Here’s What You Should Know About Drug Testing for Employment
As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to ensure you’re hiring the best employees possible. A drug test is one of the best preventive measures businesses can add to their pre-employment screening procedure.
Adding this simple test can help businesses reduce costs related to employee medical expenses, loss in productivity, employee absenteeism, and more.
It can also give you and your management peace of mind that the right candidate is being chosen, whether you’re looking to fill a cashier, driver, or manager role in your organization.
If you need to add drug testing to your pre-employment screening process for the first time or want to review your current drug testing policies, our Bellingham testing lab is here to break down what you need to know about drug testing in Washington, the process, and some more advantages of pre-employment drug tests.
Is Drug Use Something Business Owners Should Be Worried About?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, around 40.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the previous year. This problem is unfortunately only growing with time and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing.
Illicit drug use causes a number of problems for both small and large businesses, including:
- Loss in Productivity: Drug use can lead to a decrease in employee productivity due to distraction, sickness, lack of focus, and accidents.
- Increased Healthcare Costs: Employers may have to pay for drug rehabilitation programs or higher health premiums due to employees’ poor health resulting from drug use.
- Increased Turnover: Employees who use drugs are more likely to quit their jobs due to legal issues or being unable to stay on the job.
- Employees Who Frequently Miss Work: Drug users are often unreliable and may miss work more frequently than non-drug users.
- Increased Safety Risks for Employees and Customers: Illegal substances can cause an increase in workplace accidents, endangering both employees and customers.
To help curb the impacts of substance abuse and illicit drug use on your business, it’s important to weigh out your options, one of the most obvious being requiring applicants to be drug tested before official employment.
Pre-Employment Drug Tests Look for a Wide Range of Substances
Pre-employment drug tests determine whether an individual uses illicit or abuses prescription medication. While DOT careers federally require pre-employment drug testing, employers in other industries must decide whether to conduct regular or one-time testing.
The following five substances are commonly checked for during a pre-employment drug screening:
- Marijuana (THC)
- Opiates (Codeine, heroin, fentanyl, etc.)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Cocaine (crack, coke)
- Amphetamines (meth, ecstasy, speed, etc.)
Of course, this is far from being a comprehensive list of all the drugs that can be tested for. If you’re looking to screen prospective employees for something else outside of the common five-panel drug test, let ARCpoint Labs of Bellingham know – we’re happy to assist!
Types of Pre-Employment Drug Tests
While urinalysis is by far the most common and widely accepted drug testing form, it’s not the only one. There are a handful of different ways employees can be screened for drug use, depending on the preferred window of time you’re looking to screen,
Drugs can be screened via a simple collection of:
- Urine – Urine drug testing is typically used in pre-employment drug testing procedures due to its detection window of 30 days and acceptance among federal and state organizations.
- Hair – Out of modern drug testing methods, hair provides the longest detection window at three months. The drawback is that it’s not the best at detecting low-use users.
- Blood – Blood collection is the most invasive form of drug testing and can only provide a small detection window, but results tend to be much quicker than others.
- Saliva – With a simple swap, salvia can be collected. This can often catch same-day users but also comes at the cost of having a short detection window of a few days.
While sweat and breath tests can also be used to detect drugs and alcohol, these are usually reserved for testing employees who may be suspected of use on the job.
Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Legal in Washington?
Washington law puts no restrictions on businesses looking to add drug testing to their pre-employment screening process.Employers in Bellingham and Washington have the right to drug test candidates for any position – no probable cause is necessary if the drug testing policy is also applied fairly to all incoming employees.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing Offers Many Advantages for Businesses
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company with thousands of employees or a small mom-and-pop shop in Bellingham, adding drug testing to your hiring process can be great risk management.
Pre-employment drug testing has been shown to help businesses:
- Helps maintain a drug-free workplace for employees to feel safe and do their best work
- Prevent hiring employees who would end up missing work, creating unsafe conditions, or hurting themselves or others while on the job due to drug use
- Limit the amount of turnover, workman’s compensation claims, and other cost-eating measures caused by employees under the influence of drugs both during and outside of work
Like any other aspect of your business, getting drug testing right requires a lot of planning from your end. But if you can pull it off, you'll soon discover the many benefits that many other businesses have already enjoyed!
ARCpoint Labs of Bellingham Has Helped Countless Bellingham Businesses with Pre-Employment Drug Testing
With the help of our lab experts and the many different drug testing services we offer, ARCpoint Labs of Bellingham will walk you through every step of the process with your team’s needs, business goals, and any guidelines set forth by federal and state organizations in mind.
And when we’re your partner in testing, you’ll have access to the best of what ARCpoint labs has to offer, including convenient testing in our Bellingham testing lab for candidates, mobile drug testing solutions, complimentary concierge services, and more. We’re redefining what people think about testing and are ready to help your business thrive!
Are you looking for pre-employment drug testing services in Bellingham? Reach out today to learn more about what we can offer your business!