What You Should Know About Drug Testing

Drug testing is used to look for the presence of certain drugs within the body that could impair a person's judgment and pose other dangers to themselves and others. You may be required to undergo a drug screening test under certain circumstances, and learning about some of the important facts beforehand will help you know what to expect throughout the process. Here are a few important facts that you should know about drug testing.

Situations That Often Require Drug Testing

You may be required by law or the governing body of a company or an organization to undergo drug testing if you want to remain compliant with the rules and avoid certain penalties. If you're applying for an athletic college scholarship or a position on a professional sports team, you'll likely need to undergo drug testing before you're accepted and undergo periodic screenings thereafter. If you got into an accident while driving or on the job, you may also be ordered to get a drug screening if you were suspected of being under the influence of an illicit substance.

Some employers also require drug testing for new hires and existing employees who need to undergo drug screenings regularly to ensure safety on the job. These are just some of the industries that often mandate drug testing:

  • Transportation (both ground and aviation)
  • Health care
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Technology

Drug Testing Samples

In order for the drug screening to be performed, you'll need to submit a sample that can be tested. Saliva, urine, and blood are among the most common testing samples that are used, and you may be required to give one or a combination of these samples depending on your specific testing requirements. In some cases, hair strands are also used for testing.

Payment Obligation

You may have to pay for your drug testing out of your own pocket, or the business or other entity that's mandating the screening might cover the cost for you. If you need to pay for your drug screening yourself but are concerned about the cost, financial assistance may be available. 

What a Positive Result Could Mean

If you test positive for an illicit substance, you could be terminated from your job, stripped of your right to participate in sports, or face other legal consequences. If you believe that the positive result is false, you may be given the opportunity to retest within a certain period to determine if the positive result was likely in error. If another positive test comes back, you'll likely face serious consequences. It should also be noted that the opportunity to retest is not always guaranteed.

These are just some of the key pieces of information that you'll want to know if you've been ordered to submit a drug test. The staff at the facility where you go for your drug screening can answer any additional questions and guide you through the process so that each step of your drug testing is performed correctly.