What drug and alcohol test protocols can you do for your workplace?

Common diagnostic tests for discovering drug and alcohol use and abuse by employees include:

Blood Drug Test and Alcohol Screen: This test looks for measurable amounts of alcohol or drugs in a small sample of blood drawn from an employee. Substances that may be detected include barbiturates, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, nicotine, and alcohol.

Breathalyzer or Alcohol Breath Test: When an employee breathes into a breathalyzer or similar device, the amount of alcohol exhaled is an indicator of how much alcohol is in the employee’s blood. They are useful for measuring the employee’s current level of impairment, but don’t measure past use.

Hair Drug Test: With a hair drug test, past drug usage over the last 90 days can be detected. Common substances that can be detected in the hair include cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine.

Saliva Drug Test or Mouth Swab Test: A saliva drug test or a mouth swab test can detect drugs used any time
during the last one or two days. It is fast, non-invasive, and simple.

Urine Drug and Alcohol Test: The most common screen is the urine drug test that also can detect alcohol. Urinalysis can detect drug residue after the drug has worn off. In addition to alcohol, it can detect amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, and nicotine.

Is it legal for an employer to require a drug and alcohol test?

You can require job applicants to submit to a drug and alcohol test for employment. You must be consistent in your drug and alcohol test policies and procedures. Selectively testing some people, but not others, will land you in regulatory trouble.

Laws vary from state to state. In some states, employer drug testing can be done as part of the job application process. In others, you can offer the job contingent on taking and passing a drug and alcohol test. In some states and cases, you can test employees for drugs and alcohol at the workplace on an ongoing basis.

Various agencies, from OSHA to the DOT to the FAA all have drug testing regulations. States and counties often layer on their own regulations. You can find information about DOT drug test requirements here.

In some states, marijuana use is legal. In many areas, a drug addiction is considered a disability, and thus ADA laws apply.

Patient Plus can help you sort it all out and stay compliant.

Need help with your employer drug and alcohol test program?

We can help you with designing a drug and alcohol test program that is compliant with state and federal regulations. Call us directly at 225-376-2601 or fill out the form below.

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