By Kristen Wakulchuk


Did you know that employers lose more than79 percent of negligent hiring cases – and drug abuse costs them about $1 billion dollars each year? These statistics should stop you in your tracks, as you consider how critical it is to have the right drug screening program in place at your business. 

But which method is the right one? While urine is the most common sample type used globally, it’s not the only type. Here are snapshots of various options: 


A urinalysis shows the presence of a drug in a person’s system after its effects have worn off; however, the length of time varies by drug. Urine is the only sample type approved for testing of federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforces. Typical tests screen for five to 10 days. Urine screening can detect amphetamines, methamphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, MDA or MDMA, opiates, nicotine and alcohol. 


After urine screening, saliva is the most commonly-used method to test for drug use. It is often referred to as a mouth swab test. Most saliva tests can detect drug use within a few hours to up to two days, so this method is not ideal to survey long-term usage. However, saliva is less susceptible than urine to alteration or substitution. Saliva can be tested for alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, PCP and methamphetamines. 


A blood test may be used to determine amounts of drugs in a person’s system at that very moment – usually effective from minutes to hours – so it allows you to tell whether an employee is actively under the influence. Blood testing is invasive, using a needle stick, but there is little chance for alteration of samples. However, blood analyses often have a short period of detection, as many illicit drugs are quickly metabolized and eliminated from the body. Drugs you can test for by using blood include alcohol, amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana, opiates, phencyclidine, nicotine, and tramadol. 


Hair testing can determine drug use over a longer-term – usually a 90-day time period. Hair can be tested for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines, ecstasy, phencyclidine and alcohol. Usually, a 100-gram sample is taken, cut close to the scalp. This method lessens the risk for alteration, as samples are collected in full view of lab personnel. 


Trust in Chane to Help You!

To make the best choice, compare your company’s needs with the basics of each testing method, and determine which factors mean the most to you. Contact Chane Solutions to help you with this decision – and with putting the right long-term plan in place for your organization. We help clients nationwide to maintain drug-free workplaces by offering different panel tests – and we’ll customize a solution that succeeds at your business. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.