If you wish to apply for a new position, you will have to undergo a drug screening and pass it so that you can start working. Some employers have mandatory requirements to test their applicants and employees, while others are doing it to maintain safety and drug-free working environment.
Everything depends on the type of drug screening because timeframes are entirely different. At the same time, the factors that will affect whether you will pass depend on things that you consumed as well as frequency of consumption.
The most common drug examinations are breath alcohol tests, urinalysis, blood, hair follicle drug test, and mouth swab, or saliva screening.
We decided to present you a comprehensive guide so that you can understand everything about saliva testing and how to pass it:
What Is Saliva Drug Test?
You should have in mind that mouth swab examination or oral fluid test requires collecting saliva samples from the inside of your mouth. The main idea is that you will be able to test the specimen for the presence of illicit drugs, but they can only detect short-window of consumption.
Of course, some drugs tend to linger in the body longer than others do, but saliva is efficient only to determine the current and short-term intoxication. The common drugs that they may find inside the saliva are methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol.
Employers started implementing this particular drug test because it is less expensive than others are, and it can show the results in timely manner. At the same time, it is simple to administer, and we can consider it as the least invasive type of checking your system.
In most cases, technicians will conduct it on-site, which means that they are highly efficient and quick.
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The narcotic that mouth swab screen can detect mostly depend on the type of test and laboratory you decide to choose. Some of them can screen for more substances than the ones we have mentioned above.
For instance, weed tends to stay in saliva up to 72 hours after consumption, and most other narcotics will leave your system beforehand, depending on the frequency of use.
Numerous companies across the USA use this particular type of screening, while others have a testing policy that will explain to you how and when you can expect them in general.
On the other hand, some industries, including safety and transportation are required by law to screen their employees, which is the same thing that surrounds federal positions.
When Should You Expect A Saliva Screening?
We can state that there are a few times when employers decide to conduct this particular type of screening. For instance, one of the most common reasons is due to pre-employment process before signing a contract.
This particular substance test is essential because employers will be able to determine whether you abuse narcotics or not. Some employers also combine saliva with hair analysis so that they can detect both short and long-term substance abuse.
If you are expecting a promotion, you should also expect a narcotic screening beforehand. The offer may stand only if you do not fail the test, which is something you have to remember.
When it comes to random oral substance tests, everything depends on regulations as well as policies that employers have to publish before they decide to do it.
You can expect a notice before the test because state laws say that employer has to inform employees before screening, and in some cases, employees have to give written consent that employer can use their biological specimen to check it for illegal drugs.
It can also happen due to some cause, for instance, in case an employer has a reasonable doubt that employee is under the influence based on poor performance, lateness, and regular absences.
They can also conduct a screening after a specific injury or accident that happened on the job. We are talking about numerous examples, including operating machinery or after a car accident, so that employer can decide who is liable for it.
Do You Have To Take A Saliva Drug Test?
The common question people are asking is whether they can decline the possibility of taking the test without any additional problem.
However, that is not possible. Of course, the employer cannot force someone to take an oral exam, but that will lead to negative consequences and penalties.
If you reject a pre-employment narcotic screening, the employer may decline your job offer. On the other hand, if you refuse to take a screening as a current employee, company may suspend or fire you as a result.
In case you believe that the screening is not accurate, you can tell that to your employer, and they will have to conduct another one as a confirmation. Everything depends on your company’s policy and state regulations that will protect you in case this happens.
Companies are required to provide you a drug screening policy when you apply for the position, and inside, you will be able to read a thorough and comprehensive handbook that will help you understand your rights during the testing periods.
State and Federal Drug Testing Laws
The critical consideration is the current drug testing laws that vary from state to state.
For instance, some states will have limitations on how and when employers can conduct screenings, while others will have restrictions when it comes to circumstances that will allow your employers to screen current personnel.
Therefore, the best way to reduce this particular hassle is by reading both federal and state regulations and combines that with the company’s policy so that you can be prepared for anything that may happen.
According to the Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988, federal regulations tend to target only workplaces that are closely connected to national industries.
Some industries, such as transpiration, aviation, and defense, require screening both employees and applicants without the possibility to decline.
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Therefore, you need to understand that as an employee, you have more prominent rights than applicants, which means that employers will have the ability to terminate the job offer in case of failed screens.
However, due to the Disability Act, employer cannot terminate your contract if they find out that you consume drugs, and instead, they can send you to rehab and give you a second chance.