New to drug testing: New Year’s resolution

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With every New Year that comes along, people have a tendency to make promises to complete an act of self-improvement, whether they choose to go to the gym more or decide to give up vices such as chocolate. My New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to not only improve myself, but to give employers the opportunity to improve by giving them the information they need to make decisions on drug testing programs. Below are some of the different products we offer to help create these different programs.

Urine testing is the most common screening method and detects recent use, typically within the previous three days. It’s also the only testing method approved for federally-mandated testing. Businesses rely on laboratory-based urine testing for its cost-effectiveness, ability to test for a wide variety of drugs and its long-standing record of legal defensibility.

Hair testing typically returns double the positivity rate of urine drug tests, due to its ability to detect a pattern of repetitive drug use for up to 90 days. While urine testing is well suited to detect recent drug use for post-accident or reasonable suspicion testing, a hair test is the most effective way to evaluate long-term patterns of use.

Oral fluid testing offers confidential lab-based drug test results from an easy-to-use oral fluid collection method. By using oral fluid instead of urine, donors can collect and cap their own samples on-site and in the presence of a monitor, reducing the likelihood of tampering or a donor challenge later in the screening process.

For those employers who need results within minutes, we also offer instant testing. Instant testing for drugs of abuse yields rapid, reliable results. Compared with lab-based testing which can take days to return a result, instant testing takes only minutes and as such can enable faster decision making and improve program efficiencies.

You have many options to consider when creating a drug testing program. And as the New Year begins, I encourage you to resolve to improve the safety of your business by implementing a new drug testing program or by potentially enhancing the program you currently have in place.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.

As a new employee at Quest Diagnostics, there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new about the world of drug testing. Like some of you, I have a lot to learn about the industry. During my first year of employment, I’m going to write this weekly column highlighting drug testing procedures, products and processes as I discover them. To learn more about my journey, you can read my introductory post.