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.


Worldwide Economic Development and Drug Use

by Pablo Bolanos on March 2, 2017

Regardless of where we live in the world, socioeconomic status can influence our life experiences. From the neighborhoods were we grow up, to the extracurricular activities we take part in, many times the circumstances into which we are born can predetermine our futures and the futures of the generations that follow. According to the American Psychological Association, “socioeconomic status is a key factor that influences quality of life for children, youth and families… [and] affects human functioning in many ways, including development across the life span, psychological health and physical health.”

According to  2016 World Drug Report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, economic growth and poverty are the two most relevant factors in analyzing the links between economic development and drug use around the world. Although lower socioeconomic status is oftentimes quickly linked to a higher prevalence of drug use, research shows the association may not be completely accurate. For example, in the United States, the use of crack cocaine is regularly attributed to lower income communities, but in reality the difference in purity and price between crack cocaine and the powder version we sometimes associate with higher income users is minimal.

In addition to income, there are multiple factors that play into why certain drugs are more commonly used in certain parts of the world:

  • Profitability – Drugs whose production isn’t native to a specific region, like heroin in the United States, will demand higher sales prices and will often take hold in geographies with relatively higher levels of per capita income. This is because drugs can be difficult to acquire, generating higher demand, and therefore higher mark-ups, for drug traffickers and manufacturers
  • Geography – In contrast, regions that are not located near cocaine and heroin production areas, such as all of Africa, experience relatively low instances of reported use of both drugs
  • Wealth – Developed countries and wealthier societies’ propensity to experiment or use multiple drugs “recreationally” has shown to yield higher drug use

The graphic above, courtesy of the World Drug report depicts higher socioeconomic status’ influence on drug use, poverty however, is strongly associated with substance abuse disorders. According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), “substance abuse disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.” The difference being that drug dependent people in countries with wide income inequality gaps are trapped in a vicious cycle of hardships and drug use due to factors which include:

  • Breakdown of family as a result of addiction
  • Lack of education
  • Limited access to employment
  • Lack of healthcare

That said, not everyone who lives in a poor community will become addicted to drugs. However, poverty does have strong associations with drug use disorders, whereas countries with middle or higher socioeconomic classes, tend to have a higher prevalence of “recreational” drug use and lower levels of addiction.

For more information about international drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.