Did you know the drug screening market will be worth around $8.63 billion by 2022?
In the United States, drug testing is a huge industry. Whether you’re looking for a job or you’re currently employed, there’s a decent chance you’ll be subject to a drug test. This article discusses everything you need to know about drug testing.
Pre-Employment Drug Test
If you’re applying for a new job, you might have to take a drug test. In general, you can expect a pre-employment drug test to be a urine or saliva test. In some rare cases, you might also receive another kind of test, such as a blood or hair test.
If the test comes back positive for drugs of any kind, you can expect your application to not be successful. Sometimes, the test will be administered at a drug testing facility at the employer’s site while other times, the test will be done at a designated clinic.
In some cases, you’ll get advance notice that the test will take place. The notice given is usually enough time to clear the vast majority of illegal drugs from your system.
Drug Screening While in Employment
Once you’ve been employed by a company and passed the drug test they gave, they still might give you another at a later date. Sometimes, an employer might test randomly or they might do it if they think someone’s using drugs at work. This is especially true if you work somewhere where intoxication would be a safety hazard.
Generally, you can find the drug tested policy outlined in an employee handbook; some workplaces might be less stringent about drug testing than others. Again, you might receive advance notice for your drug test. In extreme cases, you might be tested on the spot. For example, if your employer believes you’ve caused an accident because you were intoxicated, you’ll be tested right away.
How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?
The cheaper urine-based drug tests which you’re likely to receive at work are only ever really going to catch a small minority of drug users, especially if there is advance notice of the test. For the majority of drugs, you can easily pass a drug test two to four days after last using them. For example, if you get drug tested and you used heroin and cocaine a week before, a urine test almost certainly wouldn’t detect it.
There is one notable exception to this rule. Cannabis can be detected in your urine for a lot longer. If you’re a moderate cannabis smoker, it could take up to 30 days for all traces of the drug to leave your urine.
What About Hair Tests?
You’re most likely to receive a urine test because they’re inexpensive and are easy to do. It’s rare that you would come up against any other form of test.
In some cases, you might be subject to a hair test. These tests are more expensive to run, so you’ll probably only get one if there’s been an incident or if you’re accused of misconduct.
Unlike a urine test, a hair test can give a much more detailed history about your drug use. If you’ve done a drug in the last couple of months, it’ll probably be detectable with a hair test.
5-Panel vs 10-Panel
Not every test is the same; some tests are more thorough than others. Most workplace tests are what’s known as a 5-panel drug test.
The test is so-called because it detects 5 different drugs. These are cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, opiates, and phencyclidine, aka PCP.
Note that the amphetamine aspect of a 5-panel drug test may still pick up on amphetamine derivatives, such as methamphetamine. The 5-panel test picks up a wide variety of drugs but it doesn’t include them all.
If you’re applying to work in certain sectors, you might be subject to a 10-panel drug test instead of a 5-panel. The 10-panel test picks up on all the drugs a 5-panel test does, but it also detects barbiturates, propoxyphene, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, and methadone.
There’s also instant vs lab drug tests. To learn the difference between them, refer to this useful post.
Drug Tests in States Where Cannabis Is Legal
Don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s fine to have cannabis in your system when you take a drug test. Just because you live in a legal state doesn’t mean you can get away with having marijuana in your system.
While cannabis might be legal on a local state level, it’s still illegal at the federal level. Even if you’re using the drug for medical reasons, testing positive for THC could still cost you your job. You should also be aware that products containing CBD can sometimes make you fail a drug test.
How Long to Get the Results?
For most types of drug tests, you expect a turnaround time of just a few days or so. If your test comes back as negative, you won’t need another test. But if you test positive for anything, there’s a chance of a false positive, so they’ll probably run the test a second time to confirm.
Sometimes, failing a basic test like a urine or saliva test might result in you being subject to a hair test. In some rare cases, you might test positive without having actually taken any drugs. Certain foods can have this effect; for example, if you’ve eaten something with poppy seeds.
Know the Drug Test Policy for Work
Whenever you start a new job, always make sure you’re aware of what the drug test policy is. Sometimes, people think they only need to pass a pre-employment test, but depending on the job, you might still be subject to random screenings. Some jobs that include routine physical checkups might require regular drug tests too.
The bottom line is, you should always be prepared. If you’re serious about keeping your job and doing great at it, you should probably just stay away from drugs altogether.
Got things weighing on your mind that drugs help with? Then you may want to consider getting into therapy to solve your issues and to quit drugs. Here are 8 reasons why you should start today.