The Ultimate Guide to Pre Employment Drug Testing

As part of the hiring process, many employers ask you to submit to drug testing. They want to ensure people they hire do not use any illegal substances. There are different types of drug testing available, such as urine analysis, oral swab test or blood testing. Read on to find out important facts about pre-employment drug testing such as how such testing is performed, what types of drugs can be detected or what can happen if you refuse to take the test.

When are the drug tests performed

Most employers will ask for a drug test as part of the pre-employment process. Generally, the testing will happen only after the employer has made an employment offer, and the applicant will agree to be subjected to the test. In case your results come out positive, you will not be hired and the employer will choose another applicant.

There are many cases in which the applicant knows beforehand when the testing will occur, so he/she will stop taking drugs for a week to produce a negative test. This is precisely why many employers choose to test the probationary applicants randomly, without announcing this in prior.

Which is the most often used drug testing method

The most frequently used drug testing method during pre-employment is the urine test. This is when the applicant needs to provide the healthcare specialist with a urine sample. Next, the sample will be sent to the lab and tested for Amphetamines, Cannabinoids and other such substances. Read how to pass a urine drug test.

It is essential to mention that Marijuana, for example, is a drug that stays in the system between 2 and 7 days after last use for people who use it occasionally. When used on a continuous basis, Marijuana traces can be detected even for up to 2 months after the last use.

Prescription drugs that might interfere with a drug testing

Depending on the type of medication you take, the test can come out a false positive. This means the test for drugs is positive, even though you do not take any illicit drugs. Some antidepressants or sleeping pills can test positive on a drug test. Therefore, make sure to inform the healthcare specialist if you take any such medication that might interfere with the testing.

Ephedrine based drugs and Ibuprophen can also test positive. These are basically over the counter medications, but still, you need to inform the healthcare expert that you are taking such drugs before the drug testing. In case you already took the test and it came out positive even though you do not take illicit substances, the specialist can retake the test and use a special methodology to identify the exact type of drug that can be found in your system.

Other types of drug testing for pre-employment

Nowadays, more and more companies ask for oral fluid testing as part of the drug testing for pre-employment. Oral drug testing is a methodology that allows for much better detection of Marijuana usage. Another reason for which employers prefer the oral swab test is that this type of testing can be actually observed while urine testing is an unobserved type of testing.

To perform an oral drug test, the applicant is asked to swab his/her own mouth using a special cotton swab. The administrator of the test supervises the collection of the specimen, takes the cotton swab and sends it to the lab for investigation.

Oral drug testing comes with extremely advanced technology, and this testing seems to be more and more the number one choice among employers.

What types of drugs can be detected

The five illicit substances typically detected during a drug testing for pre-employment purposes include Amphetamines (such as speed, ecstasy or Meth), Cocaine (crack, cocaine), Opioids (including morphine & codeine, heroin, and opium), THC (hash & cannabinoids) and PCP.

The employer has the right to choose the drug testing panel that he wants. It means some employers are particularly looking that candidates are not addicted to prescription medication (such as antidepressants), while others are looking that candidates are not addicted to the most powerful and dangerous drugs such as Heroine. There is also an 8-panel drug test that is a common choice for employers. This panel includes the 5 drugs mentioned above, plus Barbiturates, Tranquilizers (such as Valium addiction) and Methaqualone (a sedative-hypnotic drug).