Drug testing is an important part of the hiring process for any company that deals with people. It’s not just in the public sector either, as it can be utilized by companies who work in all industries.
The main reason why drug testing is done in most organizations is to make sure employees are not using illegal drugs while at work or on duty. The benefits of having a drug-free workforce far outweigh the costs of this policy. In addition, drug testing helps employers save money in various ways, such as reduced accidents, lower insurance bills, and decreased health care costs.
However, there is another side to the story that should also be considered. Many employers have implemented random drug testing, which means that they randomly decide when employees will be tested. This is problematic because it leads to unfair results.
Nowadays, anyone can purchase drug testing kit and can do a test on their basis. But they have to get more knowledge regarding it and then you will be able to this without any help. People can also read out and understand the instructions given on the label of your testing kit. Here we are sharing some important aspects regarding it.
In this article, you will learn about how to implement an effective drug testing program in your organization.
If you want to start a new drug testing program, here are some things you need to keep in mind
- Understand the reasons for the drug test
First, you must understand why you require drug tests. Do you need them because you suspect someone has been taking drugs? Or do you need them to confirm whether someone actually took drugs? If you find out that someone might have taken drugs, but you don’t have proof, you may not take action against them.
- Have a clear definition of what constitutes a positive result
You also need to know exactly what constitutes a valid positive result. If you choose to use hair follicle samples, then you have to define how many strands are needed to confirm a positive result. Hair follicles grow about 50 times faster than skin cells. Therefore, if you only take two samples from one person, you cannot expect to get anything more than a false negative result.
- Consider what consequences you will impose on those who test positive
Next, you need to think about the penalties that you will impose on those who test positive. You need to be careful not to punish everyone unfairly. So, you need to consider the type of drug that was used and the amount consumed before imposing penalties.
- Avoid punishing the innocent
Lastly, you have to avoid punishing the innocent. Most people believe that they are above suspicion, so they would probably argue that they were not even involved in the situation. However, they could be punished nonetheless, especially if you are using hair follicles instead of urine samples as evidence.
- Make sure the test is reliable
Before implementing a drug testing program, you should ensure that the test is accurate. There are different types of drug tests available, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some tests are very accurate, while others have low accuracy rates.
Also, you need to check whether the test kit is certified by an appropriate authority. Certifying authorities provide assurance that the test kits meet certain standards. These include the following:
The test kits are accurate,
The test kits are reliable,
The test kits are easy to carry out,
The test kits are easy to interpret,
The test kits are user friendly,
The test kits are cost-effective,
The test kits are convenient, and
The test kits are effective.
- Ensure that you follow proper procedures
Finally, you need to ensure that you follow the correct procedures whenever you conduct a drug test. There are different steps that you need to follow, depending on the type of drug test that you use.
For example, if you are conducting a urine sample test, you first need to prepare the sample. Then, you should put the sample in a container and add preservatives. After that, you need to transport the sample to the laboratory for analysis.
Once you receive the results, you need to inform the employee of the decision. Also, you need to decide whether the employee needs to undergo rehabilitation. Finally, you need to document everything in writing, including the date, time, and location where the test was conducted.
How to reduce the number of false positives
Before implementing a drug testing program, you should first figure out the rate of false positives. A false positive occurs when the test detects traces of an illicit substance that are not present. The most common cause of this problem is due to contamination. For example, if you leave your personal belongings like cellphones, keys, or wallets near the test area, these items can become contaminated with traces of illegal substances, leading to false positives.
To reduce the occurrence of false positives, you should clean up after yourself and dispose of all personal belongings. Also, always wear a mask to prevent contamination of the test area.
Another way to reduce the number of false positives is to perform a pre-screening test. During a pre-screening test, you collect some information about the employee, including their lifestyle and medical history. This data can help you determine whether the result of the primary test is likely to be positive, negative, or inconclusive. Based on this information, you can then decide whether further tests are required. If you think that the initial test is likely to yield a false positive, you can request a second test.
One last thing that you can do when implementing a drug testing program is to implement a post-screening test. In this procedure, you repeat the entire process of collecting the sample, transporting the sample to the laboratory, analyzing the sample, and informing the employee of the results.
Once you have decided to implement a drug testing program, here are additional tips you can consider.
- Be honest about the purpose of the test
When you tell employees about the purpose of the drug test, they need to be aware of the fact that they are being tested. They must be told whether the test is mandatory, voluntary, or both. In all cases, however, you should make sure that they know that the outcome of the test will affect their future employment opportunities.
- Choose the right method
There are several methods that you can use when conducting drug tests. The best option depends on the type of drug that you suspect the employee is using. For example, if you suspect cocaine usage, you can use blood, saliva, or urine samples. On the other hand, if you suspect marijuana usage, you can use breath, urine, or sweat patches. When choosing the method, you need to take into consideration the sensitivity of the test. Sensitivity refers to the ability of the test to distinguish between different levels of the drug in the sample. The higher the sensitivity level, the better the test.
- Implement a regular drug testing schedule
It is important to implement a regular drug testing schedule. Random drug testing is not ideal because it is likely to lead to unfair results. Employees who work in high-risk areas may feel pressured to “beat the system” by taking drugs during working hours.