A urine drug test is a common pre-employment analysis and helps show a history of both illegal and legal drug use. Some of the compounds have medicinal use but can be abused for recreational purposes. A hair follicle, blood, and saliva can also be used for a detailed analysis, but urine remains the most popular (and cost-effective).
The rules for marijuana testing are getting tough as states are legalizing recreational marijuana use. However, the use of marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Employers are asking if they should even be drug testing for marijuana. On the federal level, the Department of Transportation (DOT) does not allow the use of medical marijuana. Just because a person marks that they have a medical marijuana card, the Medical Review Officer must not mark a drug test as negative.
For non-DOT, drug testing is not federally regulated, giving employers much more freedom to decide what to do about drug testing. In any case, the employer should have a good solid drug and alcohol screening guideline in place. Some helpful areas to consider when writing guidelines are what substances will be tested and why they will use them. Will marijuana use be permitted during breaks and lunch. The important thing is for the guidelines to be strictly adhered to by everyone in the company.
Cannabis, or THC, tends to be a prevalent substance in a search. The substance can be detected for over 30 days depending on past use and body fat. The chemical produces a combination of psychoactive effects in the user, and while it can be of great medicinal value, the potential for long-term abuse is great. In the workplace, it tends to cause delayed reactions and foggy thinking.
Methamphetamines can raise the energy level of the user and are found in many legal medications. Nasal decongestants and weight loss aids are two of the more common medications containing methamphetamine. As an abusive compound, it can greatly increase the energy levels but produce ineffective thinking. In large doses, it can cause extreme paranoia and violence in the user. Methamphetamines can be detected for up to 5 days with a common 1-panel urine drug test.
Alcohol is legal for adults. However, it is not acceptable to drink on the job. A common analysis can detect alcohol use within the last 24-hours, but there are certain analyses that can detect alcohol up to 80-hours after taking a drink. Staying alcohol-free during working hours keeps the workplace a safer place for everyone.
Steroids are a performance-enhancing substance often misused by athletes. It has become more acceptable to even out the playing field by checking for illegal steroid use before the big meet or game. Steroids can be detected for up to 30 days in the user, but not all types of analyses detect steroids, so it is important to ask for a urine drug test that detects steroids specifically.
ACUTRAQ can provide the employer’s drug testing needs and assist with writing guidelines.