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DOT Summary of Testing

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

TB Testing & Diagnosis

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Employers design drug-free workplace programs to protect their organizations from the negative impacts of illicit drug use. Because every business and workforce is unique, each employer should carefully determine the program elements that are most practical and beneficial for their workplace. Let us help you accomplish your goals.

Types of Drug Testing


Urine drug testing

Of all the available drug testing methods out there, the most common is urine drug testing. It is logical for urine drug testing to be common, because metabolites—the structures produced by the metabolism of all substances ingested by the body—use urine as its main excretory route.

Saliva Testing

Urine drug testing may be the most common form of drug testing, but saliva testing is becoming more popular simply because it is less invasive. However, it seems that saliva drug tests should only be used to detect very recent drug use to ensure accurate results. One study, for instance, reports that saliva testing can only detect cannabinoids when the subjects have smoked cannabis only 4-10 hours beforehand.

Blood Testing

The most expensive and invasive of all drug testing methods also happens to be the most accurate. It actually detects right at the time of testing the presence of the substance and its metabolites in the blood. The actual amount of drugs in the blood at the time of the test can also be measured by a blood drug test. However, its cost and invasiveness makes blood drug testing used less frequently.

Hair Testing

The idea of hair drug testing is based on the premise that drug metabolites enter the blood vessels of the scalp, and the hair will filter them and keep them as a permanent record of a person’s drug use. Many people, however, object to hair testing because it does not measure current drug use. A person could have last used, say, cannabis a few months before, and still be found positive today because residues of the substance will remain in the hair for months afterwards, and no amount of shampooing can take them away. The fact that much of today’s workplace drug testing is dependent on whether an employee is impaired while on duty makes hair drug testing quite irrelevant. The considerable cost and the lengthy processing of the hair samples are also reasons why few employers use them for workplace drug testing.

Should I refuse a test if I believe I was unfairly selected for testing?


A good rule of thumb is "comply, then complain." If you are instructed to submit to a DOT drug and/or alcohol test and you don't agree with the reason or rationale for the test, you should take the test.

Don't interfere with the testing process or refuse the test. Instead, after the test, express your concerns about the testing event to your employer.

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