What type of drug testing is available for employment agencies?


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If your employment agency or company would like to drug-test future employees, you'll need to decide what type of test is best for your business.

Be aware that pre-employment drug tests can only be required after a candidate has been given a "Conditional Offer of Employment," according to OHS, Inc. There are certain professions, like those that are United States Department of Transportation regulated, that require testing before being hired based on federal guidelines. Other industries do not have regulations related to drug prevention, but many companies choose to perform these types of tests anyway. After all, 77 percent of drug users in the United States are employed and most companies want to discourage those individuals from actively using while employed or avoid hiring them in the first place. 

To be safe, employers may want to follow procedures established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) related to drug testing. While private companies are not required to be SAMHSA compliant, reported the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), following those guidelines can help prevent any future legal issues. 

Alcohol testing 
Breathalyzers are readily available through consumer retail websites. By breathing into an alcohol-detection device, an individual's blood-alcohol concentration can be quickly measured showing if a person has been drinking beforehand. However, it is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include alcohol testing pre-employment. These can only be administered after an individual is hired for a job.

Urine testing 
This is one of the most common forms of drug testing since it is easy to administer. Metabolites, or drug residue, from Illicit and prescription substances can be detected in a person's urine for several days after use. As long as candidates remain clean leading up to an interview or testing date, they will likely pass this type of test. 

Hair testing 
Hair provides a much longer timeframe for accuracy than urine samples and can determine if an individual has used specific illicit drugs during the past 90 days. Because it is the least invasive method, it can help maintain privacy. 

Blood testing 
One of the more invasive methods, blood testing can return more accurate results for urine, but has a shorter time window than hair samples. This is typically not used for pre-employment testing since it requires qualified personnel to extract a sample. Instead, it's commonly administered after a work-related accident. 

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