June 2, 2016

Drug Testing

DRUG  TESTING  SERVICES

Screening Panels

Federal Fingerprinting / ESS has teamed with the nations’ largest laboratories to offer you a wide range of options for your drug screening needs. We have a vast network of collection sites available to make it convenient for your applicants and/ or employees to take their test.

5 PANEL TEST

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Phenyclidine (PCP)

10 PANEL TEST

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Phenyclidine (PCP)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Methaqualone

Please call us at 888-417-0203 for more information.


More Drug Testing Information:

Drug Screening Policies
If your company does not currently have a drug screening policy in place, Federal Fingerprinting / ESS can create one for you.

This is a free service for our clients.

Random Drug Screening
Most companies are not comfortable selecting the individuals to be tested on a random basis. Federal Fingerprinting / ESS can perform this administrative process for you. This insures that questions concerning fairness and confidentiality are legally addressed.Federal Fingerprinting / ESS offers a computerized random selection process with several options to fit your company’s policy. Whether your company tests are under federal mandate or voluntarily through company policy, we have the technology to meet your needs. Be sure to check the Random Drug Testing — Specific State Restrictions section below for your particular state.

Medical Review Officers
No screening program is complete or legally defensible without the services of competent medical professionals.

Our staff of Medical Review Officers (MROs) have all received special training in the area of substance abuse and are certified by The American Association of Medical Review Officers (AAMRO) or the Medical Review Officer Certification Council (MROCC). Every positive test result is reviewed by our medical review department, and every donor is given the opportunity to speak with the medical staff to provide all pertinent information needed to complete the review process. These professionals make the difference between a marginal program and one that truly provides all the essential ingredients to protect the interests of both your company and the donor.

The Costs Of Drug Abuse

Absenteeism:
Wages paid for days absent or for time tardy
Wages paid for temporary staff to fill in

Accidents/Damage:
Wages paid for days absent
Wages paid for unproductive hours during downtime
Wages paid for temporary personnel
Increased expenses for medical claims and workers’ compensation claims
Cost of replacing damaged equipment
Legal fees, court fee, investigative fees, travel costs

Health Care:
Increased cost for insurance, physicians, and hospitalization
Employee time lost
Administrative costs

Theft/Fraud:
Wages paid for unproductive hours during downtime
Cost of repairing damaged or replacing stolen items
Cost of hiring security services and/or consulting services
Legal fees, court fees, investigative costs, travel costs

Source: Making Your Workplace Drug Free: A Kit For Employers, Employer Tip Sheet #4, Drug Free Workplace Programs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Below are examples of situations in which drug testing might be appropriate or necessary:

Pre-Employment Tests: Offering employment only after a negative drug test result.

  • Goal: To decrease the chance of hiring someone who is currently using or abusing drugs.

Pre-Promotion Tests: Testing employees prior to promotion within the organization.

  • Goal: To decrease the chance of promoting someone who is currently using or abusing drugs.

Annual Physical Tests: Testing employees for alcohol and other drug use as part of their annual physical.

  • Goal: To identify current users and abusers so they can be referred for assistance and/or disciplinary action.

Reasonable Suspicion and For Cause Tests: Testing employees who show obvious signs of being unfit for duty (For Cause) or have documented patterns of unsafe work behavior (Reasonable suspicion).

  • Goal: To protect the safety and well being of the employee, coworkers and the public-at-large, and to provide the opportunity for rehabilitation if the employee tests positive.

Random Tests: Testing a selected group of employees at random and unpredictable times. Most commonly used in safety- and security-sensitive positions.

  • Goal: To discourage use and abuse by making testing unpredictable, and to identify current users and abusers so they can be referred for assistance and/or disciplinary action.

Post-Accident Tests: Testing employees who are involved in an accident or unsafe practice incident to help determine whether alcohol or other drug use was a factor.

  • Goal: To protect the safety of the employee, coworkers, and the public-at-large, and to identify and refer to treatment those persons whose alcohol or other drug use threatens the safety of the workplace.

