Currently, drug tests are the greatest defense employers can maintain to abate the hiring of individuals using many types of substances. Almost every type of illicit substance can be detected from a bevy of different methods today, from marijuana to amphetamines to steroids.
The most common drug screening test in the workplace’s hiring process is the urine screen because of its cost and its popularity with its accuracy and the wide spectrum of substances that it can detect.
Of the many other types of drug tests available, hair follicle analysis remains another widely used option because of its non-invasive method and large window of detection of up to 90 days. It is a good test for cocaine detection. The hair follicle test can reveal historical patterns of drug use. While it can’t detect certain substances such as TCA or LSD, it remains a worthy option given its difficulty for subjects to adulterate.
Saliva (Oral Fluid) testing is not as popular, but it is inexpensive and detects drug use only for up to 48 hours. Lab-based testing is scientifically accurate and equivalent to urine testing. It is available for reasons including employment screening, random drug testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion. It is also used for follow-up and return to duty situations. Saliva cannot detect the frequency of use and is not approved for federal testing.
Other invasive options such as blood samples are available but are more costly since they require specific equipment and medically trained administrators, but they give the most accurate results and are thus reserved for esteemed employment.