Written by J. Sundberg

Testing employees for drugs and alcohol has become an increasingly common practice in recent years. Many employers are starting to view it as a quick, inexpensive way to ensure their workforce stays active and safe.

Why test employees for drugs or alcohol?

Aside from higher rates of turnover and absenteeism, drug and alcohol use can negatively impact work quality and productivity at your company.

You should also consider workplace safety. Workers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol could hurt themselves or others through carelessness or inattentiveness. This can lead to costly workers’ compensation claims, and potentially lawsuits. If anyone is injured due to your employee’s actions, there will be an investigation. In this situation, the business will suffer the legal consequences as a whole—not just the employee who caused the accident.

When you weigh these potential costs against drug and alcohol testing, you’ll begin to see that the cost of testing is a small price to pay for safety, productivity and avoiding legal headache.

How do drug and alcohol tests work?

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine works to make drug and alcohol testing easy for employers and employees. We offer three unique ways to test, each taking just 15 minutes to perform the procedure.

Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug testing is the most commonly used method of drug testing. Our patient care technicians will take all necessary precautions to avoid or detect adulterants in the donor’s sample. For drug testing required by the Department of Transportation, all guidelines for drug and alcohol testing are followed strictly.

Hair Drug Testing

Hair provides up to a 90-day drug use history. While urine tests can pick up a single use, hair tests look for multiple uses over time. Hair testing is more difficult to adulterate, but it is slightly more expensive to perform than urine drug testing.

Breath Alcohol Testing

Breath alcohol testing is often performed post-accident, at random, or when an employer may be suspicious about a worker’s alcohol use. If found in violation, employees must immediately be removed from safety-sensitive functions of a job duty. This doesn’t mean they must be fired, but that they cannot perform safety-sensitive functions, like driving, for the time being.

How can I schedule drug tests?

It’s easy to schedule drug and alcohol testing through CRL/FormFox. Creating an appointment is as simple as logging in, scheduling the test, and having your employee notified via text, email or in person that they are required to perform drug or alcohol testing. The employee will be provided with a timeframe, locations and other necessary information to perform the test.

How do I get test results?

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine utilizes CRL/FormFox technology for drug testing with immediate results. Rapid response to job applicants increases the odds of your company securing your first choice of candidates and allows you to take timely action with current employees. You’ll have the ability to view test results online using CRL/FormFox.

What drugs can I test for?

The Instant 5 Panel Drug Screen includes:

  • Amphetamines (including Methamphetamine, “Crystal Meth”)
  • Cannabinoids (THC, Marijuana)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, etc.)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

We offer additional Panels for Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methodone, and Propoxyphene. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Instant Panel Screens are available.

What are drug detection times?

  • Alcohol: 3-5 days in urine, 10-12 hours in blood
  • Amphetamines: 1-3 days in urine and around 12 hours in blood
  • Barbiturates: 2-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Benzodiazepines: 3-6 weeks in urine and 2-3 days in blood
  • Cannabis: 7-30 days in urine and up to 2 weeks in blood
  • Cocaine: 3-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Codeine: 1 day in urine and up to 12 hours in blood
  • Heroin: 3-4 days in urine and up to 12 hours in blood
  • LSD: 1-3 days in urine and up to 2-3 hours in blood
  • MDMA (ecstasy): 3-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood
  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth): 3-6 days in urine and 24 – 72 hours in blood
  • Methadone: 3-4 days in urine and 24-36 hours in blood
  • Morphine: 2-3 days in urine and 6-8 hours in blood

How do I know the results are accurate?

Testing is 98% accurate, meaning you can be confident in your results. Positive results are returned for further testing to ensure the integrity of the original result.

How do I get started with drug testing?

Get connected with a workplace health and safety expert today and discuss your company’s needs.

You’ll gain access to drug and alcohol testing, and over a dozen other occupational medicine services offered at Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational clinics across Colorado.