Treatment Follow-up Tests: Periodically testing employees who return to work after participating in an alcohol or other drug rehabilitation program…

  • Goal: To encourage and ensure that employees remain drug-free after they have completed the first stages of treatment.
Source: Making Your Workplace Drug Free: A Kit For Employers, Employer Tip Sheet #9, Drug Testing, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Risk Assessment

Consider for a moment a variety of scenarios in which a substance abuser might affect your workplace:

Do certain employees perform key functions of the organizations?

  • Brokers handling large sums of money
  • Technicians monitoring essential equipment such as computers, nuclear power dials, etc.
  • Salespersons representing the company

Do you have employees in positions where alcohol or other drug abuse would be difficult to detect?

  • Employees who work at home
  • Traveling salespersons
  • Home health care workers

Do you have employees in “safety sensitive” jobs?

  • Driving vehicles
  • Operating machinery
  • Managing a place of public entry such as a security checkpoint

Do you have employees in “security sensitive” jobs?

  • Responsible for inventory or stock
  • Responsible for ideas, products, plans, and proprietary material
  • Responsible for financial accounting or cash
  • Responsible for confidential documents
Source: Making Your Workplace Drug Free: A Kit For Employers, Employer Tip Sheet #4, Drug Free Workplace Programs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Bottom Line

The following case study was published by Working Partners of the United States Department of Labor:

  • The American workplace consists primarily of small businesses. The federal government estimates that 71 percent of illegal drug users are employed; the majority work for small businesses.1
  • “Small businesses may be particularly vulnerable to problems of drug abuse among their employees because drug abusers will seek work at smaller firms where the likelihood of drug testing is slim.2
  • Small businesses traditionally draw heavily from the pool of 18- to 34-year-old job seekers, a segment of the American population that is at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use. Among young adults age 18-20, 18 percent are current illicit drug users; 12 percent of those age 21-25 and 8 percent of those age 26-34 also are current drug users.3
  • The future work force is also at risk for alcohol and other drug abuse. Substance abuse among American teens is increasing at an alarming rateóup 33 percent between 1994 and 1995; up 78 percent between 1992 and 1995.4
  • According to the results of a study released in 1996 by the federal government, workers from a variety of industries reported the following levels of substance abuse:5

Legal Questions and Answers

Question: Our Company is looking into using on-site testing devices for certain situations. Are these devices legal in all states? Is on-site testing legal in all states?

Answer: No, onsite testing is effectively prohibited in several states. In most states on-site testing is guided by existing statute or regulation. Be sure your drugtesting provider assists your company in obtaining information regarding these important statutes and regulations.

Question: Our Company has mostly smaller groups of employees spread out over several states. None of our employees are directly mandated to be testing under federal regulations. Do we have to follow any specific rules to conduct a basic company drug-screening program?

Answer: Yes. Several states, and even some individual cities, have statutes that affect both the circumstances under which testing is permitted and the tested procedures used. The Federal Fingerprinting / ESS database of drug testing laws will help your company to stay within the limits of the law when conducting drug screening of applicants or present employees. When you have a specific question on a law, just give our office a call and we will get you the answers you need.

Question: A colleague recently suggested that our company might be able to reduce our workers compensation premiums by following certain guidelines when we conduct our company drug testing program, is this possible?

Answer: Yes. Several states have voluntary workers’ compensation premium reduction laws. Be sure your drug-testing provider alerts you if one of the states in which your company operates is one of these states.

Question: Our Company has some operations in California. One of my HR staff members has brought to my attention the California Confidentiality Medical Information Act. Neither my present nor any of my previous drug-test providers ever brought this legislation to my attention. Can you tell me how this legislation might affect how we conduct drug screening in this state?

Answer: Among other things, a strict interpretation of this Act requires that the employer utilize an authorization form that contains no less than nine specific elements. ESS has produced a sample authorization form that specifically addresses the requirements of this important piece of legislation. A free copy of this form is available to all Federal Fingerprinting / ESS clients from our website.

Question: Our Company is just now starting to put together a drug testing policy for our applicants and employees. The biggest concern we have is simply staying out of court. What can we do to achieve this goal?

Answer: Ironically, not having a drug screening program may well imperil your companies efforts to stay out of court much more than having one. Start with a well conceived company policy and choose providers that place a strong emphasis on legal issues.

