Drug Testing Pre-Employment
It is your first day at your hopefully soon to be the workplace, and most companies will have you take the interview, read your resume and then, to top it all off have you take a pre-employment drug test. A flaw in any one of these three job seeking aspects would causally lead to loss of that job that you never had. A successful interview or a well-written resume is a major issue to most job seekers these days. Getting through a pre-employment drug test, however, has become some youth’s greatest affliction.
It is a common myth that most employers these days use pre-employment drug tests to narrow down job applicants. Employers, however, are not that malicious but rather concerned in giving their employees a suitable drug-free work environment. The drug testing entails a series of physiological examinations taken to determine the presence of particular five to ten-panel medicines, some of which include; cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and even marijuana.
These drugs are known to impact the well-being of an individual negatively and consequently their job performance not to mention the risk they pose to their fellow colleagues while intoxicated. Some of the drugs mentioned above such as marijuana can cause impairment of an employee, affecting his or her performance while attending to their duties.
Research carried out by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence revealed an estimated annual amount of $81 billion cost to employers who have had to put up with drug abuse resultant from the above risks and more.
As a job applicant who might have had a score with some drugs, be it prescription drugs or peer influences towards an all-time high, it is important that you know what to expect when going for a pre-employment drug test and also you need to know why you are going for that particular test altogether:
Drug Testing Methods
The pre-employment drug testing majorly utilizes bodily specimens which are tested chemically to detect any evident drug use, usually by unravelling the residue of the said drug in the body system even after the results of the medicine have worn off. Urine is the most common specimen for drug detection based on the detection of metabolites of illicit drugs. It however not as useful in detecting alcohol abuse since it passes rapidly through the system.
There is also the breath alcohol test standard for testing for alcohol content within an individual’s blood at a particular moment through blowing through a breath-alcohol device. There is also the blood test which has proven to be most accurate in determining drug or alcohol content in the body system at a particular moment. It is however not popular since the acquisition of the specimen can get messy. Other alternatives include hair, sweat and oral fluids such as saliva.
Any organizational activity has to entail a form that is filled with evidence of the activity. Well, in the case of pre-employment drug test there is the chain of custody form, which is the most general form of this particular activity. This document is used to record the handling and storage of your sample since the time it is acquired from you like the job applicant at its disposal.
It is, therefore, the formal piece of evidence that links you like the job applicant and test taker to your specimen bottle of urine, hence the link to you and whatever the results that bottle of pee is realized with. It would be an unfortunate eventuality if there would be a mix-up if you failed the cut due to a mix-up, that’s why you have to make a follow up in case you are not satisfied with the results.
Incipient And Confirmation Testing
The testing is usually conducted twice basically because in science you cannot rely on a single test due to the possibility of a false positive result. If the confirmation test result does not coincide with the initial test results, then there would be a possibility of conducting a third verification test. Consistency is the only assurance that the results are accurate so do not get perplexed when the Medical Review Officer takes more than one sample from you, it is mostly for accuracy purposes.
For conducting both the initial and the confirmation testing, however, most laboratories choose to use the split sample testing method, which lays the ball to your court as the applicant to produce an ample amount the required sample.
Knowing what to expect at a pre-employment drug testing as a job applicant is not enough, it also important that you are aware of the reasons why your employer has such measures in place:
- Compliance with State laws and Federal regulations- Companies and organizations face the risk of being closed down by federal orders due to noncompliance concerning entertaining alcoholic or drug abusive employees.
- Provision of a safe working environment- Drug and alcohol dependent individuals are known to be impulsive and violent. Having such individuals as employees working alongside other sober employees might prove to be quite risky for their physical and even psychological health.
- Installation of consumer confidence- No profit making organization would want to be known for tolerating employees who work while intoxicated or under the influence of certain drugs that could lead to impairment of the employee in the workplace. That would surely mean a loss of profits and popularity of the said company not to mention the loss of consumer trust and confidence due to the implied risk of such negligence.
Conclusively, the most curious aspect of this topic is whether you can beat a drug test. The fact is there are a few tricks one can apply to beat a shallow pre-employment drug testing, but if you have an employer with a comprehensive pre-employment drug testing system you do not stand a chance.
Detection windows for certain drugs are favourably short or you but some sample specimens such as nail clippings and hair strands date as back as a week to ten days. So the only trick to beating a pre-employment drug test is the one you already know, steer clear from the drugs if you want to get that job.