Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who is American Drug Testing Inc?
A. American Drug Testing Inc also known as “ADT” is a Nationwide, Certified drug, alcohol and DNA testing company. With drug testing facilities in all States and most cities, American Drug Testing provides drug testing services for individuals and employers in need of a drug, alcohol or DNA test.
American Drug Testing offers drug testing for pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post accident and court ordered needs.
American Drug Testing is certified for DOT (Department of Transportation) drug testing, DOT physicals, DOT consortium membership, DOT drug policy development, DOT supervisor training and complete management of a DOT drug and alcohol testing program.
American Drug Testing also provides background checks for employers in need of applicant or current employee screenings.
The staff of American Drug Testing is certified in DOT and NON-DOT drug testing specimen collections and DNA Identity testing collections for maternity, siblingship , grandparentage and U.S Immigration.
American Drug Testing only utilizes SAMHSA and AABB Certified laboratories for drug, alcohol and DNA testing analysis. ADT is also a member of the National Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association(SAPAA).
Q. What is a drug test?
A. A drug test is a process utilized to determine the presence or absence of specific drugs or their metabolites in a person’s body.
Q. How can a drug test be administered or performed?
A. A drug test can be performed by the collection of a urine specimen, the collection of a hair specimen, the collection of a blood specimen or the collection of oral fluid/saliva.
Q. What is the detection time frame for a urine drug test?
A. Each drug has a different time frame for staying in the body, however, most common street drugs remain present for a period of up to three to four days and can be detected utilizing a urine analysis. Certain drugs can remain in a person’s system longer depending upon the drug and frequency of use.
Q. How long does marijuana stay in a person’s system?
A. Marijuana (THC) generally remains in a person’s system seven to thirty days if they are a regular and frequent user. A person who rarely uses marijuana, the time frame for detection for a urine test is three to five days on average.
Q. Is the detection period for a blood test different than a urine test?
A. Yes, in some cases. As an example, amphetamines remain in the blood stream for approximately 12 hours while a urine test may detect the presence of amphetamines up to three days. Another example, cocaine may be detected in a person’s urine for three to four days, however, cocaine may only remain in the blood stream one to two days. Blood and urine screens are generally considered to be equal in detection time with some exceptions.
Q. What is the difference between a five panel, ten panel or twelve panel drug test?
A. Panels are the term used for each specific drug that is screened for. As the number of panel’s increases, the specimen will be analyzed for additional drugs.
Q. What drugs are screened for in a five panel drug test?
A. Amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).
Q. What drugs are screened for in a ten panel drug test?
A. Amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, MDA-Analogues, Methadone, Methaqualone, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and propoxyphene.
Q. Which panel is most commonly used?
A. The most common test used is a five panel drug test, however, many employers and government agencies utilize a ten panel test.
Q. What type of test does the Department of Transportation (DOT) recognize and use?
A. The U.S. Department of Transportation only recognizes a five panel urine drug test for all agencies regulated by DOT such as FMCSA, FAA, USCA, FRA, PHMSA and FTA for “safety sensitive” positions.
DOT, 49 CFR Part 40 of the DOT drug and alcohol policy and compliance regulation requires that all persons covered in positions classified as safety sensitive must have a pre-employment drug test with a negative result on file, be a member of a DOT approved random pool/consortium and if the company has more than one employee in a safety sensitive position then a written drug and alcohol policy and supervisor training is required.
To review the DOT, 49 CFR Part 10 – Click Here
Q. Does a trucking company that has part time truck drivers have to comply with the DOT drug testing requirements?
A. Yes, many times trucking companies or owner operators who have part time CDL drivers think that because a person does not drive on a regular basis that they don’t have to have a pre-employment drug test or be part of a DOT approved random pool/consortium. All CDL drivers who are authorized to drive must comply with the dot drug and alcohol requirements.
Companies or owner operators who fail to comply with all of the DOT drug and alcohol policy requirements of Part 40 can face fines and penalties.
Q. Does the Department of Transportation (DOT) require a special chain of custody form?
A. Yes, when talking a DOT five panel drug test a federal chain of custody form must be used by the drug testing collection facility and this DOT chain of custody form must accompany the specimen to the lab and be sent to the medical review officer (MRO).
Q. If a company is regulated by DOT can it require a ten panel test of all DOT safety sensitive employees?
A. Yes, an employer may in addition to a DOT five panel urine test require another type of test, but the five panel urine test is recognized by DOT. The additional test would be for “in house” policy, but would have no effect or consideration by DOT and the additional non DOT test would use a forensic chain of custody form.
Q. What is a DOT consortium?
A. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires in addition to a pre-employment drug test all employees in a safety sensitive position be enrolled in a DOT approved drug and alcohol testing consortium, also known as a random selection pool.
Q. How often is an employee randomly selected in a DOT random pool?
A. A person enrolled in a DOT random selection pool may or may not be selected for a drug or alcohol random test. The selection is based on DOT selection percentages of the random pool and selections are made by a computer program. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that the DOT random pool select annually 50% of the membership for a five panel drug test and 10% of the membership for a breath alcohol test. A member could be selected for one or both of the required tests when the pool selection occurs.
Q. What type of alcohol test does the Department of Transportation (DOT) recognize and use?
A. The DOT only recognizes a breath alcohol test for confirmation testing. A person randomly selected for an alcohol test may use a DOT approved oral fluid test, however, if the oral fluid test has a positive result, a breath alcohol test must be immediately administered. Therefore, the common practice is to only administer a breath alcohol test to (BAT) to DOT regulated employees.
