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What is Pre-Employment Drug Screening?

Drugs are one of the most prominent issues in our society. In business, both alcohol and substance abuse can cause many expensive problems. Some of these problems range from lost productivity to an increase in health insurance claims and physical injuries. According to the NCADI, companies in the United States lose about $100 billion due to drug-related problems.

Here is everything you need to know about pre-employment drug screening tests:

What is Pre-Employment Drug Screening?

Drug screening is a process of checking whether a person uses drugs or not. Often consisting of several tests like the urine test, a person is thoroughly tested to figure out whether they have used drugs in the past few weeks or so. A pre-employment drug screening test is – as the name suggests – a drug screening test that is done by companies usually after an interview.

A pre-employment drug screening test can be a variety of tests ranging from:

  • Blood drug test 
  • Breath alcohol test
  • Mouth swab drug test
  • Hair drug test
  • Urine test

And so on. Depending on the federal laws and company policies, pre-employee candidates may be required to pass a few more tests. Here is a brief overview of the mentioned drug testing:

Blood drug test

As the name suggests, this type of drug screening is performed on whole blood specimens using immunoassay screening. In other words, this pre-employment drug screening test is done by taking a complete blood sample from the candidate.

It is the most expensive method of drug testing, but also the most efficient. Drugs in the blood can typically be detectable within minutes, depending on what drug one is using. Some of the available blood drug tests include a screening of Ethyl Alcohol, Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Phencyclidine, THC, Opiates, and so on.

Breath alcohol test

A very easy drug screening test is the breath alcohol test that tests one’s breath for traces of alcohol. This usually requires the candidate to breathe into a drug-testing device, and the results are usually processed very fast.

Mouth swab drug test

On many occasions, using drugs can leave some leftovers in some parts of the mouth. The mouth swab drug test is a complete drug test that easily detects drugs that have recently been used. This pre-employment drug screening tactic is considered non-intrusive but also affordable.

Hair drug test

Hair has traces of drug particles that usually are retained for long periods of time. A sample hair of about 1.5 inches in length and 6 mm in diameter is taken for this drug screening. It is found to be reliable in many scenarios like blood drug tests.

Urine test

Possibly the cheapest test on the list is the urine drug testing. It requires a candidate to literally store their urine in a bottle. The bottle is then processed to check for substance abuse. Urine can show drug abuse over a couple of weeks, if not more.

Some companies require pre-employment and post-employment drug screening tests, however, every employer is different. We hope that this article helped you understand more about drug screening in corporate culture.

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