DISCLAIMER
The above information is intended to provide Federal Fingerprinting / ESS clients with Federal Fingerprinting / ESS’s understanding of some of the commonly asked questions relating to substance abuse testing. Laws and regulations relating to substance abuse testing are subject to change. This information is not to be construed as legal or medical advice or opinion. Federal Fingerprinting / ESS clients are advised to consult with legal counsel in the implementation of all aspects of their substance abuse programs.

Medical Questions and Answers

Question: My doctor told me that a Vicks Inhaler can cause a positive drug test. Is this true?

Answer: One specific type of the Vicks Inhaler can cause an initial positive result. However, a properly reviewed result will result in an additional test called a d & I fractionation. The results of this additional test reveal to the Medical Review Officer an accurate indication of whether the result was caused by the use of this particular over-the-counter product. All positive results reported by Federal Fingerprinting / ESS have been reviewed and confirmed by one of our certified Medical Review Officers (MRO’s).

Question: One of my human resources employees brought me an article posted on the internet that listed the following products as effective in protecting drug abusers from testing positive: Clear Choice Herbal Detox Tea, Quick Tabs, Naturally Klean Herbal Tea, Test Pure, Test Clean, Ready-Clean, THC terminator drink, Detoxify Carbo Clean, and Quick Flush Capsules and Tea. Do these products really work?

Answer: None of these products interfere with assays, but because they are taken with large quantities of water, the urine may be somewhat diluted.

Question: A friend of mine said she tested positive for marijuana but had only been around others that had smoked it. Is this possible?

Answer: Several studies indicate that a positive test result for marijuana conducted at a 50 ng/ml (or higher) cutoff level via immuno-assay screening and confirmed by gc/ms confirmation is highly unlikely to be caused by passive inhalation alone.

Question: I severely sprained my ankle and took a few of my husbands Tylenol 3 tablets with codeine to alleviate the pain. Is it true that I might test positive for drugs?

Answer: Codeine is an opiate metabolite and sufficient ingestion may cause a positive test for opiates. Under most circumstances, it is considered illicit use of drugs to ingest prescription medications originally prescribed for another individual.

Question: My sister says that there are almost 100 legitimate prescription drugs that can cause a positive drug test. Is this true?

Answer: There are more than 100 prescription medications that can cause an initial positive drug result. Therefore, it is essential that all drug-screening programs include the services of a qualified Medical Review Officer to confirm the legitimate use of prescription drugs and to protect the individual rights of the donor. All positive results reported by Federal Fingerprinting / ESS have been reviewed and confirmed by one of our certified Medical Review Officers (MRO’s).

Question: I read that ibuprofen can cause a positive test for marijuana. Is this right?

Answer: At one time there were concerns that ibuprofen may, in some cases, cause a “false positive” test result for marijuana. The issue of cross-reactivity between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and marijuana is generally resolved in the scientific community.

Question: I smoke marijuana once or twice a day. A friend told me that if I stopped smoking today I might still test positive two weeks from now. Is this true?

Answer: Marijuana metabolites are stored in the body’s fat cells. “Chronic” users may test positive for several weeks after stopping use of marijuana. “Casual” users may test positive for one to three days from the day of last use.

Question: Our company is thinking of testing for alcohol along with drugs. Can we have the laboratory test urine for both drugs and alcohol?

Answer: Yes, many laboratories have the ability to test for quantities of alcohol in urine. However, alcohol levels in urine are not reliable indicators of intoxication or even consumption. Therefore, Federal Fingerprinting / ESS does not recommend testing for alcohol in the urine.

Question: One of my friends told me she had to give a hair sample for a pre-employment drug test. Can a laboratory really test hair for drugs?

Answer: Hair testing for the presence of drugs is an emerging technology. Some testing facilities have had difficulties utilizing this technology with the same degree of accuracy as is typically obtained at most urinalysis laboratories. When conducted properly, this type of testing can reveal evidence of drug use over significantly longer time frame than is capable with urinalysis testing. For more information about this technology contact Federal Fingerprinting / ESS at info@Federal Fingerprinting.com

Question: We were talking at lunch the other day and the question came up about our drugtesting program. What prevents someone from bringing another persons urine to a collection facility in order to pass a test?

