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Drug Testing Limits

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

Workplace drug testing is good for businesses and for the people who work there. It’s a way to provide help for employees who are struggling with addiction.

Unfortunately, people who have a drug problem often lie about it or go to great lengths to hide it. This may even include trying to “cheat” the system by calling in sick for a few days. How effective are drug tests if an employee abuses drugs when they’re off the clock? How long can residual drugs be detected?

What Amount of Time Do Drugs Last in the Body?

Many factors affect how long drugs are detectable by testing. Every drug is different, and so is every individual. Age, weight, health, activity level, and gender all affect the rate at which drugs are eliminated from the body. The dose also makes a difference. Here is the average amount of time most common drugs stick around in someone’s system:

  • Oxycodone: 1–2 days
  • Methamphetamine: 2–3 days
  • Cocaine: 2–3 days
  • Heroin: 1–3 days
  • Ecstasy: 2–4 days
  • PCP: 7–14 days
  • Benzodiazepine: 1–4 days
  • Marijuana: 1–7 days

This extremely variable testing window means that employers should try to schedule testing as soon as possible when employees show signs of intoxication. Where the law allows, it’s important to have workers submit to a drug test a short time after a workplace accident or establish random drug testing.

How Long Are Most Drugs Present in Saliva?

Saliva drug tests are rapidly growing in popularity because they’re relatively noninvasive and fast. They detect many types of drugs soon after use. How long is the window for a positive result?

  • Meth: Up to 4 days
  • Marijuana: Up to 24 hours
  • Cocaine: Up to 3 days
  • Heroin: 24–36 hours maximum
  • Ecstasy: Max of 24 hours
  • Benzodiazepines: 5–10 days

The shorter detection window of saliva testing for marijuana is helpful when looking for intoxication versus private use.

How Long Are Drugs Detectable in Urine?

In many places, urine tests are the most common drug test for employment. They’re often administered to potential employees to check for drug abuse. Most drugs will show up in a urine test for at least 24 hours, with several lasting 72 hours or more.

How long does a urine test take? Your business usually gets the results within 1–5 days. Negative test results are faster than positive results as checking is required.

How Long Can You Find Drugs Using Hair Follicles?

When testing drivers for drug abuse, a hair follicle drug test is one of the best options. This involves collecting a small sample of hair (90–120 hair strands) and analyzing them. The test can check for cocaine, meth, ecstasy, opioids, PCP, cocaine, and marijuana.

How far back does a hair follicle test detect drugs? This type of test can reveal the presence of drug use for as long as 90 days.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Drug Test Back?

It depends on the type of test and workplace testing program you have established. Urine and saliva tests take 1 to 5 business days, and hair follicle tests take between 4 and 10 business days.

Safer Work Environments With ARCpoint Labs of Omaha

Drug testing isn’t just about increasing productivity and protecting your company’s reputation. It also provides a safer workplace, preventing intoxicated individuals from injuring themselves and others. Contact ARCpoint Labs of Omaha to implement an effective workplace drug testing program for your team.

Image Source: cawee / Shutterstock

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