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What to Expect During an Employment Drug Test

Drug testing is becoming a more common procedure for getting a new job, maintaining a current job, and whenever an accident on the job occurs. Employers are relying on drug testing to rule out undesirable employees and cut down on unwanted risks. In today’s competitive job market, it is important to understand the importance drug testing plays in the decision making process. Test positive and you could potentially jeopardize your ability to secure a new job or hang on to the one you have currently.


Drug testing is typically done at a testing facility, hospital, or on-site at the facility where you interview. Many employers may extend a job offer but will require a drug test to be done first. In most cases, you will be required to report for the test within a day or two of the offer. This allows you fit the appointment into your schedule but will not give you enough time to get rid of illegal drugs already in the body.


When you report for a drug test, you will have paperwork to complete and will need to present identification. You will need to provide a list of any prescription medications and over the counter medicines you are currently taking. You can discuss any medications you are taking as prescribed by a doctor that may render a positive testing result.


There are three types of drug testing that is used by employers which include urine testing, hair testing, or through blood testing. Urine testing involves urinating into a cup. The urine will be tested for temperature to ensure no one is trying to pass off the clean urine of someone else as their own. If blood or hair tests are required, a medical professional will be involved to get the appropriate sample. Hair testing will require several hairs to be removed. Hair is usually taken from the head but pubic hair or other body hair can also be used for testing.


The testing facility generally does not provide the results immediately. Testing results may be sent to the potential employer directly if they are paying for the testing. Some testing will only offer a pass/fail response while others can use testing which outlines the drugs found in the system at the time of testing.