Whether you are looking to add drug and alcohol testing to your applicant screening process, or want to implement random drug testing for your staff, here are some drug testing facts you may need to know.

Drug Testing Regulations

Each state has its own regulations when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. On top of that, the federal government has a separate set of regulations as well.

It’s imperative that random drug testing is done by someone who is well-versed in drug testing regulations for both the state(s) you are operating in and the federal government’s regulations. It’s also important, for liability purposes, that random drug testing is an impartial, regulated process that is fair across the board.

Here are some resources for employers looking to brush up on drug testing regulation:

Workforce Drug Use Trends

“According to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, 75 percent of the 17.5 million illicit drug users 18 and over are currently employed.” SHRM

In the past few years, workforce drug positivity has climbed by quite a bit. In fact, in 2018 it hit a 14-year high (according to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index). Other drug use trends include:

  • Marijuana has the highest positivity return of any other drug, while heroin and cocaine have both decreased.
  • Opiates are on the decline as well when it comes to the U.S. workforce data.
  • There is a rise in donors attempting to “cheat the test.”
  • Here are some industry-related statistics –
    • The construction industry has seen a 20% rise in the use of methamphetamines.
    • The Transportation & Warehousing industry has a 53% spike in marijuana usage.
    • Those in Public Administration are seeing a 36% rise in the use of cocaine.
    • Retail establishments are dealing with a 30% increase in marijuana results.
    • Finance and Insurance companies are showcasing a 19% increase in amphetamines.

See the full 2019 chart from Quest here.

Urine Testing

When it comes to urine testing for drug use, it’s imperative that you team up with an experienced and regulated laboratory that specializes in drug testing. Urine testing can detect a wide range of drugs including, but not limited to, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, meth, opiates, oxycodone, PCP and more. This testing detects any sort of drug use in the last 24 to 72 hours (depending on a few factors such as the drug, amount ingested, and the person’s biology).

Marijuana Testing

“In the general U.S. workforce, marijuana positivity increased nearly 8% in urine drug testing (2.6% in 2017 versus 2.8% in 2018) and almost 17% since 2014. For the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, marijuana positivity grew nearly 5% between 2017 and 2018 and nearly 24% since 2014.” Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index

As more states throughout the United States legalize marijuana, these numbers aren’t likely to go down anytime soon.

Even though Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational use, the short and long-term side effects of this drug will absolutely make an impact on your workforce’s safety and productivity.

According to Quest Diagnostics:

“Short-term effects may include altered senses, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with problem-solving, impaired memory, hallucinations, delusions, and possible psychosis when taken in high doses.

Long-term effects may include brain development issues; breathing problems and higher risk of lung infections when smoked; increased heart rate, of concern to those predisposed to heart conditions; and worsening symptoms in those with schizophrenia.”

There are currently no restrictions in the State of Colorado in regards to an employer’s ability to drug test for marijuana usage. In fact, Quest includes testing for marijuana in more than 97.6% of their drug test panels.

Drug Testing for Applicants

Adding a drug-testing program to your business will assist in filtering out drug users and also deter drug use among your current staff. Drug testing is a vital part of the applicant screening process to help your business avoid risky, and costly, hires.

Properly and accurately screening your employees for drug use enables you to create a safer and more productive workplace environment that protects you, your employees and your clients and customers. We provide a versatile set of DOT and non-DOT drug screening services, including lab-based and on-site screenings. Find out more about Accucheck’s Drug & Alcohol Testing on our website: https://accucheckscreening.com/drug-alcohol-testing/