5 Things You Need to Know About Pre-Employment Drug Tests

Source: predictivesafety.com

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy and safe workplace is to ensure the employees working there are healthy themselves. There are a number of tactics employers can adopt in such a scenario to ensure the health of their employees is maintained at all times. 

In particularly dangerous industries, like the manufacturing and production industry where workers operate in a dangerous environment, it becomes more necessary for employers to keep a tab on the health of their employees. Poor health and mental condition can lead to drastic scenarios in such environments. 

However, ensuring the health of their employees becomes particularly hard if the employees themselves are indulging in inappropriate practices like continuous drug abuse. Not only is it harmful to the employee’s health, but it is also harmful to their productivity and can lead to a very unhealthy work environment. 

To ensure this doesn’t happen, many employers and companies conduct pre-employment drug tests which effectively analyze if any employee has been using drugs. According to Health Street, these tests are super effective and help the company ensure a work environment that is safe and healthy for everyone.

However, before you go through a pre-employment drug test or avail of the services of healthcare professionals who conduct them, there are several things you need to know about them. They will give you a general idea of what the test comprises and what things you should keep in mind. Read the article till the end so you don’t miss out on anything. 

1. What test exactly qualifies as a pre-employment drug test?

Source: yourdrugtesting.com

When a drug test is conducted in a screening procedure by an employer to verify the integrity of the applying candidates, it is called a pre-employment drug test. Many companies choose to take them simply because it helps them to avoid candidates that participate in continuous drug usage. It is an often needed and mandatory procedure in many companies. 

Alternatively, if an out-of-commission employee comes back to work from their absence or leave, they are often made to take a drug test. However, there is one key difference between the two in which this test is titled as ‘pre-placement drug test’. There are also drug tests that are conducted in an existing workplace. 

2. What chemicals and drugs do these tests check for? 

Source: phoenixprogrammes.com

There are lots of chemicals and drugs these tests check for. However, how many drugs are being checked completely depends on how many paneled the drug test is. The more panels it has, the more drugs it will check for.

These drugs check for components of Tetrahydrocannabinol which is a major constituent in many “high-inducing” drugs like weed, meth tablets, and/or powder, the entire family of opiates with all the members, hallucination-inducing drugs like phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine, and even the infamous white king of drugs – cocaine. 

These tests can single-handedly check for all these drugs without considerable effort. If an employer wants to be particularly meticulous, they can ask the healthcare services conducting the tests to check for more drugs. While it will cost more, it ensures that no drug addict passes by into the company.

It’s important to note that even the drugs from several medications can be detected in the drug tests and if you regularly intake them, it’s a good idea to have a bill or a medical certificate with you that can prove the medications you are using do not count as drugs. 

3. What are the different types of samples the test requires? 

Source: questdiagnostics.com

A pre-employment drug test can ask for a number of samples depending on the employee’s preference and how aggressive the employer wants the drug test to be. For the most meticulous and detailed procedures where the employer spares no money to check for drug usage in candidates, potential candidates are asked to give one of their hairs for testing. 

However, in most standard cases the candidate is made to give a sample of their pure urine. While it is less effective than hair tests and has a much shorter time period, the test has the ability to analyze drug consumption for the past 2-6 days. However, many people think that urine tests are rather invasive of privacy and comfort, which is why the fluid in our mouth also counts as valid samples. 

Our saliva can act as a sample and if needed, blood tests can be provided as well. However, both of these tests can’t detect longer durations of drug use and are thus used in very rare cases by employers. 

4. Why are these tests so important? 

Source: stnonline.com

It is no surprise to anyone that drugs hamper our mental and physical capability of doing things. They can have the worst impacts on productivity and an environment where employees are allowed to rampantly use drugs is considered most unprofessional and undisciplined. Additionally, allowing drugged employees to work at the company is against the law and such companies are liable to heavy fines. 

No company wants this to happen. Not especially companies who need 100% performance from their employees when they are working and need their mental state to be at its optimal condition to avoid accidents and mistakes. Also, with drug abuse, people are more likely to miss their work appointments which reflects badly on the company. 

5. Laws revolving around this test

Source: legal-term.com

There are various laws regarding the test and an applying candidate should know most of these to ensure their rights aren’t being violated. The first and most major law is that no employer can, in any authority, conduct the test without informing the employees beforehand. This is important for the employer as well because someone who uses drugs will avoid applying for the company altogether if they see the company will conduct a drug screening test. 

Another law states that all employees must be given the same test and no discrimination shall be made in conducting the test. Additionally, they need to always be taken in a laboratory that is certified by the government or central authority. 


There are several things an employer and an employee should know about a pre-employment drug test. We hope this article was insightful regarding that and if it was, please consider following our website for regular updates as it will help us out immensely.