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First Check’s Knowledge of the Professional Drug Testing Market

A considerable number of industries have adopted workplace drug testing to protect themselves against employee drug use on the job, which can be dangerous to the employee and costly to the business. Professional drug testing can take place through pre-employment drug screens or random screenings performed during a period of employment.

First Check Diagnostics, LLC a subsidiary of Alere Inc., is the leader in drug testing solutions for consumer and professional markets.

Alere is continually building connections between its professional and over the counter businesses. It is through Alere’s dedication to quality and commitment to helping individuals take charge of their own health that First Check is able to identify drug testing trends and bring innovative products to you for use in the privacy of your own home.

Professional Drug Testing Methods

There are many professional drug-testing methods available for employers or organizations to use, including those using hair samples, saliva samples, and the most commonly-used sample for testing: urine.

Here, First Check explains what you can expect during a professional workplace drug test. First Check understands the technology used in professional drug screening . Many First Check® Home Drug testing products are more than 99 percent accurate.

Once a company has determined an employee should be drug tested, the company may outsource the collection of a urine sample to a third party collection agency, which in turn may partner with a testing laboratory.

The employee is given a specific amount of time to go to the collection lab to give a urine sample.

After a sample is produced (usually under observation if the individual being tested is on parole or a rehabilitation clinic is involved), a chain of custody form is signed. Here is an example of what the form might say:

“I certify that I provided my urine specimen to the collector and that I have not adulterated it in any manner. The specimen was sealed in my presence with a tamper evident seal and the information provided on this form and on the label affixed to the specimen tube is correct.”

The specimen is then sealed and a preliminary screening takes place, usually on the premises of the collection site.

Under Federal government guidelines issued by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), companies that test their employees must test for five specific categories of drugs, sometimes known as the “NIDA 5.”

The five categories are:

  • Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
  • Cocaine (cocaine, crack, benzoylecognine)
  • Amphetamines (amphetamines, methamphetamines, speed)
  • Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Some companies or facilities may opt for additional drug screening, testing for drugs such as Ecstasy and prescription drugs.

Most companies adhere to SAMHSA-identified cut-off levels. However, some industries may test for higher or lower cut-off levels than the SAMHSA-identified cut-off levels, depending on their standards.

However, some industries may test for higher or lower cut-off levels than the SAMHSA-identified cut-off levels, depending on their standards.

The urine sample is then tested for the presence of drugs by using a screening device.

If the preliminary results are Negative for all drugs, the sample does not require confirmatory testing.

If the preliminary results are Positive for any or all drugs, the urine sample is shipped to a laboratory for further analysis. The laboratory uses a highly sensitive testing method called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to confirm and quantify the drugs of abuse present in the urine sample. GC/MS is considered the gold standard in laboratory testing for most drugs and can determine the amount of drug or drug metabolite in urine and rule out any substances that might cause a false positive through cross-reactivity.

When confirmatory testing of the urine sample is complete, test results are provided via mail, fax, or the Internet to the company that ordered the test.