Drug Testing America

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IS IT EASY TO FOOL A DRUG TEST?

It is a little easier to fool a drug test than an alcohol test. Proper test procedures or using ORAL SCREENS should eliminate the possibilities of a subject switching their urine specimen with another or tampering with the specimen. Drinking large volumes of water will dilute the urine, thereby reducing the concentration of drugs in the urine. The detection of some drugs, such as amphetamines, is affected by the pH of the urine with some kinds of methodologies. Proper procedure and constant monitoring is the only way to eliminate cheating


WILL PASSIVE EXPOSURE TO MARIJUANA SMOKE RESULT IN A POSITIVE TEST?

The most common used excuse is, "I was around some people who were smoking pot." Research has shown, however, that casual exposure to marijuana smoke will not produce a positive test. You really have to work at being exposed to it.

I'VE HEARD THAT EATING POPPY SEEDS ON A ROLL OR IN BREAD RESULT IN A POSITIVE OPIATE TEST?

It really depends on the poppy seeds. Some poppy seeds are more potent than others and eating just one or two rolls containing potent poppy seeds may result in a positive opiate test. But other rolls containing less potent poppy seeds may have no effect on a drug test.

IN GENERAL, WHAT ARE THE DRUG DETECTION PERIODS?

We have a chart that illustrates typical drug detection periods. However, because metabolic rates vary individually and other factors such as age, weight, and amount of drug consumed can affect clearance rate times, the range stated is necessarily broad. It should be clearly stated that any forensic drug screen is not intended to determine when drugs were used, only whether the drug screened for is present at the time the test is performed. It should also be understood that complete abstinence from the target drug is required from the start of the "minimum" to the end of the "maximum" detection period.


HOW LONG AFTER DRINKING CAN YOU DETECT ALCOHOL?

It depends on how much the person had to drink and how long ago they drank. Our bodies eliminate alcohol at the constant rate of about one drink an hour. (More precisely, our bodies lower our alcohol level by .015% BAC per hour.) If a person's intoxication level is about .02%, about one hour later their alcohol level would be zero. On the other hand, if a person had an alcohol level of .20%, twice the legal limit for drunk driving in most states, it would take over 13 hours for their alcohol level to reach zero after they stopped drinking. Once the alcohol level is zero, no alcohol test can detect the alcohol.

CAN MOUTHWASH INTERFERE WITH THE RESULTS OF A BREATH ALCOHOL TEST?

Yes. Proper test procedure requires that the subject have nothing in their mouth for 10 to 15 minutes prior to testing. If the subject has anything with alcohol in their mouth just prior to testing, the alcohol in their mouth will contaminate the test, giving an artificially high reading. However, 15 minutes is sufficient time for all mouthwash to be dissipated.

IS THERE ANY WAY TO FOOL AN ALCOHOL TEST?

A properly administered alcohol test is difficult to fool. As long as the subject delivers an adequate deep lung breath or gives a sufficient oral sample, there is virtually no way to mask the alcohol. If someone claims their positive alcohol test is the result of using mouthwash just prior to being tested, give the person another alcohol test in 15 minutes. A second positive breath alcohol test after 15 minutes cannot be attributed to mouthwash or cough syrup.

IS IT LEGAL TO USE ON-SITE DRUG TESTS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Drug screening laws vary from state to state. You may visit Business Law to check the laws in your state of business.


WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO ON-SITE TESTING?

For the Employer:

a) These Tests Can Be Administered at the Job Site
b) It's a Simple Process with a Lower Total Cost
c) Job Applicants & Employees Can Go to Work Immediately
d) Fewer Worker's Comp Claims & Accidents
e) Reduced Worker's Comp Insurance Fees
f) Less Absenteeism & Tardiness


For the Employee:

a) Confidence among Employees for the Safety of the Workplace
b) Increased Morale
c) Increased Productivity
Business Professionals

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MAKE A DRUG FREE WORKPLACE?

1. Establish in Writing a Drug Testing Policy for Your Company
2. All Employees Will Need to Sign These Policies Indicating That They Have Read & Understand the Document
3. Policies Should Specify Under What Conditions You Will Test Them. For Example, Random Testing Only or Post Accident (Injury or Non-Injury), Suspicion, Etc.
4. Policies Will Have to Specify the Consequences of a Positive Drug Test Confirmed by a Second Drug Test Done by a Laboratory (No Punitive Action Should Ever Be Taken without a Confirmatory Test)
5. Consequences of a Positive Test - Ex. Dismissal, a Warning, or Rehabilitation