Employers must provide a safe work environment, and they want to ensure their employees are productive but is maintaining a drug-testing program in furtherance of these goals worth the hassle?

The simple answer is yes. For many businesses, maintaining a drug-free workplace is more than just a saying, it’s an actual necessity for safety reasons. Some employers are federal contractors or hire drivers and have to follow specific drug-free workplace laws. Others, especially in the manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and logistics sectors have to maintain drug-free environments for various reasons including contractual arrangements with customers and insurance mandates. 

When considering any employment screening program, a company should be looking at the four dominant factors that screening program affects, these are:

  • Cost.
  • Risk mitigation.
  • Speed.
  • Candidate experience.

When Should Companies Administer Drug Screening Tests?

There are six main scenarios when companies traditionally administer drug testing. These are:


This is done as a part of the recruiting process and as part of a conditional job offer. In most cases, it is done prior to an employee’s start date.


In drug-free work environments, Human resources departments perform random drug testing on employees. Staff is randomly selected from various departments in an effort to maintain parity and also keep the staff from knowing when they will be tested.

Post Accident

Many organizations require drug testing if an accident occurs on the company premises. This can be a pre-determinant for liability issues and also help determine if an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation and even disciplinary action. As different drugs have varying windows of detection, Preferred Med Supply recommends that testing for post accidents be done within 12 hours of the incident. 

Reasonable Suspicion

Workers can be drug tested if they show signs of being intoxicated or inebriated while at work. These signs include slurred speech, staggered movements, difficulty maintaining balance, and aggressiveness or change in behavior. 

Annual Physical Tests

You can test your employees for alcohol and other drug use as part of an annual physical examination. Be sure to inform employees that drug testing will be part of the exam. Failure to provide prior notification is a violation of the employee’s constitutional rights.

Post-treatment Tests

Testing employees who return to work after completing a rehabilitation program can encourage them to remain drug-free.

How Do State Laws Affect Employee Drug Testing

Most states allow pre-employment drug screens, though some require employers to provide notice to applicants. Multi-state employers should remain cognizant of the laws in each jurisdiction in which they operate as they can vary from state to state.

Businesses with employees who work in safety-sensitive jobs may want to conduct ongoing screens after workers are hired. Some employers like to perform random screening for workers who drive, operate heavy equipment, or work on dangerous construction sites. If employees are in a random testing pool, then they will never know when they will be selected for testing. This makes for a very effective deterrent.

What are the Types of Drug Tests?

Drug tests vary, depending on what types of drugs are being tested for and what types of specimens are being collected. Urine, hair, saliva (oral fluid), or sweat samples can be used as test specimens.

Tests are commonly used for five categories of drugs:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Additional categories may include barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, ethanol (alcohol), hydrocodone, MDMA, methadone, methaqualone, or propoxyphene.

What is the most effective drug test?

Urine testing can detect if a substance has been used in the past few days for most drugs. According to HireRight, 90% of pre-employment screening utilizes urine testing. It is inexpensive and can be administered by HR professionals on-site, negating the need for expensive lab visits. 

Where To Buy Drug Testing Kits

If you are a company or individual that is looking to purchase drug test kits and have been endlessly searching for drug test kits near me, then look no further than Preferred Med Supply. We stock 5 Panel Drug Test Kits and 12 Panel Drug Test Kits on our website. We deliver to your business or home, saving you the hassle, and even offer repeat purchase options. To order click here or call 866-876-6355 today.