Urine Drug Testing FAQ

Urine drug tests are used in a variety of work settings, and most commonly for jobs that require the handling of heavy machinery and vehicles. Commercial drivers like truckers and limousine drivers are required by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure safety for drivers, clients, and citizens on the road. Urine testing is included in all DOT-compliant testing and has been used effectively for a long time.

Many businesses use urine tests to screen for a variety of illicit drugs in a cost-effective way. Urine tests are suitable for all reasons for testing, which include pre-employment drug screenings, random drug tests, and post-accident testing. Here are a few FAQ about urine testing and why it is effective for drug testing commercial drivers.

Why is Urine Testing the Most Frequently Used Method for Drug Testing?

Businesses choose to drug test their workers and new job applicants to reduce the risk of workplace drug use and relevant hazards. While all drug test types, like hair follicle, blood, and saliva, have their benefits, urine drug testing is the most flexible and customizable. There are hundreds of combinations of detectable drugs, order codes and cutoff levels to create a urine test panel that can be used for almost any kind of testing reason.

What Timeframe of Drug Use Can Urine Tests Detect?

Urine drug tests can detect drug use that is recent and took place in the last 24-72 hours. Urine tests go through a two-tiered process at a laboratory. The first screening is performed on one portion of the specimen and is meant to provide a quick result of whether or not the test is negative, or needs further testing. Negative test results are often released in 24 hours, and non-negative tests are released in about 24-72 hours.

What Drugs Are Detected with Urine Tests?

Urine drug tests screen for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, methadone, opiates, PCP, and sometimes, synthetic stimulants like bath salts. There are some thorough drug tests that also screen for various prescription drugs that are more accessible in the healthcare industry.

Can a Urine Test be Adulterated?

Urine testing is the most common drug testing method used by many businesses, but it is not fool-proof. Applicants can do certain things to manipulate test results like adding bleach and iodine to urine to dilute it. It is important to look for DOT compliant urine testing that comes with specimen validity to ensure the integrity of the test. These measure the sample’s pH, creatinine, and specific gravity, and test for adulterants like nitrites, chromates, and halogens like bleach.

What Testing Situations Are Best for Urine Tests?

Urine testing can be used for every type of testing you need, including pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing. Urine testing is used by businesses for all their testing situations because it is cost-effective, and can detect a wide variety of substances.

What Are the Most Common Urine Test Panels?

The two types of urine drug tests are 5-panel and 9-panel urine tests. The standard 5-panel testing screens for amphetamines/methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine. 9-panel urine tests screen for amphetamines/methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, phencyclidine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, and propoxyphene.

How is a Urine Test Collected?

Urine screenings require a minimum of 30 mL of urine for the DOT and are collected in the privacy of a restroom. The urine is collected in a special bottle and is then sent to the lab for testing.

For more information about urine drug testing for all types of situations, contact Consortium Pool.