When it comes to drug testing, there are a number of misconceptions that still surround the industry. It’s not surprising when employers misunderstand certain facts or take particular actions based on mistaken beliefs. Let’s take a minute to dispel the common misunderstandings.
#1 Applicant can beat a urine test by drinking a lot of water
While drinking excess water can speed up the body’s metabolism, it can also cause low creatinine levels. Lower than normal creatinine levels can lead to suspicion of sample tampering and extensive testing is performed which can reveal drug use eventually. Thus, it is important to hire a trained drug test provider to look for signs of manipulation.
#2 Secondhand Marijuana smoke can lead to a positive drug test
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that secondhand marijuana smoke does contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Understanding the effects secondhand marijuana smoke can have on a drug test is a common question. At the moment, there are no published, peer-reviewed studies to date that indicate someone would test positive on a drug test due to incidental exposure to marijuana smoke. It is unlikely to fail a drug test from secondhand smoke.
#3 Marijuana is legal in certain states, employers are not allowed to test for it
While many state laws have grown increasingly permissive of both medical and recreational cannabis use, this does not mean that it is accepted at work. Regardless of the legality of marijuana, THC still represents a heightened workplace safety risk, which employers are justified to address. As state laws evolved, employers must understand their rights and duties when it comes to drug testing. Employers generally are allowed to maintain a strict drug-free workplace by enforcing zero-tolerance policies.
#4 Hair follicle test only uses hair from the scalp
If an applicant is bald, it does not mean that you cannot perform a hair drug test on him/her. It just means that the applicant will have to donate the hair from somewhere else on the body.
Hair samples can come from legs, arms, underarms, or chest hair.
#4 Workplace drug testing process is inaccurate because false positives are common
While false positives do occur, the rigid collection and chain of custody process implemented by a professional drug test provider minimize this possibility. With a proper screening method, confirmation testing along with review and verification by a medical review officer (MRO) – false positives are highly unlikely.
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#5 Consuming poppy seeds will result in a failed drug test for Opiates
Answer: Poppy seeds are the edible nutritious seeds of the opium poppy. The opium poppy is, of course, the source of opium as well as heroin, morphine, and codeine. Depending on how many poppy seeds were eaten, the cut-off threshold and the test used, consumption of poppy seeds can indeed cause a drug test to come up positive for opiates. It is known that poppy seeds can be detected in urine up to 48 hours after consumption and may persist even longer. To avoid a positive result for opiates, it is best to advise applicants to avoid eating any foods that contain poppy seeds for at least 3 days before the test.
Sorting through misinformation on drug and alcohol testing can be tricky. If you have any other questions on drug tests, Clarityscreening has a team of experts to answer all your questions and navigate the process with you. Contact us here.