PRE EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTING

Pre employment drug test




Back in the late 1980's Ronald Reagan signed into law a plan to restrict federal employees drug use. Congress then passed the Drug Free Workplace Act in 1988, which led to mandatory guidelines for drug testing of federal government employees.




Even though the SAMHSA affected only U.S. government employees, a lot of local and state governments implemented comparable programs.


Here’s another acronym for you, (NIDA) the National Institute on Drug Abuse previously controlled the SAMHSA. What does the National Institute on Drug Abuse do?


NIDA is the world’s biggest sponsor of research on drug addiction. It is under the direction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health.


pre employment drug testing


Particular federal agencies under SAMHSA guidelines are obligated to pre employment test and drug test certain types of employees. Specific federal workers and business drivers have to meet (DOT) Department of Transportation requirements.


High risk and safety conscious transportation occupations such as…


  • railroads
  • pipelines
  • trucking
  • aviation
  • mass transit
…and other transportation industries are obliged to drug and alcohol testing by the (OTETA) Ominbus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.


Since most drug employment pre testing involves collecting urine samples, it can be a humiliating and embarrassing process for the employee.



As a result of the majority of pre hire drug tests being urine based, there has been wide spread “cheating” by job applicants. Job seekers and employees use flushing methods designed to rid the body of certain types of drugs. Some of these techniques are also intended to trick or fool the drug test for employment by using…
  • coffee
  • certain types of food
  • herbs
  • detox tablets
  • other adulterants (any substance intended to lessen the purity or effectiveness of a substance)
It is also assumed that drinking a lot of water before a urine drug employment test will weaken or eliminate any metabolites or drugs in your system. The intent is to get the unwanted drugs below their cutoff levels.


pre employment drug testing


Before employment drug tests

A metabolite is any substance produced or used during metabolism (digestion). In drug use, the term usually refers to the end product that remains after metabolism.


For example a job seeker knows she will be tested for a certain drug so she uses one of the techniques mentioned above.



She drinks a lot of coffee to hide or dilute XYZ drug in her system. When the caffeine in the coffee interacts with the XYZ drug it produces another chemical or drug.


The new substance is a metabolite. The least amount of a drug or metabolite in an employee drug test before it’s reported as positive is called a cutoff level.


The specific pre employment drug examination used most often by businesses and organizations is called the (“NIDA-5” or the “SAMHSA-5”) meaning the test is for five kinds of drugs. This basic pre employment drug investigation looks for…


  • Cocaine (Cocaine, free base, crack, Benzoylecogine)
  • Opiates (Heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
  • Cannabinoids (Marijuana, hashish)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust)
  • Amphetamines (Amphetamines, methamphetamines, speed)

pre employment drug testing


In recent years other drugs have come on the scene for a pre employment drug check. These drugs are…
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Qualuudes)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon compounds)
  • Benzodiazepines (Tranquilizers: xanax, clonopin, valium, serax, Librium, ativan, diazepam)
  • Barbituates (Phenobarbital, secobarbitol, pentobarbital, amobarbital,butalbital)
  • LSD
  • Inhalents (Benzene, Xylene, Toluene)
  • Hallucinogens (MDE, MDA, MDMA, mescaline, psilocybin)
These are most of the ones being tested for now, but there are others. Whew! It’s really frightening what people are putting into there bodies!

The typical types of drug employment pre test are…

Urine drug test

This is also called a urinalysis test and involves the one to be tested giving a urine sample.

Saliva drug test

A test sample of saliva can’t be adulterated.

Hair alcohol test

Growing hair leaves indicators or markers that are present only when alcohol is in the bloodstream.

Sweat drug test

Patches are placed on the skin to gather a sweat collection over a period of time.

Hair drug test

Growing hair retains any drug that’s abused for about 3 to 6 months. The longer the hair the longer the drug remains.

Blood drug test

This test is the most accurate but is also the most expensive.


pre employment drug testing


The length of time after a job seeker took a drug that an employer will test for is the detection time. The pre drug test will show the presence of the drug or its metabolite in the individuals sample.


The period of time for finding the drug in your system is influenced by…
  • type of sample
  • test process
  • metabolism (changing food to energy, building cells in the body)
  • how often used
  • cutoff levels
There are also other reasons that can affect the drug detection time in the sample given by a job seeker. Pre employment drug screens are getting more sophisticated. When you are asked to take a drug test make sure know all the facts. Follow this link for more info on how a pre employment drug testing program works.


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