1. What are the six reasons for testing under DOT?
– Reasonable Suspicion
2. What drugs are tested in the DOT Drug Testing Program?
– There are five drugs tested in the DOT Drug Testing Program. They include:
v. Phencyclidine (PCP)
3. How long does it take to get a test result?
– After the specimen is processed by the laboratory, the results are typically reported to the MRO. Results generally report to the client 24 to 72 hours from the time of collection.
Please note: For DOT testing, the MRO must have a copy of the Chain of Custody (COC) form before the results can be reported to the company.
4. What is blind specimen testing? How does it work?
– Blind specimens are known positives, negatives, adulterated, and substituted specimens that get sent to a laboratory with false identifiers so the laboratory cannot distinguish them from employee specimens. Blinds are submitted to the lab for quality control purposes.
5. What is the only authorized confirmation method for drugs?
– Under DOT regulations, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) is the only authorized confirmation method for drug testing specimen.
6. What do my employees need to take with them to the testing facility?
– A form of photo identification such as license, state ID, passport, etc. should be brought to the collection site along with a chain of custody form. However, the chain of custody form may also be stocked at the collection facility.
7. What is the chain of custody form?
– Chain of Custody (COC) refers to the document a donor takes with them to get their drug test done. This ensures the specimen belongs to the correct donor. It is the course of action of documenting the management and storage of the specimen from the time the donor gives the sample to the collector, to the lab and finally the review and reporting of the final result.
8. Can an individual add something to his/her urine specimen that will hide his drug use and produce a negative test result?
– Many people try to use adulterants to flush out what they have been taking; however, most are revealed in a validity test that the laboratory performs.
9. What is the minimum number of Follow-up tests required after a successful Return-to-Duty test?
– The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) may request any number of tests in a follow-up plan; however, there must be a minimum of six tests within the first 12 months of the employee’s return to duty.
10. How long can a donor stay at the collection site to provide a urine specimen?
– 49 CFR Part 40 requires that a donor be allowed up to three hours after an initial failed attempt to produce a sufficient urine sample. During this time, the donor may drink up to 40 ounces of fluid.
11. If an employee is not able to provide a sufficient volume of urine during the collection process, and the employee must undergo a medical examination to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the “shy bladder,” can the employer make arrangements for the employee to see an employer-designated physician?
– When an employee is unable to produce enough urine for a drug test, the employer is then required to direct the employee to obtain a medical evaluation from a licensed physician who is acceptable to the MRO. The physician must have expertise in the medical issues raised by the donor’s failure to provide a sufficient specimen.
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Hair tests can reflect drug use in an individual for six months or longer since drugs are incorporated into the hair shaft as the hair grows. However, most experienced collection facilities take hair within 1.5 inches of the scalp and discard the rest. This limits the detection history to about 90 days, depending upon the rate of growth of the individual’s hair.
There are those people who attempt to circumvent a hair test by shaving their heads. Body hair can be used as an acceptable substitute in the absence of the required amount of scalp hair.
University Services is well versed in the collection process and review of hair test samples.
Saliva or oral fluid based drug tests are becoming more prevalent because of their convenience and the fact that they are difficult to adulterate. Saliva/oral fluid-based drug tests can generally detect drug use from the previous day.
Saliva testing has also become more popular due to its efficacy in determining results of post-accident testing. It has been used to determine the presence of alcohol in the saliva and a relatively good approximation of blood alcohol content. Saliva tests provide samples that are acquired under direct observation, present a minimal risk of tampering, are non-invasive, and can detect alcohol use and recent drug abuse.
On-site oral based tests facilitate the implementation of random testing programs. Random testing has been proven to be the most effective type of drug-free workplace drug screening.
Sweat tests are patches attached to the skin to collect sweat over a long period of time (10-14 days). These are almost exclusively used by child protective services, parole departments, and other government institutions concerned with drug use over long periods when urine testing is not practical. The patches have security features that keep them from being covertly removed and then reapplied without the knowledge of the testing agency. At the end of the test period, the patch is removed by a social worker or parole officer and sent to a lab for analysis. If the person has used any drugs during the period that the patch was in place, they will test positive for that drug.
This type of testing has fallen out of favor with government agencies due to documented problems with certain drugs.
This procedure requires a fresh sample of urine, which may either be tested on-site or sent to a laboratory for testing. The sample should be sent for laboratory confirmation if the on-site test is positive. The lab typically performs a screening test using immunoassay analysis. This test is followed by a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS) for confirmation purposes if the screening test is positive.
The most common drugs tested in a urine sample include:
- Amphetamines (Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and Ecstasy)
- Cocaine metabolites
- Marijuana metabolites
- Opiates (Codeine, Morphine and 6-Acetylmorphine (Heroin))
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Sample substitution or adulteration has become a significant issue in the United States due to the prevalence of synthetic and/or drug-free urine and a wide range of adulterants available on the internet.
Some people attempt to defeat a urine test by drinking copious amounts of water. However, a sufficiently diluted sample can be detected by measuring specific gravity creatinine. If the sample fails to meet specific gravity and creatinine standards, the sample is reported as dilute.
The urine specimen can even be reported as “Invalid” if the specific gravity and/or urine creatinine is very low. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require a recollection if the sample is invalid.
Substituted specimens are those that are inconsistent with normal human urine. Some people try to add substances to the urine to mask the detection of drugs.
Certain tests can be ordered to try to identify specific adulterants and ensure the tests that are collected are accurate.
Contact US to learn more about the specific drug test types we can handle for your company.
