What Does DOT Drug Testing Consist of?

Whether you’re preparing to test your employees for DOT compliance or looking for more information about an upcoming drug test you’re required to take, learn more about this comprehensive drug test. Find out what drugs are being tested for, other types of drug tests, and where you can go to learn more about this common test.

Common DOT Drug Test Applications

 A DOT drug test is commonly used in application processes that require extreme safety. Whether you’re employing individuals in sensitive positions or working closely with the public, here are common DOT departments that the test is designed for:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Federal Railroad Administration
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Federal Transit Administration

 Other industries require DOT drug testing, as well. This drug test is commonly administered for a pre-employment test but can be administered many times throughout employment. Many employers choose to perform random testing to ensure employees avoid illicit drug use throughout their careers.
Another typical time to perform a drug test is when you have reason to suspect drug use. If you’ve experienced unusual behaviors, speech patterns, or other issues with one or more of your employees, you can administer a DOT drug test to ensure you keep a drug-free work environment.

How Many Panels are on the DOT Drug Test?

A DOT drug test uses five testing panels. Every professional drug test requires an individual panel for each type of drug, so a five-panel test tests for five different illegal drugs. Other common drug tests include a four-panel, seven-panel, and ten-panel test.
When you choose to administer a five-panel urine test, you’re following the Federal Mandatory Guidelines for Workplace Drug Testing. Keep your company safe and follow federal law by choosing a qualified provider of a five-panel test.

What Does the Five-Panel Drug Test Look For?

 Your employees should be free from drug use before working in sensitive areas. Every five-panel DOT drug test is used to test for the following substances:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Methamphetamine
  • THC

Cocaine is a popular stimulant that’s sometimes used by employees seeking to stay awake for longer periods of time. Whether at a party or working overtime, this stimulant has addictive and dangerous side effects. Rapid weight loss, appetite suppressant, and severe physical and psychological dependence have put cocaine at a schedule two rating by the United States government.
Amphetamines are legally used to reduce symptoms of ADD and ADHD. However, this stimulant can also be illegally abused for enhanced alertness. This drug is available by prescription but is considered a schedule two drug when used recreationally.
Opiates are painkillers that come in a variety of forms and levels of effectiveness. Some are extremely addictive and dangerous, like heroin, while others are often prescribed but can still be addictive, like Vicodin. Depending on the type of drug and available prescription, opiates can range from schedule one to schedule three drugs.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is another schedule two drug that commonly elicits feelings of euphoria, concentration, and energy. It can be a highly addictive drug with violent side effects.
Finally, THC is a drug found in marijuana that provides feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Many states have now legalized marijuana and THC use for medicinal or recreational purposes, although the federal government still recognizes it as a schedule one drug with no medicinal effects.

Learn More About DOT Drug Testing Today

 If you’re concerned about an upcoming drug test or would like to learn more about DOT drug testing at your workplace, contact us today at ARCpoint Labs of Omaha. Our team provides a range of drug tests that are in full compliance with federal requirements.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Sherry Yates Young