Answer: Outside of directly observed collections, there is no way to assure that specimens are absolutely that of the person acting as the donor. However several steps are routinely taken at collection facilities to significantly reduce the chance of this happening. ESS directs all our collection facilities to monitor the temperature of the specimens to assure that the temperature of each specimen falls within the strict temperature ranges consistent with freshly discharged human urine.

Question: I have heard that consuming lots of poppy seeds can cause a positive test for heroin. Is this true? I eat a poppyseed muffin everyday for breakfast, is it true that I might test positive for opiates?

Answer: Poppy seeds contain sufficient amounts of morphine to produce detectable concentrations of morphine and codeine in urine. But a test may be considered a positive for heroin, both legally and scientifically only if heroin, or its metabolite momoacetylmorphine (6-mam), is identified in the urine specimen. This result cannot be caused by consuming poppy seeds. This determination can only be made by a Medical Review Officer pursuant to an analysis by gc/ms for 6-mam or heroin. All positive results reported by ESS have been reviewed and confirmed by one of our certified Medical Review Officers (MRO’s).

DISCLAIMER
The above information is intended to provide Federal Fingerprinting / ESS clients with Federal Fingerprinting / ESS’s understanding of some of the commonly asked questions relating to substance abuse testing. Laws and regulations relating to substance abuse testing are subject to change. This information is not to be construed as legal or medical advice or opinion. ESS clients are advised to consult with legal counsel in the implementation of all aspects of their substance abuse programs.

Random Drug-Testing State Restrictions

The following jurisdictions currently prohibit or limit random drug-testing Alaska Possibly prohibited by case law in some circumstances. However, random testing is expressly authorized for employers in compliance with the state’s voluntary drug-testing statute.

California Limited by case law. Permitted for safety-sensitive or where the employer can show another “competing interest.” Balancing test: each employee’s privacy interests v/s the employer’s competing interest. San Francisco prohibits this by statute.

Colorado Boulder prohibits by statute.

Connecticut Limited by statute. Permitted for “high-risk” or safety sensitive or if voluntarily agreed to by employee in an EAP (Employee Assistance Program.)

Maine Limited by statute. Permitted as part of collective bargaining agreement or where “unreasonable threat to health and safety” if the employee was “under the influence.”

Massachusetts Limited by case law. Permitted for safety-sensitive, nationalsecurity and to protect proprietary information. Balancing test: employer’s “legitimate business interests” v/s employee’s right to privacy. Must avoid “unreasonable, substantial or serious interference” with an employee’s right to privacy.

Minnesota Limited by statute. Permitted for safety sensitive only.

Mississippi Non-binding random testing restrictions. If employer is participating in voluntary state drug-testing law, certain procedural safeguards are required.

New Jersey Possibly limited by case law. Permitted where employee’s position is “fraught with hazard.” May be prohibited absent a position “fraught with hazard” or similar competing public interest. Balancing test: public interest v/s employee’s right to privacy. Specific policy requirements should be followed to avoid state privacy law violations.

New York Possibly limited by state and case law. Not clearly prohibited or restricted, but may be.

Puerto Rico Required for certain safety-sensitive positions. Otherwise, permitted with required procedural safeguards.

Rhode Island Prohibited by statute.

Vermont Prohibited by statute.

West Virginia Limited by case law. Permitted for safety-sensitive positions only.

Federal Preemption State and local prohibitions on random drug-testing are preempted by federal random drug-testing regulations. Other state law protections (e.g. restrictions, limitations, requirements) remain in effect.

Disclaimer: All of the foregoing is intended as general legal information only and is provided solely for the convenience of our clients. This information is not intended to be exhaustive or all-inclusive. Federal Fingerprinting / ESS strives to keep up-to-date on the individual state laws and restrictions. Neither this information nor any related communication is to be construed as legal advice. The advice of legal counsel is strongly recommended prior to taking any action based on this information or any related communication. Please contact Federal Fingerprinting / ESS if you have questions regarding your particular state laws. We have access to legal counsel who specialize in drug-testing laws.