How to Choose the Right Drug Testing Method for Your Staff and Business Needs

Drug Testing Methods

Drug testing is a crucial aspect of any business. Knowing which type of test is best suited for your staff and business needs is essential. Let’s take a look at the differences between various tests. This information will help you decide what type of testing method would be best for your situation.  

The most common types of tests are urine, saliva, hair follicle, blood, and breathalyzer or alcohol screening tests. Urine tests are ideal for detecting recent use of drugs like marijuana. However, saliva tests are better suited for detecting immediate usage within a few days. Furthermore, hair follicle testing can detect past drug use up to 90 days back. While blood testing is better suited for identifying recent opioid consumption, such as heroin or prescription painkillers. 

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to the average person to determine what would be best for their situation. Each test has its own unique properties. For example, if you want to know if your employee showed up after smoking marijuana, you probably want to go with the saliva test. However, if you want to know more, such as how much THC has been in the system, you will probably need to go with a blood test. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular testing methods offered here at Keystone Lab.

The Benefits of Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug tests are a reliable and popular option for businesses looking to conduct drug testing. They offer quick results, are cost-effective and versatile, and can identify a variety of drugs. Urine tests are also considered non-invasive.

Before selecting a urine drug test, it’s essential to understand the differences between the various types available. The most common type is the 5-panel test, which tests for marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates (such as heroin or codeine), amphetamines (including methamphetamine), and phencyclidine (PCP). In contrast, the 10-panel urinalysis provides more comprehensive coverage by also testing for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone. 

However, urine drug tests will only have a positive or negative reaction to testing. It will not give any details about how much of something was used or how often. They are the test that many begin with because they are quick, inexpensive, and will tell what drugs are in the system. Employers can choose to take the testing further from the urine test to find out more about how much or how long the drugs or alcohol were used. 

The Benefits of Oral Fluid Testing Over Urine Tests

The two most common ways to test employees for drugs are urine tests and oral fluid tests. Both types of drug tests are reliable. But several benefits associated with oral fluid testing make it the preferred choice for many employers.

Furthermore, urine testing has several drawbacks that can be avoided with an oral fluid test. One of these drawbacks is that someone trying to pass the drug test can easily manipulate or falsify urine samples. This is something that is much more difficult with an oral fluid sample.

There are also practical advantages associated with choosing an oral fluid test over a urine one. Oral fluids offer improved safety and convenience because they do not require any special collection equipment or procedures.

For employers looking for ways to screen their employees effectively without compromising on accuracy or reliability, opting for an oral fluid drug test is a popular choice.

The Benefits of Blood Testing Over Urine Testing

Blood testing can detect drugs more quickly than urine tests and is more accurate for long-term drug users. Tampering with results is difficult to do without being detected during analysis. Blood test results can detect current and past drug use, providing a more comprehensive overview of an employee’s level and duration of substance use compared to other forms of drug screening, such as urine or oral fluid.

While blood testing provides employers with invaluable information, it is essential to maintain ethical standards. You need to ensure that you are complying with legal regulations when administering these types of tests.

These tests are far more expensive than urine or oral fluid testing. However, they give much more information overall. Many times people will start with a urine or oral fluid test, to determine if there is even a need to go any further. Because of the costs involved, its wise to do that.  

Reasons to Choose One Type of Drug Test Over Another

Employers may use different types of drug tests to help maintain a safe, drug-free workplace. When selecting a test, employers should consider accuracy, cost, and ease of administration. Common tests include urine tests, oral fluid tests, breath alcohol tests, hair follicle tests, and blood tests. Each type has its own benefits and should be carefully evaluated before implementation.

Urine testing is relatively easy and cost-effective. However, it cannot measure exact levels or concentrations within a sample. As such, it is best for detecting recent drug use.

Blood testing provides more accurate results but is more expensive and invasive. It requires special handling procedures and may not be suitable for all situations. 

Oral fluid testing is a convenient alternative that is both accurate and easy to administer. It provides quick results and is ideal when speed matters.

Hair Testing provides very accurate results that can go as far back as 90 days, giving results for when the drugs were actually used. But, this type of testing can be quite expensive. 

Drug testing is a critical tool for employers to ensure the safety and productivity of their workplace. Various types of tests provide different levels of accuracy, cost, and ease of administration. While blood or hair tests are more accurate for long-term drug users, they are also more costly. On the other hand, urine tests are easier to administer but require greater scrutiny due to potential contamination issues. Oral fluid tests provide an accurate and cost-effective alternative.

If you should have questions regarding drug testing your employees, feel free to reach out. At Keystone Lab, we work with many employers to help them get the right testing for their workforce. Call 800-230-2991 today to get started. 

Work With A Trusted Toxicology Expert

Keystone Laboratories, a CAP-accredited North Carolina licensed laboratory and CLIA-licensed lab, is committed to helping you make important decisions that impact the safety and health of your patients with greater confidence. Clients in 48 states can get prescription drug and substance abuse recovery monitoring, specialized testing, workplace drug testing, screening, and program management services from Keystone. Contact Keystone Laboratories today to receive the industry-leading laboratory testing services!

Drug Testing
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