Why is drug testing important? Because drug abusers are also TRUTH abusers. How much do YOU know about drug testing? I’ll wager that you don’t know as much as you think. My goal is to make the next 90 seconds PRICELESS to you.
Drug testing gives you the Truth that you are looking for. You WANT, no NEED to know if that prospective employee is abusing and number of Nasty drugs. If they are abusing, chances are good that they are selling, perhaps to your employees or worse to your customers? But I digress… let’s start with finding the truth.
Specimens (typically urine) are collected. Observed if need be. Urine temperature is checked. (I had a specimen one time that was 109 degrees!) Government Photo ID checked. Drug screen is then performed. Think home pregnancy test. At this point, you are thinking of course that we have only TWO possibilities, POSITIVE or Negative. Not exactly. At this point, a POSITIVE result is called a NON-NEGATIVE or PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE. Why? Because in order for these results to be legally defensible & court admissible they must be confirmed by a lab. Ever heard of false positives? What if that person has a legitimate prescription for the drug in question? Here is a proper way to finish the process. Presumptive Positive specimen is sent to the lab. If the screen was incorrect, the lab will declare the specimen NEGATIVE. Done. If the lab confirms the presence of the drug, then the lab send this result to the MRO (Medical Review Officer). This is a doctor that contacts the client to get proof of the prescription. If the client has a legitimate prescription for the drug then the MRO changes the results to Negative. If there is no prescription for the drug in their system, Positive results are declared. The MRO is the only one that can override Lab results. Whew still with me?
It takes a lab based test with the involvement of a MRO to give you…the employer, spouse, social worker, parent or lawyer a LEGALLY DEFENSIBLE, COURT ADMISSIBLE RESULT. We just had a client that suffered for 4-5 days from a false Presumptive Positive urine test. There was no lab confirmation and no MRO involved. We did a hair test (observed of course) which has a 90 day look back. (Lookback on a urine can be as short as 3 days!) Turns out the Client was totally clean.
As you can see the total process requires attention to detail and properly trained & certified collectors. Your drug testing company should solve the problems not cause them. A healthy dose of skepticism (based on experience) is essential. Clients that do not follow instructions, act suspicious, abuse the TRUTH refuse to cooperate etc. should raise a red flag. Hear me. In the drug testing business you have to learn to think like a criminal. Would you buy dehydrated urine to beat a drug test? Would you injure your beloved pet just to have the vet prescribe pain meds which you will steal? Of course you wouldn’t but abusers would. They do more and worse…
Next time I will cover hair testing including some of the latest technology involving 10 panel tests and something called “Limit of Detection” testing! WOW!
Mark Bergerson

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