Expert Author Andy Fish

There are many instances where it is appropriate to conduct a drug test. Sports teams test for steroids and volunteers doing community service for a nonprofit may be required to undergo a drug test as part of the background check screening process.

The most common use of testing is by companies screening job candidates.

In fact, it is appropriate for businesses to screen their prospective employees for possible use and addictions that can compromise their work performance and jeopardize the integrity and well-being of the company.

The large majority of these drug tests are handled and conducted by an outside, independent, professional drug test company.

When is it Appropriate?

Most companies have prospective job candidates undergo a test as part of the application or interview process. Other organizations will require a drug test of the new employee shortly after beginning employment or a part of a business’ orientation process. Still others do random testing throughout the year on all their employees regardless of tenure.

There is no right time to conduct a professional drug test. The timeframe is mainly dictated by the industry and what the employee’s specific job function and duties are.

A company that does computer programming, for example, would be best suited for the occasional, random drug test. Industries that include constant interaction with people, such as a movie theater or retail or any company in the services sector should think about requiring a test of all new hires within their first few weeks of their employment. Other organizations such as those in the food industry, medical, education and government should include a required testing as part of the job application process.

What is Tested?

Most professional drug tests look for five categories which include:

· Cannabinoids (includes marijuana)

· Cocaine (includes cocaine, crack cocaine, and benzoylecgonine)

· Amphetamines (includes amphetamines, and methamphetamines)

· Opiates (include heroin, opium, codeine, and morphine)

Some companies require customized testing that includes the testing of others such as steroids and prescriptions.

When to Get Help

Almost all testing is done by a professional company. They have a solid set of procedures that provide quick and discreet testing and careful handling to prevent the contamination of the samples. Sophisticated technology allows for accurate and fast results.

The company working with a facility can rest assured that the testing will be done correctly and the results will be quick. In most cases, all the company does is use the supplied products and mail the samples for testing.

Some companies will have job applicants or employees to go to a facility within a certain timeframe.

As such, it is rare for a mistake to happen. If you use drugs, it will be evident.

What to Do With a Failed Test?

Depending on the company, the job or industry, you may have another chance to redeem yourself. If this is the case, seek professional help to free you from at addiction. In some jobs, one failed test is enough to get you fired. In cases like this, there is nothing you can really do.

If a company is notified that an employee or prospective employee has failed a test, the employee should be pulled aside and the results reviewed. Ask him or her about it and what their steps are to resolve their drug use issue. If the business is in certain industries such as education or government where drug use is not tolerated, mention it to the employee and politely tell them that their failed test results in their dismissal.

If your organization is hiring and you want to maintain the integrity of the company as well as vet only the best, productive future employees, a professional drug test is a good option.

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