearly impossible to tell how much of the substance someone has taken. These markers are just baseline levels for urine samples.

Nanograms per millimeter is the full term for ng/mL. It is the standardized method used for drug testing levels. This terminology and testing are also similar for oral swabs.

13-Panel Drug Test

As you can imagine – a 13-panel drug test includes testing for 13 different drugs. How is it different than the 12-panel one?

Usually, this test includes Fentanyl. Similar to other synthetic opioids, Fentanyl falls under the same branch but is significantly stronger.

In fact, some studies show that it is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Since 2010, there is an approximately 40% increase in overdoses involving Fentanyl. It is now the leading cause of opioid overdoses.

For that reason, it is becoming necessary to start testing for Fentanyl in the workplace. A 13-panel drug test from sites such as 12panelnow gives employers an opportunity to cover all their bases when it comes to drug testing.

Fentanyl Strips

If you do not want to go with the 13-panel drug test for Fentanyl, there are other options for testing. Fentanyl test strips are commonly used instead.

With a Fentanyl urine test, you can place a testing strip into a drug test cup to check for cut-off marks of Fentanyl in someone’s system. Fentanyl strips are easy to use and give readings in a few minutes.

These strips are also useful for testing Fentanyl outside of a urine cup. For instance, you can place the strip into the solution mixed with water, or you can run water over the area you suspect Fentanyl is in.

The cut-off mark for Fentanyl testing is 200 ng/mL.

Bulk Drug Test

Typically, it is more budget-friendly to buy drug tests in bulk. The cost is lower and provides your clinic or workplace with plenty of drug testing cups. If you are in a rehab center or similar clinic, these tests are frequently used.

Be sure to check out a 12-panel drug test in bulk or other bulk drug test cups. Bulk kits supply clinics with as many as 10,000 tests based on your order.

Work and Drug Testing

It is important to create a healthy work environment. Drug testing in the workplace protects other people as well as your employees. It can also deter people from abusing substances if they are employed full-time.

Having a reliable and safe urine testing kit makes all the difference. Check out our website for a variety of multi-panel urine cups and other testing kits. Feel free to contact us on our website, and let our professional team help you determine what test is best for your workplace.

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