Whether you have been ordered by the court to have a drug screen or need a drug screen for other reasons, it is a simple process if you know what to expect.
Step 1. Ordering
Each drug and alcohol testing company has a different process to order a drug screen. Some allow you to schedule a test via the phone, others over fax or email. Some allow direct access to order on the web site.
What information will the drug and alcohol testing company need?
- You will need to provide the reason for test — court ordered or other
- The panel type you need — 5 panel or 10 panel
- Type of specimen needed — urine, hair or oral fluids
You will receive this information from the person who instructed you to order a drug screen. Next, you will need to provide your Name (the one that appears on your Government Issued ID), ID# (Social Security Number or other), your phone and the email to where the result should be sent. Lastly, the zip code closest to where you want your drug screen collected.
Once registration is complete, you will receive an email with a passport (ticket to enter the collection site) or instructions to procure Chain of Custody Form. Our preferred company utilizes a passport system which will include the name, address, and service hours of the collection site that will collect the specimen.
Step 2. Going to the collection site
You need to bring your passport and State or Federal issue ID (Driver’s License or State ID is fine) to the collection site. You will check in with the receptionist and be escorted to the collection area when it is time to proceed with drug screen process.
The collector will describe the details of the drug screen process and provide you with a chance to ask questions. After they have addressed any questions you have, they will ask you to empty your pockets. Your valuables will be locked in a box and you will be given a key.
You will proceed to the bathroom and be instructed to urinate into a collection vial (unless hair test or oral fluids are ordered). You will need to provide a minimum of 45 milliliters. It is important that you drink plenty of fluids before you arrive at the site and be prepared to urinate. Also, let the drug screen collector know if you are not ready to urinate as they are prohibited from combining specimens from multiple collections.
After filling the specimen vial, you will proceed to the secured area and provide the vial to the collector. It is important not to flush the toilet or wash your hands until instructed. Failure to follow instructions will mean that you will have to provide a new collection. At this time, the collector will finish the process. You will initial and date the seals and sign the chain of custody that you certify that this is your specimen and it was always kept in front of you.
The collector will package the specimen and prepare for shipment to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (S.A.M.H.S.A.) certified laboratory facility. The laboratory will test for appropriate drug panel, confirm any positive finding and send the results to the Medical Review Officer.
Step 3. What if I am positive?
The Medical Review Officer (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy with experience in substance abuse) will contact you if your drug screen is positive. He will ask if there is any medical explanation for your positive drug screen. If you provide adequate information (i.e., a prescription for the drug(s) for which you tested positive), he or she will overturn the result and provide a negative result. If not, a positive result will be reported to the requesting authority.
Step 4. Results
After MRO review, the result is ready to be sent to you or the appropriate individual you provided at registration. Results can be faxed to a secure fax location, mailed via USPS or emailed. At this time, you will have completed the drug screening process.
About the Author
Phil Dubois is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WorkPlace Screening Intelligence and ParentDrugTesting.com. Mr. Dubois is a former Chairman of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and is an expert in drug and alcohol testing. For more information about Workplace Screening Intelligence, contact us at 800-338-5515 or firstname.lastname@example.org Parent Drug Testing can be contacted at 321-228-7210 or email@example.com.