Pre Employment Drug Test

A pre employment drug testing program can be humiliating to job seekers and employees. Many in the workplace feel that life away from a job is none of the employer or potential employers business. Unfortunately that idea is becoming more of a myth everyday.

Each year in government and business many thousands of job seekers are required to take a drug employment pre test. This testing began in the 1980's with the drug testing of employees in particular U.S. government jobs. These government jobs involved the (DOT) Department of Transportation and others.

If you are looking for a job you should first understand that the employer can legally require you to participate in a drug testing of employee program. As condition of employment, companies have been given this authority consistently by the court system. Businesses and organizations have to get your permission in writing to conduct the drug test on you.

Most of the largest businesses do some form of pre drug testing of job applicants. Employers justify their pre employment drug checks to minimize…

  • on the job drug abuse
  • crime
  • tardiness
  • absenteeism
  • turnover
  • theft
  • psychological or problems with attitude
  • low productivity

pre employment drug testing program

Drug Testing Programs

Employers have the right to make sure the workplace is safe and secure for the employees, vendors and customers. Businesses also have to be mindful of using a drug and alcohol testing program as part of an overall plan of pre employment screening.

Companies can held liable and sued if someone under the influence of a drug causes harm to fellow employees and others or damages property while on the job. Follow this link to see why an appropriate pre employment background investigation can protect the job seeker and employee.

Drug Testing Program

The drug testing of employee prospects begins by directing the job seeker to what’s called a collection site. Urine testing is by far the most common method used by employers. Also called a urinalysis, the urine sample that the job seeker provides is sent to a lab for examination.

If the test results are negative, urine test are considered correct for an instant screening test. However, urine testing is viewed as worthless if there is a positive test because that requires laboratory verification that the test is indeed positive. The remaining sample has to also be retested.

pre employment drug testing program

Employers normally test for what’s called the “SAMHSA-5”, “NIDA-5” or the “Five-Screen”. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency. NIDA is the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These agencies control the drug testing guidelines used by the federal government. Many businesses use some form of these same procedures.

The “Five Screen” represents the five most common drug groups tested for.
commonly known as PCP

cocaine, benzoylecognine, cocaethylene-tests for cocaine metabolite

marijuana, hashish-tests for THC metabolite

amphetamine, methamphetamine

heroin, opium, codeine, morphine
Many other companies and organizations now conduct a "Ten Screen" which includes prescription drugs like xanax, valium and librium. Companies are also expanding their drug and alcohol testing programs to include others drugs, such as...
  • Inhalents (toulene, xylene, benzene)

  • LSD

  • Hallucinogens (psilocybin, mescaline, MDA, MDE, MDMA)

pre employment drug testing program

If you are a job seeker and use any of the drugs mentioned, those drugs will normally stay in your system for 2-4 days. If the drug use is heavy and depending on the particular drug it can be detected in your system for 2 weeks or far longer.

Prior to drug testing a job applicant the sample to be collected has to begin with a container that has an unbroken tamper proof seal. Peeing in a cup or container is okay for certain tests, however others need drugs removed from urine samples upfront. A drug employment pre test usually will require the job seeker to provide a urine sample within a set time period.

Employers want to "catch" the drugs if any while they are in your body. Laboratory Pre employment drug tests are performed in two different ways. Screening tests are done first, and involves every sample that is processed in the lab. If the sample tests positive then a Confirmation test is done.

Research shows that screen test pre employment drug examinations most of which are urine based have higher false positive and false negative rates than confirmation tests. The results of urine based tests are often manipulated by the job seeker to fool or cheat on the test. Pre employment drug testing program, may hurt job seekers

pre employment drug testing program

When the job applicant’s pre employment drug testing program results are negative that information is given to the employer if the testing is done by a third party. The sample is also thrown away. Urine test results are affected by things like…
  • weight
  • race
  • age
…but also include other issues as well.

Confirmation tests that are performed according to SAMHSA guidelines use what’s called mass spectrometry. The tests are very accurate and also very expensive. If a screening test is a false positive it will test negative on the confirmation test.

If during the pre employment drug screen process both the screening test and the confirmation test are positive then the sample information is given to the employer as positive. The majority of laboratories maintain their samples for long periods of time in case of lawsuits or disagreements about the results.

Many job applicants fail the screening part of a companies drug test program everyday even though they don’t use or abuse drugs. If it happens to you, be honest with the employer and tell them the test is wrong. You should request a confirmation test be done to prove your innocence. Research shows that up 14 % of initial drug tests are in error.

pre employment drug testing program

Unfortunately a lot of potential employers don’t or won’t do confirmation tests after an initial positive test. The main reason being it’s more costly to perform than the screening test. You can suggest paying for the retest yourself by using a different testing service that meets with the employer’s approval.

As an employee I see how important it is to learn how the pre employment drug testing program process works in getting employment. Follow these links to see how important it is once you get the job.

Workplace Drug Testing

Workplace Random Drug Testing

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