How Thorough Does Your Company’s Drug Screening Need to Be?

Drug Screening

Hunting down the perfect new hire is always stressful, and depending on the vacancy sometimes it’s even more stressful than others. Working out how thoroughly your candidates need to be screened depends on the nature of your business and the position you are hiring for. Below, we examine the different types of drug test available for you.

While some positions just need a quick phone call and a look at a resume to screen the right candidates, some may require a few more steps in the process – even including a clean drug test – as a condition of employment. All drug tests screen for both controlled substances, while some also screen for abuse of prescription medications, enabling you to hire with confidence.

The most common way to test for the presence of these substances is with a urine sample, and a 5-panel test, which is the most widespread form of pre employment drug screening . This is adequate 9/10 times, but for employment in safety-dependent positions such as security, law enforcement, or teaching, a more thorough test might be the way to go.

The 5-panel drug test screens for the most commonly abused illicit substances: heroin, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines. There are also 10 and 12 panel tests available.

The 10-panel drug screen tests for ten of the most common drugs in the USA, including the 5 most commonly abused prescription drugs and the 5 most commonly abused illicit drugs. The drugs screened for include:

  1. Amphetamines
  2. Cannabis
  3. Cocaine
  4. Opioids
  5. Barbiturates
  6. Benzodiazepines

The opportunity for a positive results depends on the drug – for example, opioids stop showing up three days after the most recent use, whereas cannabis can be detected up to 30 days after the last use depending on the frequency and level of use up to that point.

The objective of the pre-employment drug screen test is to test for controlled substances in the subject’s urine, if the 5-panel test is used, or additionally for evidence of abuse of prescription medications if the 10-panel test is used. The most thorough test is the 12-panel drug test, which screens for every substance included in the 10 panel test as well as buprenorphine and oxycodone.

As with any medical information, the results of these tests must be kept strictly confidential, and the details of the results can only very rarely be shared with a non-medical professional; you will likely only be told whether it is a pass or a fail.

How thorough your company’s drug test needs to be really depends on what kind of position you’re hiring for. If you are filling a low level or temp vacancy with only minor responsibilities, then a 5 panel test will suffice. However, if you are hiring security professionals or any person who will have access to sensitive or confidential information, then a more thorough test is perhaps advisable.

Heather Breese
Heather Breese is a qualified writer who fell in love with creativity and became a specialist creator and writer, focused on readers and market need.

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