drug test

Definition of drug test

 a test that examines a bodily specimen (such as urine, saliva, blood, or hair) for the presence of one or more usually illegal or banned substances (such as cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, or anabolic steroids)a positive drug test.

When an athlete has been using EPO and faces a drug test, a standard way of passing it is to dilute his blood with a saline solution.


Under Texas and federal laws, there is almost no limitation at all on the right of private employers to adopt drug and alcohol testing policies for their workers.

Government employers are not so free, due mainly to court decisions holding that testing employees without showing some kind of compelling justification violates government employees’ rights to be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures. Drug testing is not for everyone. A company should do it only after careful consideration of many factors, including applicable statutes and regulations, contract or insurance requirements, and combatting some perceived problems with substance abuse among the workers. Drug testing, for example, may be mandated for some types of employees, as is the case with workers subject to U.S. Department of Transportation mandatory testing guidelines. Some federal contracts and grants may require employers to adopt drug-free workplace policies and possibly even provide for drug testing of employees. Other employers may be under no legal obligation to do testing, but feel it is needed due to reports that some employees may be unsafe due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of the reason for testing, it is essential to carefully draft the policy and consider the various legal issues.

Pre-employment Drug Testing

Pre-employment drug testing is something that some employers choose to do for applicants. It is not regarded under the ADA as a medical examination, so it may be done at any point of the selection process, but due to cost issues, most companies restrict such testing to the final candidates for a position. Regarding the issue of who pays for the test, most companies assume that burden. Texas and federal law do not have specific provisions one way or the other, but requiring an applicant to pay for a pre-employment drug test would have the effect of discouraging minority applicants, or else effectively result in less than minimum wage for the employee’s first paycheck, EEOC and/or the U.S. Department of Labor may have concerns under EEO or minimum wage laws. It would be best to let doubtful cases be reviewed by employment law counsel prior to such testing. Even though drug tests themselves are not covered by the ADA, the results from such tests are considered medical records and should be kept in a separate, confidential medical file just as other types of medical records must be maintained under the ADA.

Before the test

Before the test, you should inform your employer or the lab taking your urine sample of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs that you have recently taken because these can in some cases affect your test results.

For a urine test, you should avoid drinking too much water beforehand. Follow any specific instructions from your employer on how to prepare and what to bring when you take the test.

When preparing for at-home testing, it’s important to read all instructions provided with the collection kit. Test kits typically include instructions, a collection cup, and the test itself (which may be test strips, a test card, or a test cassette). Also, check the label of the collection kit to ensure that the test is designed to identify the presence of the specific drugs you’re interested in.

During the test

For a urine test at a clinic, you should receive a plastic container that is sealed in tamper-proof packaging. You will normally be directed to a private bathroom where you fill this container with urine up to a specifically marked level.

When you go into the bathroom, the water supply may be turned off, and there may be blue dye in the toilet bowl. These are measures intended to prevent tampering with the urine sample.

After you have provided a urine sample, staff typically record the temperature of the sample and secure the container in tamper-proof packaging so that it can be sent for analysis. The process lasts less than a few minutes.

At-home testing involves collecting and drug testing according to instructions provided with the test kit.

After the Test

A urine test does not have any side effects and does not involve any post-test restrictions on your activity.

If a positive result is found on an at-home test, it’s helpful to send the sample to a certified laboratory for a final result. The second, more specific laboratory test is important because some foods, supplements, and medicines can affect the results of at-home testing.

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