Court Ordered Testing
Court ordered tests are required by a judge or probation officer in family law such as child custody cases. The judge will choose the type of test and who will pay for the testing to be done. These tests are gaining popularity among family law cases during divorce proceedings or child custody cases if there have been allegations of drug use among family members and the court has to determine the best environment for the children. University Services is familiar with these proceedings including hair or urine sample collections as well as confidentially reporting the results for the parties involved.
University Services has been involved in drug testing since it became mandated in the late 1980s with the testing of certain federal employees and specified U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulated occupations.
Regulations require companies that use professional drivers, specified safety sensitive transportation and/or oil and gas related occupations, and certain federal employers to test employees for the presence of certain drugs:
- Amphetamines (Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and Ecstasy)
- Opiates (Codeine, Morphine and 6-Acetylmorphine(Heroin))
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
They do not reflect all current drug usage patterns. For example, these tests do not include “synthetic opiates,” such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.
While the Federal guidelines only allow laboratories to report results for the official Federal 5, many drug testing labs and on-site tests also offer a wider set of drug menus.
These tests can include:
- Synthetic opiates
Hallucinogens other than cannabis and PCP are rarely tested for and can include mushrooms (psilocybin), LSD, and peyote (mescaline).
Once a drug screen is positive, a confirmation test is usually done by Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS).
Contact us today to learn more about these drug testing types and the services we provide
AAMRO: the American Association of Medical Review Officers is a nationally recognized MRO certification board
Adverse Selection: a term used in economics and insurance that refers to a market process in which bad results occur due to information asymmetries between buyers and sellers: the “bad” products or customers are more likely to be selected
Anorexia: loss of appetite
Adulterant: a substance added to a urine specimen to mask drug usage
Auditory Distortion: abnormal interpretation of normal sound
Auditory Hallucination: hearing sounds or voices that do not actually exist
Blind Proficiency: A specimen submitted to a laboratory for quality control testing purposes, with a fictitious identifier, so that the laboratory cannot distinguish it from an employee specimen.
Cardiac Arrhythmia: irregular heart beat
Circulatory Collapse: A clinical syndrome in which the peripheral blood flow is inadequate to return sufficient blood to the heart for normal function
Chain of Custody: The procedure used to document the handling of the urine specimen from the time the employee gives the specimen to the collector until the specimen is destroyed. This procedure uses the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF).
Collection Site: A place selected by the employer where employees present themselves for the purpose of providing a specimen for a drug test.
Collector: A person who instructs and assists employees at a collection site, who receives and makes an initial inspection of the specimen provided by those employees, and who initiates and completes the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF).
Coma: an abnormally deep stupor caused by an illness or injury resulting in an inability to be aroused by external stimuli
Convulsion: spasms of involuntary muscular contractions and relaxations
Creatinine: a normal alkaline constituent of urine and blood
Drug Therapy Compliance: A service University Services provides to interpret results of a urinalysis to ensure patients are compliant with their prescribed medication. This is typically done for pain management insurance reporting.
Employee Assistance Plan: Employee benefit that covers all or part of the cost for employees to receive counseling, referrals, and advice in dealing with stressful issues in their lives.
Endogenous: produced or arising from a cell or organism
Exogenous: originating from outside the body
Euphoria: an exaggerated feeling of well-being
FTP: File Transfer Protocol is a common method of moving files between two Internet sites
GCMS: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection. The GC-MS has been widely heralded as a “gold standard” for forensic substance identification because it is used to perform a specific test. A specific test positively identifies the actual presence of a particular substance in a given sample.
Gynecomastia: development of abnormally large breasts in a male
Hyperthermia: unusually high fever
Hypogonadism: shrinking of the gonad tissue resulting from hormonal changes which can be produced endogenously or exogenously
Immunoassay: A method of analysis based on antigen-antibody interactions, which allows for small concentrations of biologically active compounds to be measured accurately
Impotence: inability of the male to achieve or maintain an erection
MRO: the Medical Review Officer is a licensed physician who functions as an objective gatekeeper of laboratory test results, reviewing the documents for possible errors; interviewing donors who have non-negative results and determining if prescription medicine use or other alternative medical explanations clarify these results; and providing feedback to employers, collection sites, laboratories, and federal agency representatives regarding performance problems if necessary.
MROCC: the Medical Review Officer Certification Council is a nationally recognized MRO certification board
NIDA: the National Institute on Drug Abuse was established in 1974, and in October 1992 it became part of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The Institute is organized into divisions and offices, each of which plays an important role in programs of drug abuse research.
Policy Development: University Services works with employers to create a drug testing policy that is cost-effective and efficient. We are well-versed in federal regulations and can help institute a policy that follows the appropriate guidelines.
Psychotic Reaction: A short-term, time-limited disorder exhibiting at least one of the major symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations, delusions, strange bodily movements or lack of movements (catatonic behavior), peculiar speech and bizarre or markedly inappropriate behavior
Pulmonary Edema: swelling of lung tissue
Randomization: Random sampling (collection) – The testing of employees who are chosen on a “neutral-selection” basis without advance notice. True random testing is conducted by pooling a selected amount of numbers determined by the client from the total number of qualified participants’ numbers in the random pool. University Services recommends that clients familiarize themselves with their state law; some states prohibit random testing while others restrict it to “safety sensitive” positions.
Respiratory Depression: slowing of the rate of breathing
SAMHSA: the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness.
Somnolence: prolonged drowsiness or a condition that may resemble a trance
Stupor: a state of lessened responsiveness
Substance Abuse Professional: A person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol regulation
Total Management: University Services can handle each aspect of an employee drug testing program; from billing, IT troubleshooting, online and hard copy reports & records, randomization, on-site training, and education.