Drug and alcohol testing is a way for employers, athletic departments, government agencies, and courts to identify individuals using legal and illegal substances while performing dangerous jobs or contractual obligations. Often, these testing procedures are performed as pre-employment screenings with hiring contingent upon a negative result.
In Florida, workplaces are permitted to submit employees to random drug testing with certain federal limitations and requirements. For instance, companies must outline their drug testing intentions and hiring contingency upon a negative drug test in the initial job posting or advertisement.
Commonly, drug and alcohol screenings will test for:
- Opiates (methadone, heroin, oxycodone)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
If you’re preparing to provide a urine sample as a job prerequisite or for court proceedings, ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine has a few tips to help you get ready and quell the anxiety you’re probably feeling.
1. Don’t Consume Certain Foods and Drinks
Passing a pre-employment or court-admissible drug and alcohol test is typically easy if you live a drug-free lifestyle. However, certain foods and non-alcoholic beverages contain additives and chemicals that can appear on the test.
You should avoid consuming the following prior to testing (just to be safe):
- Seafood – Some seafood contains arsenic and heavy metals like lead and mercury, which could produce a false positive on a drug test. Avoid eating seafood for at least 48 hours before your screening.
- Coffee and tea – You should avoid coffee and tea for at least 72 hours before an alcohol and drug test because it could appear as metanephrine, indicating a possible withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.
- Avocados, bananas, acidic fruits, and walnuts – Foods like avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, and nuts may contain high serotonin levels, also found in illicit drugs. These high levels may appear on a drug test and be mistaken for illegal drug use.
2. Fast the Night Before
As we mentioned in the previous section, avoiding specific food and drink is one of the best ways to ensure your urine sample is clear of any unknowing substances. Still, the best way to guarantee a negative drug and alcohol test is to fast the night before. Your testing facility (like ours in St. Augustine) should provide detailed instructions on how to properly prepare for your drug and alcohol screening and whether fasting is necessary.
3. Don’t Drink Too Many Fluids
A myth continues to circulate that drinking a large amount of cranberry juice or water can help flush any possible illegal drugs from your system. Again, this is simply untrue and can actually dilute your test, causing it to be inconclusive. If this is the case, you may have to reschedule your drug and alcohol screening for a different time and day. Bottom line, unless a physician specifically tells you to drink plenty of water before your test, keep water and juice intake to a minimum.
4. Avoid Strenuous Exercise
Another popular misconception making the rounds is strenuous activity or exercise can help your body burn the fat that stores traces of illegal drugs. A 2014 study found no noticeable changes in the measured substance levels in serum or urine before and after physical exercise. It’s unnecessary to strain your body to dispel potential substances from your system when most drug and alcohol tests are extremely sensitive and detect even the smallest drug levels.
5. Bring the Proper Paperwork and Identification
Physiological preparation before a drug and alcohol screening is just as important as ensuring you have the correct documentation to prove your identity and inform the testing facility of your medical history. We recommend gathering and filling out the proper paperwork (if there is any) the day before your test, so you’re not rushing to do so. We want you to be cool, calm, and collected before your screening appointment. Completing the necessary paperwork will also help your appointment go smoother and faster.
6. Arrive Early at Your Drug Testing Appointment
Ensuring you’re on time for your drug testing appointment not only helps expedite your testing, but also keeps the facility on schedule. When you arrive late for a testing appointment, many facilities take a “first come, first serve” approach and won’t hold your place even if you’ve scheduled weeks in advance. Some testing locations may even charge you a small fee for missing your appointment. If you anticipate a late appearance, call the facility immediately to inform them and provide an estimated arrival time so they can adjust and prepare accordingly.
7. Be Honest About the Substances In Your System
When asked, you should always disclose medication and other legal or illegal substances you’ve consumed to the sample collector. Usually, you’ll be able to inform the proper channels of any medication or supplements you’re taking or food and drink consumed before the test so they can make a note in your records.
8. Follow Your Physician’s Pre-Screening Instructions
Before your drug testing appointment, you should have been given written instructions or verbal directions by your physician’s office to ensure your body is prepared to provide a viable specimen. Following pre-screening instructions is vital. It can be the difference between accurate results and a diluted test.
The Benefits of Trusting Our St. Augustine Staff for Drug & Alcohol Testing
We’re unlike other local DNA testing facilities because we offer solutions that make your experience with us convenient and accommodating. You have access to various on-site and on-call testing services that provide you with the accurate and rapid results you require.
On-Site, After-Hours Services
Our on-site services are available when you need testing at your business, allowing employees access to various drug and alcohol testing services without having to leave company grounds. For added accommodations, we can administer various tests on-site outside our regular business hours.
Do you require random alcohol and drug testing right now? Some of our St. Augustine sample collectors and staff are on-call to ensure you get the support you need when you need it. All you have to do is contact our team to discuss your testing options today.
Allow ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine to Provide Individual & Business Testing Solutions
Whether you manage a company gearing up for a hiring blitz, or you’re an individual required to submit a sample for pre-employment drug and alcohol testing, ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine has personal and corporate testing solutions to help. You can depend on our experienced team to support your company and design a drug and alcohol policy and be your partner in testing administration.
For individuals, let us assist you in getting a court-admissible test for probation or paternity proceedings or DOT solutions to remain compliant with specific federal regulations. Regardless of the type of drug and alcohol testing you require, our St. Augustine professionals are here for you.Call (904) 217-0479 or schedule an appointment conveniently for on-site, after-hours services, and more.