Drug testing is not a mandatory procedure for employees, but most private companies are allowed to conduct certain drug tests under federal, state, and local laws. These companies include large multinationals as well as small to medium sized enterprises, and they do this for a number of reasons.
One significant reason for conducting drug testing on employees is to keep business operations and the overall workplace safe. Organizations where employees are required to operate heavy machinery, work directly with clients, drive vehicles, or do manual labor are often very serious about their employee drug testing policies. Random and pre-employment drug tests are done in order to keep the employees and sometimes the general public safe, and to ensure that clients maintain their trust in the company.
The flipside of drug testing, however, is that it takes up valuable company resources. Pre-employment and random drug tests need time, money, and other resources to be conducted adequately. Employees also need to be taken away from their work, affecting production time and efficiency. To counter this, there are several instant drug-testing methods available. In the past, instant drug tests were not considered to be accurate enough. However, modern technology has allowed instant drug tests that are as accurate as a test done in a professional lab.
For example, one instant alcohol testing method involves the detection of alcohol in the saliva. This highly sensitive method is based on the fact that the concentration of alcohol present in saliva is almost the same as its concentration in the blood. It is, in fact, for this reason that saliva is the most preferred specimen for alcohol testing. Using the saliva to test is called saliva drug tests. The process itself takes only a couple of minutes and most kits come with only a few simple steps that do not need any special medical training. This testing method was first developed in 1988, and today it is the best way of testing for alcohol instantly.
Similarly, there are many instant drug tests to screen for specific types of drugs, like opiates and marijuana. They are based on urine samples, and most of these kits test for just one kind of drug. However, many kits are available that actually test for multiple drugs at once. Apart from the cup for holding the urine sample, an instant drug testing kit may have panels or parameters to show the reading and the type of drug that is being tested. Ten-panel, five-panel, and three-panel tests are quite common. Today, you can find accurate drug testing kits that screen for most illegal narcotic drugs, like opiates, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
For some industries, drug testing is pretty much a federal or state requirement. Random drug tests may not be mandatory, but pre-employment drug tests are necessary. For example, organizations that employ people in jobs related to transportation need to perform drug tests on them as per the U.S. Department of Transportation. Employees in the education and health care fields also need to undergo drug tests, although the specific rules depend on the state.