How Do Drug Tests Work: Saliva/Swab Testing

how do drug tests work

Hiring the right employee can be a difficult task for many entrepreneurs. After all, choosing someone who isn’t a solid fit for your team can easily result in a large handful of detrimental issues for your company. 

Typically, the hiring process includes conducting a proper screening for illicit substances. However, not everyone understands what this involves.

Are you wondering how do drug tests work? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

So… How Do Drug Tests Work?

Although the term ‘drug test’ may imply that the process is relatively complicated, it’s likely far simpler than you think.

As the name suggests, a swab test involves using a cotton swab to make contact with the inside of the cheek. From here, the sample that’s obtained from the participant is then analyzed for the presence of certain substances.

In general, swab tests will determine whether or not the potential employee has recently used illicit substances. These substances often include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines

Depending on the regulations that the job position requires, swab tests may also be used to screen for the consumption of alcohol.

Swab tests are renowned for being one of the least invasive forms of drug testing. They also require a notably low amount of preparation, which reduces the chances of receiving skewed results.

So, they’re fairly easy to implement if your business doesn’t already take advantage of their utility.

How Long Do Results Take?

The actual analysis of the swab test results takes very little time in itself. The main factor that influences this metric is whether the sample is analyzed on-site or sent off to a lab instead. 

If the sample does need to be sent to a lab for analysis, you can typically expect to receive your results within 24 hours from when the test was conducted. If the sample is analyzed at the same site where you conducted the test, the results are often available in minutes.

How Accurate Are These Results?

Although a swab test is a quick, non-invasive way to check for the presence of certain substances, the results that it provides are well-known for being highly accurate.

In fact, the average swab test is able to provide results that have 98% accuracy. Therefore, this method is a quick and cost-efficient way to screen for applicable substances.

How Can Drug Tests Benefit Employers?

Screening for the use of certain drugs is a standard that’s almost always upheld in corporate culture. However, it’s not always evident what benefits are able to be had from doing so.

For example, a new entrepreneur may screen every prospective hire for a large variety of drug usage only because they feel obligated to do so.

Let’s explore a few of the reasons why this process is worth incorporating.

Increased Productivity

As you may expect, someone who freely uses certain types of substances without any accountability could easily let this part of their lifestyle influence their performance at work. 

For example, an employee who frequently uses benzodiazepines recreationally may be consistently unproductive even under ideal conditions (such as having their own workspace).

Employees who frequently consume other illicit substances may perform inconsistently, call out from work on a regular basis, miss deadlines, etc.

These employees will also be unfit to interact with clients or give presentations, limiting their capability to fulfill their role at your company. In a scenario where this employee isn’t easily replaceable, their behavior could be highly detrimental to your company’s revenue.

Elimination of Safety Hazards

Employees who aren’t required to abstain from the use of illicit substances could prove to be a danger to both themselves and others who are present at your business. 

Common examples may include: 

  • Intoxicated behavior
  • Improper operation of heavy machinery
  • Being overly confrontational with coworkers or superiors

While the type of hazard this type of employee poses will vary highly depending on what type of substances they frequently consume, it’s highly likely that they’ll prove to be both dangerous and distracting under many different circumstances.

Screening for ongoing drug use will help prevent these instances from occurring and ensure that there are no incidents that disrupt your company’s day-to-day operations.

Improved Attitude and Appearance

Workplace morale is crucial to maintain if you want to consistently perform at optimal levels. Employees in every industry have difficult days, and having someone near them who has low motivation and performance can make the situation worse. 

Unfortunately, this is an attribute that can sometimes be difficult to hold an employee accountable for.

If an employee follows the dress code but seems to dread being at your workplace, for example, it’s not always easy to pull them aside and tell them to reassess their attitude during work hours.

Similarly, employers don’t always have the right to tell workers that they look ‘too tired,’ ‘unhealthy,’ etc., even if these statements are true and also result from drug use.

Unless they’re blatantly breaching your employee code of conduct (such as by openly using profanity), there may not be anything you can do in certain scenarios.

Fortunately, these situations can often be prevented entirely by incorporating thorough screening for common illicit substances. 

Understanding How Drug Tests Work Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about ‘how do drug tests work’ in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward making the decision that’s best for you and your company.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *