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Drug Testing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing

There are so many questions when it comes to drug testing. Whether it is your teenager that you suspect there is a problem or an employee issue in the workplace. There are more questions than answers. We at Real Occupational Testing Services have selected the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) to hopefully answer them:

Q: What are an employer’s notification requirements prior to starting Drug Testing?

Generally, Employers have a fair amount of latitude in handling drug testing as they see fit, unless their organization is subject to certain Federal laws (such as U.S. Department of Transportation alcohol and drug testing rules for employees in safety sensitive positions). However, there may be state laws that impact how drug testing can be implemented. For more information, visit the Working Partners Web site’s listing of state laws that impact drug-free workplace issues or contact your state Department of Labor.

Q: Does the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 apply to my company?

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a precondition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency. All organizations covered by it are required to take certain steps, such as publishing and providing a drug-free workplace policy statement to all covered employees and establishing a drug-free employee awareness program. There are also notification requirements regarding if an employee is convicted of a criminal drug violation in the workplace. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 does not require drug testing.

Q: How long does it take to get my Drug Test results?

Next day for most negative tests. Positives tests can take 2 to 5 days on an average. Usually only one day.

Q: What is THC?

THC is an abbreviation for 11-nor-delta9 Tetrahydrocannibinol-9-carboxylic acid, the primary metabolite of Marijuana. Marijuana is a hallucinogenic agent derived from the leaves, flowers or seeds of the hemp plant. In general, the production and “curing” of the marijuana plant into its useable form closely resembles that of tobacco. Marijuana is almost always smoked and inhaled into the lungs where it is quickly metabolized (or changed) by the body.

Q: What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy (MDMA) has recently become a popular recreational drug among teenagers and young adults. Ecstasy is refined processed form of amphetamine with a chemical makeup closely resembling methamphetamine. Any test with a target screen for methamphetamine should detect Ecstasy although a MDMA specific screen in always preferred.

Q: My teenager tests positive for THC but claims exposure to “second hand smoke”. Is this possible?

No. Concentrations in the urine of THC are above the cutoff sensitivity level of the test, or a positive result, are not possible by exposure to second hand smoke.

Q: How long does Cocaine stay in the body?

Cocaine usually only last 1 to 2 days in the body.

Q: How far does Hair Testing go back?

Hair testing generally uses 1-1/2 inches of hair represents about 3 months’ of growth. It is generally accepted that in order to test positive, the drug in question must have been used 3 times or more within the window of the test. After a drug is used, it takes about 7-10 days for the hair containing the drug to grow out of the scalp enough to be cut. consequently, the hair test will not include drugs used in the week prior to the test.

Q: Who is required to follow SAMHSA for Drug Testing?

Federal agencies conducting drug testing must follow standardized procedures established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing include having a Medical Review Officer (MRO) evaluate tests. They also identify the five substances (amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and phencyclidine) tested for in Federal drug-testing programs and require the use of drug labs certified by SAMHSA.

Q: How do I receive my Drug Test results?

Drug Test results can be faxed, mailed or emailed upon request. In the case of results being faxed; you may be asked to sign a statement indicating the fax machine is a secured fax and not broadcasted to everyone.

end faq


If you have any other questions regarding Drug Testing or would like more information please call us at 1-800-690-4362 or fill out the form below to be contacted by one of our knowledgeable and friendly Drug Testing Consultants.

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Real Occupational Testing Services
4045 E. Guasti Rd. #215
Ontario, CA 91761
1-800-690-4362 | Email