Many companies perform drug screenings today. There have been government studies that show that as many as one in six employees has a drug problem. This can cost the employer between $7,000 and $10,000 annually. The medical costs for the company can rise as much as 300% due to an employee abusing drugs. They miss up to 16 times more work than employees not abusing drugs do and they are a third less productive when they are at work.
In fact, guidelines issued by the Federal government require that companies that use commercial class drivers must have a drug screening system in place. Because they must test for five specific categories of drugs, this drug screening is often known as the NIDA 5. Most companies will offer a drug screening test that looks for these drugs: marijuana and hash, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine.
There are different types of tests that can be used to perform a drug screening. A urine drug test is one of the most common methods used. However, these are not foolproof and have been exploited by people in the past. It will also only check for drug use in the past two or three days. Many employees will find it intrusive, but it is easy for companies to administer and very inexpensive.
Saliva can be collected also during a drug screening. It is not as easy to substitute fluids on this test, as it is the urine test. However, the detection period is very short – only 24 hours.
Hair can also be used to test for drug use. This can find drug use for the longest amount of time – the past 90 days. You cannot bleach your hair or dye it to try to cover up drug usage, so this test is very accurate. It is also less embarrassing than the urine or saliva test for employees.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.