Non-DOT Drug Testing: What You Need to Know

Pre-employment or dot drug testing breath alcohol testing drug screening

Drug tests are a common practice for employers in the U.S., often a requirement prior to or during employment. Many employees tend to ask their employees to undergo drug tests, either on a randomized or regular basis. This helps ensure that no employee addicted or is under the influence of substances and alcohol in the workplace.

Drug testing is a mandate for certain professions that require a high safety standard. These include construction, transport or delivery, and others. that involves concentration and utmost precision. Routine drug testing discourages employees from abusing substances for the fear of job termination due to a positive lab result. This is why drug tests are conducted to prevent any safety issues in the workplace due to substance abuse. DOT drug tests are mandatory drug screenings conducted by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and do not apply to all kinds of jobs. Non-DOT drug testing is one that is not regulated by the DOT.

What is Non-DOT Panel Testing?

If you are working in a sector that isn’t governed by the Department of Transportation, then you may be requested to undergo Non-DOT drug testing. While DOT drug tests look for five particular drugs namely, Cannabis, PCP, Cocaine, Opioids and Amphetamines, Non-DOT tests can look for any drug group.

Non-DOT panel testing is less strict than DOT drug tests, but they still have to adhere to several legal guidelines. For instance, employers need to notify employees prior to their application and will need them to sign a consent form. Employers are also required to offer a copy of the lab results to their employees.

Even though Non-DOT drug testing is not strictly regulated by a governing body, it is still one of the best ways to maintain a professional standard and workplace integrity. 

What to expect in a Non-DOT Drug Test?

Non-regulated or non-DOT drug screening is a test that determines the presence of drugs in your system. It is not only used for detecting any illegal or recreational drugs, but also for prescription medications. The results acquired by non-DOT drug tests can help determine if one is abusing substances or using them for recreational purposes. There are several types of non-DOT drug tests, with urine tests being the most common.

It is important to note that prescription drugs can result in false positives on any non-DOT drug test. If you are on prescribed medication, the first thing you should do is inform your doctor, employer or the one taking the test. Non-DOT drug tests are accurate most of the time, but not always reliable. Drug tests can be requested by employers for the following reasons:-

  • To check for recent drug use
  • To check if you are abusing substances
  • To check if you are on prescribed medication
  • To check if you are using or abusing illegal drugs

What are the different forms of non-DOT drug tests?

In non-DOT drug tests, employees can request for the detection of any kind of drug including Benzodiazepines, Quaaludes, Barbiturates and the like other than the 5 standard drugs. These tests will need employees to provide the following samples depending on the test one is taking:-

Urine Samples: Urine tests are the most common drug tests conducted for both DOT and non-DOT drug screenings. Employees are required to provide a urine sample which will be taken to a lab for testing for any trace of drugs. Each drug has a separate window of detection and needs to be analyzed closely. One major disadvantage of taking urine tests is the possibility of being tampered with or even completely replaced. Detection windows can also be an issue especially if the test is not done in the right time frame. 

Saliva Samples: Unlike urine samples, you cannot tamper with a saliva sample. However, they are not widely performed due to being expensive and can only detect substances if used within 72 hours. This could lead to discrepancies. Saliva tests are more invasive because it involves collecting a swap sample directly from the individual’s mouth. This further prevents producing false results and ensures the accuracy of the test.

Hair Samples: Drug screening with hair samples is even less common than the previous two methods. In this test, hair follicles are tested to check for a drug’s presence in the system. This is a highly reliable form of drug screening that has the longest detection window and can detect the presence of drugs that were taken within 3 months. Hair follicle tests are quick, easy, and relatively painless, with very less possibility of tampering because individuals don’t need privacy for it. The body hair of individuals with no hair is just as effective. However, hair follicle tests are the most expensive and take a lot longer to analyze.

Breathalyzer Test: Sometimes, employers conduct breathalyzer tests along with the Non-DOT drug test to detect the presence of alcohol. Breathalyzers measure the alcohol presence in one’s bloodstream by just measuring the alcohol presence in one’s breath. BAC or Blood Alcohol Content is used for detecting if an individual was dring and driving or drinking on the job. Breathalyzer tests require a breath sample for the analysis where the individual will be asked to strongly blow into the mouthpiece of a device for 4 seconds.

Blood Sample: Although very uncommon it is highly unlikely for an employer to ask their employees for a blood sample to run a Non-DOT drug test. It is considered the most expensive and invasive testing method with a very short detection window. The usage of needles might also prompt employees to refuse to partake in this test.

What is detected in a pre-employment non-DOT drug test?

Non Drug tests may not only involve the detection of drugs but also medications that you might be taking. The most common substances that are tested for are:-

  • Marijuana (hashish extracts, including THC oil, wax, and glass)
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids (Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone)
  • Benzodiazepines, or benzos (Diazepam, Alprazolam, lorazepam)
  • Amphetamines (Amphetamine sulfate, Methamphetamine, Ritalin and Adderall)
  • Barbiturates (Amobarbital, Penobarbitiol, Phenobarbitol, Secobarbital)
  • Individual drugs (Phencyclidine, Methaqualone, Methadone, Propoxyphene)

Why Affordable Rapid Testing is the ideal drug testing service?

As an employee or job applicant, it is important to know that there are several types of Non-DOT drug tests that you may need to take as per the request of your employer. As an employer, checking employees for substance or alcohol abuse is of utmost importance to make your workplace drug/alcohol-free. Affordable Rapid Testing offers the best and most reliable non-DOT drug testing and panel testing services in both Arizona and Scottsdale. With seamless and painless methods of drug testing, they aim to provide 100% accuracy when it comes to drug screens. Check out their official website to know more. 

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