Q. Are hair follicle drug tests more accurate than a urine test?
A. A hair follicle test cannot be adulterated or tampered with and the detection window of a hair follicle test is up to 90 days. Many employers use hair follicle drug tests as do courts and probation departments. Urine tests are also very accurate and are the most common type of test used by employers and individuals.
Q. How much hair does a person have to have on their head to take a hair follicle drug test?
A. One and a half to two inches in length and at least 120 hair strands. In the event a person is bald, body hair can be taken from under the arm or chest.
Q. What is the difference in the detection time frame of a urine or hair follicle test?
A. If you want to know what drugs were used yesterday, select a urine test. If you want to know what drugs were used a month ago, select a hair test. The detection time frame for a urine drug test is 1-5 days depending on the type of drug used and the hair follicle drug test is up to 90 days.
Q. What is an instant drug test?
A. An instant drug test is a test administered at a drug testing facility in which the specimen is tested by the technician using a dipstick or other type of immediate analysis process. Instant tests are very sensitive and should not be used for court ordered or any disciplinary action against an employee. The results of an instant test in which the test is non-negative should always be sent to a SAMHSA certified laboratory for confirmation testing. An example of the sensitivity of an instant test would be a person taking a completely legal diet pill as part of a weight loss program but the instant test reports a positive result for amphetamines when a laboratory analysis may not do so. Any time a instant test has a positive result for any drug screen the specimen should be sent to a certified laboratory for confirmation testing and verification by a Medical Review Officer.
Q. What are the benefits of a company/employer being a drug free workplace?
A. The United States Department of Labor estimates t that alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace cost American companies over 100 billion dollars every year due to on the job accidents, employee turnover, employee performance and productivity and employer healthcare insurance cost.
Employers who are a drug free workplace can receive many benefits including workers compensation premium discounts, a reduction in an employee absenteeism, an increase in customer service satisfaction along with an increase in employee morale.
Q. How does a company become a drug free workplace?
A. Since 1988 when Congress based the Drug Free Workplace Act many companies have implemented a drug free workplace program. In addition, many States have passed drug free workplace laws which provided a discount on workers compensation insurance if a business is certified as a drug free workplace. Currently the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina, Mississippi, Wyoming, Kentucky and Tennessee provide such a discount if the business fully complies with all of the drug free workplace requirements.
Common components of a drug free workplace include a written drug and alcohol policy, supervisor and employee education, drug testing including pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion, substance abuse assistance resource and various required documentation.
Companies that wish to become a drug free workplace should contact American Drug Testing for more information,
Q. What is a SAMHSA Certified Laboratory?
A. SAMHSA is the abbreviation utilized for laboratory certified and accredited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States Government. While there are many small laboratories that conduct drug testing analysis, some are not certified and should not be used for drug testing. American Drug Testing only uses SAMHSA Certified Laboratories such as Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp.
Q. What is a Medical Review Officer?
A. A Medical Review Officer also commonly known as a MRO is a licensed physician who has been trainined and certified in drug testing analysis and who verifies and approves a certified laboratory drug test result. A drug test result is not official until the MRO has reviewed and signed the result.
Q. What is a DER?
A. The term DER is used for a employer or company’s “Designated Employer Representative”. This is the person who works at a company (in house) who is responsible for managing and coordinating the drug free workplace program. If the company is DOT regulated the DER is responsible for insuring that a employee who is in a Safety Sensitive position and tests positive is immediately removed from the safety sensitive position.
Q. Does American Drug Testing offer Court Ordered drug testing?
A. Yes, American Drug Testing provides specific testing for persons who have been ordered by a judge or probation officer to take a drug test. Individuals in need of reoccurring drug testing can contact ADT and be entered into our Court/Probation drug testing program.
ADT works with attorneys and substance abuse counselors for individuals in need of drug or alcohol testing.
Q. Can an employee be fired for testing positive if they have a prescription for medical marijuana?
A. Yes, even though a employee may have a prescription for medical marijuana the Federal Law still considers marijuana a schedule 1 illegal drug and the courts have continued to support an employer’s right to be a drug free workplace. Currently as of January 1st 2015 the following States permit medical marijuana usage Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada , New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
In addition, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and The District of Columbia permit recreational marijuana use.
Q. How can I order a paternity test?
A. Contact American Drug Testing and we will coordinate the entire process including contacting all parties and administering the test and sending the results to the authorized parties. DNA testing is a simple process that includes swabbing the mouth in a non-evasive manner and sending the specimens to a certified laboratory. Paternity testing is 99.9% accurate and results are available in 3-5 business days.
Q. How do I order a background check for my new employees?
A. Contact American Drug Testing and set up a background check account and background checks can begin immediately. Searches include National Criminal Database, National Sexual Offender, Social Security Verification, Terrorist Watch List, Prior employment verification and County of Residence searches. Federal Law requires certain procedures and documentation prior to a background check being conducted on a applicant or current employee, American Drug Testing can make the process fast and easy.
Q. How is a drug test determined to be positive?
A. When a drug test specimen is sent to the laboratory there is an initial screening of the specimen to determine if there is the presence of any drugs. If the initial screening indicates that the test is positive then the specimen is tested a second time, this is called a confirmation test. The confirmation test is very extensive and utilizes a very thorough process to confirm the presumptive positive drug test.
After the confirmation test has occurred the result is forwarded to the Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO will then review the results provided by the laboratory and then determine is the positive result may have been caused by a legally prescribed medication. The Medical Review Officer will then attempt to contact the donor and discuss the cause of the positive drug test. If the donor can provide the MRO a prescription then the MRO may based on the information provided reverse the positive result to a negative result.
Once the test has been confirmed by the laboratory and verified by the Medical Review Officer the MRO will report and sign the final result.