Drug Testing Do’s and Don’ts

by Pablo Bolanos on November 14, 2017

Its 6:00 a.m. and the sound of your alarm fills the calm morning air. You’re certain that wonderful wake up sound is a bit early and hit snooze to catch a bit more rest. You finally wake up and when you do, you’re immediately hopeful, because today could mark the beginning of a new chapter. As you sit down next to your closest friend—coffee—you take a moment to reflect on your journey and replay the steps you’ve taken to change one of the most important aspects of your life—where you work.

During the past month, you’ve written down potential interview questions, calmed your nerves during face-to-face meetings, and rehearsed the perfect tone when you assert yourself as the best-suited candidate for the job. Prospective employers met you, listened, and got to know you better, and, at last, one manager recognized that your talent would be a great fit for the team and made you a conditional job offer. Before walking proudly into your new job, there is one last step—you must complete and pass a drug test.

As the most common reason for testing, a pre-employment drug test, helps employers proactively protect themselves from the negative impacts of hiring a drug user. The process kicks off when an employer gives the candidate instructions to provide a urine, oral fluid or hair drug test specimen. The test is typically conducted at an off-site location like a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center by a professional test administrator. It’s significant to note that the drug testing process is standardized across our network, meaning the same strict regimen occurs no matter which Quest site you visit. Our staff is trained to be welcoming, respectful, and to consistently follow strict guidelines.

Your part in the process is simple, yet equally important, to ensuring a successful drug test collection. With the goal of making sure that you, as well as others in the waiting area, have a safe and pleasant experience, we have compiled 10 helpful tips:


For information about your upcoming drug test from Quest, visit our website or contact us online.


International Drug and Alcohol Trends

by Pablo Bolanos on October 31, 2017

Brazil is known for spectacular beaches, the Amazon rainforest, and over the past decade, the “Cracklands,” a notorious part of Rio de Janeiro at the heart of Brazil’s growing crack-cocaine epidemic. On the other side of the equator, there is Canada, often referred to as “the friendly neighbor to the north.” Much like the U.S., Canada has struggled with a significant increase in opioid-related deaths during the past two decades. According to research from the Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, more than 700 people died of opioid-related causes in 2015. If you employ people in these countries, drug use trends are critical for companies striving to maintain a drug-free workforce.

The International Forum for Drug and Alcohol Testing conference (IFDAT) brings thought leaders together to share best practices and engage in dialogue about how to keep global workplaces safe, productive, and drug-free. Insights about other countries’ experiences with drugs and alcohol help to develop a deeper understanding of cultures, foreign laws, and societal attitudes towards substance abuse, and subsequently, drug testing.

At the last IFDAT conference, which took place in Florida in October, sessions included aviation regulations, drug panel configurations throughout the world, international Medical Review Officer services, alcohol biomarker testing (including PEth), road safety, and dealing with test results across borders. Yet, during the conference, a universal theme emerged: drug use, drug abuse, and fatal overdoses do not singularly affect one subset of a population, one tier of income, or only “the western world.” The latest findings from the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report portray a vivid picture of drug and alcohol use across the globe:

  • 28 million cumulative years of life are lost as a result of drug use
  • An estimated 183 million past-year users of cannabis, or marijuana, in 2015
  • Approximately 1.6 million people who inject drugs have HIV and 6.1 million have Hepatitis C
  • Cultivation of the coca bush, the primary resource used in cocaine production, increased by 30% from 2013 to 2015, following a long decline
  • Drug trafficking using the “Darknet” has increased 50% each year since 2013

Additionally, Dr. Anthony Wong, Medical and Scientific Director of MAXILABOR Diagnostics, based out of Brazil, spoke about the benefits of implementing a rehabilitation program alongside voluntary employee drug testing. Dr. Wong looks at drug use and abuse as treatable conditions, and with the help of the Brazilian government has established the “CUIDE” program, a 5-step protocol that guides company policy towards treatment and rehab as part of a new kind of workplace drug testing program.

Another conclusion is that drug testing abroad is not easy. However complex, the benefits of drug-free workplace programs is supported by data and research. At Quest, we work to simplify drug testing abroad, from the collection of the specimen, to the shipping of the specimen from remote corners of the earth in an effort to streamline the entire process. Our centralized team of subject matter experts helps our clients to navigate logistics and obstacles overseas.

To learn more about international drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

Clarifying the new OSHA post-accident drug testing regulations

February 3, 2017Drug Testing

New regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses became effective on December 1, 2016. The regulations prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses (OSHA 29 CFR 1904). Although drug and alcohol testing was not mentioned in the Final Rule […]

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Webinar: 12 Common (and Costly) Employer Mistakes

September 15, 2014Webinars

According to the U.S. government, 11 percent of the full-time adult workforce regularly engages in illegal drug use. Substance abuse can pose many serious risks for employers including increased losses in productivity, absenteeism, turnover, health care costs, product defects and – most importantly – accidents. More companies are implementing comprehensive substance abuse prevention policies and […]

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