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Drug Testing In The Workplace: What You Need To Know

By now you are probably highly aware of the fact that more and more employers are requiring potential new employees to undergo a pre-employment drug test. And, if you fail this test there is a very good chance that you won’t be hired.

You could even end up getting a visit from the coppers. In addition to pre-employment testing, many employers are also now conducting on-the-job screening to deter drug abuse in and out of the workplace. This is why it is completely important to understand everything you possibly can about these tests.

What Exactly Is A Drug Test?

A drug test is nothing more than a procedure that is used to identify illegal and prescription drugs in someone’s system. These procedures are often times used in professions where there is a high risk of injury or where high performance is a must.

These tests can even be used for legal purposes. For instance, if you are involved in a vehicular accident or in a child custody case it is also possible that you can be legally tested.

What Are The Rules For Employer Drug Testing?

The bad thing for the employee is that most private employers have free reign when it comes to drug testing. That’s right; by legal standards just about any private employer can legally pre-screen and randomly test their employees whenever they want. There are many users who want to cheat the test with various detox supplements, such as: detox pills, drinks and synthetic urine.

However, it should be noted that there are some regulations in certain states. Anyone that is concerned with the rules and regulations should consult a local attorney, as they will be able to provide the information that you are seeking.

Many government employers will most certainly require pre-employment drug testing and will probably also require random testing as well.

What Substances Do Employers Test For?

Drug tests have come a long way over the years. They can now be customized to test for certain substances. However, most random employers will test for alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, and THC.

That being said if the employer wants to take things even further they can issue an eight-panel test of a ten-panel test. The eight-panel test will test for all the aforementioned drugs and barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and Quaaludes. The ten-panel test will also include methadone and propoxyphene.

What If You Take Prescription Medications?

It is true that many employees might rely on painkillers or other substances to provide relief for certain medical conditions. Well, you probably noticed that those substances were included on the drugs that employers test for. So, what does this mean? Well, it can mean several different things.

It could mean that you might be protected under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). It could also mean that your employer might argue that even prescription drugs use poses a risk.

 If you find yourself in this type of situation make sure that you gather all the needed paperwork like the prescription for the medication, a letter from your doctor, or pretty much any kind of evidence that will support your need for taking the medication.