Employers in the last decade found it hard to rely on drug testing to ensure that they are hiring employees that are free from banned substances. However, the adoption of more stringent rules and restrictions at drug test sites and laboratories have made it harder for drug users to cheat. The variation of drug testing programs also allow choices and more certainty about the test results.
Urinalysis has been the most common and often used drug testing method. However, this is also the easiest to trick and cheat. Diluting urines with water or other colorless fluid is enough to make the drug traces virtually undetectable. To reinforce security on this kind of testing, most companies and drug testing laboratories prefer on-site specimen collection. A drug test technician either visits the site to collect and test samples from workers or candidates for testing visit the laboratories where their urines are collected and tested immediately. Candidates are not allowed to leave the testing room until the test is finished. This ensures that the urine samples collected are not tampered or diluted. However, on-site collection is awkward especially for women because the candidates are actually supervised while collecting their samples. The testing of oral fluid or saliva is also implemented but not popular. Though oral fluid can be collected easily and are not susceptible to alteration, results based on this test are still suspicious. This is because drug traces in saliva can be undetectable after a day. Hence, if a user stops taking drugs a day or two before the test, he may be given a negative mark and pass the test.
Newer technology in drug tests now allow for hair testing. In the present, this is regarded as the most foolproof drug test. Drug residue from drug use, whether ingested or injected, remains inside the hair cuticle. Even if the user bleached, colored, or cut his hair, the residue would still be present and can be detected. This is also very popular since the collection of samples is not difficult and possible without embarrassing the tester and the candidate. Candidates do not need to worry about ruined hairstyles since the snips are done in inconspicuous places and are not noticeable. The latter kind of drug testing are also more cost-efficient for employers. Though the fees for the test is pricier than urinalysis, the company saves more because hair testing can effectively weed out drug abusers from the company’s ranks. This is because a drug-dependent employee cost a company as much as $10,000 in terms of unproductivity, absences, and benefits. They are usually the perpetrators of office theft. Plus, the employees would be deterred from using drugs because they know that is cheat-proof. All in all, investing in drug and hair testing are worthy expenses for the employer.