How to Use Instant Drug Tests

In our last post, we explained why instant drug tests aren’t named correctly — due to the high incidence of false negatives, false positives, and the issues of legality, these “tests” should really be used as instant drug screens.

What exactly do we mean by using an instant drug screen in your workplace drug testing? Here are our tips for using instant drug tests more effectively.

Using Instant Drug Tests the Right Way

Too often, we see employers looking for the immediate gratification of a “one and done” instant drug test. This methodology — taking an instant drug test at face value and failing to follow-up on the results — can prove disastrous to a business. Not only will the company miss out on potentially great employees who receive a false positive, but there can also be legal repercussions when an instant drug test falsely implicates someone for substance abuse — such as the lawsuit brought against a Pittsburgh hospital by a new mother implicated of drug use. (It turns out that her failed drug test was the result of consuming a poppy seed bagel).

Instant Drug Tests Should be Used as Screens

This doesn’t mean that instant drug tests can’t be used in any capacity. We recommend using them as instant drug screens to weed out non-negatives that need further testing. Here’s how this process works:

  • Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North | How to Use Instant Drug TestsIf results from the instant drug test come back negative, no further testing is needed.
  • If results from the instant drug test come back non-negative, then further lab-based testing is needed.
  • If the lab results come back as non-negative, the lab will conduct further analysis to determine precisely what substances are present in the sample.
  • Once the substances are identified, an authorized person will conduct a medical review, checking for the tested individual’s prescriptions to see if the substances they tested positive for fall within the recommended therapeutic levels.
    • If the individual does not have legal prescriptions for the substances they tested positive for, then they have failed the test due to prescription drug abuse.
    • If the individual does have a legal prescription for the substances they tested positive for but they tested for higher than the recommended therapeutic levels, then they have also failed.
    • If the individual has a legal prescription for the substances they tested positive for and their test revealed use in the normal therapeutic levels, then their results will be noted as positive.

As you can see, this process is more thorough than an instant drug test, so it will help eliminate the incidence of false positives. This protects your company from any legal action that could arise from the use of instant drug tests and ensures that quality employees are not slipping through the cracks. Although the additional steps in this drug testing process will obviously take more time than an instant drug test, you will still have results back within a few working days.

Reliable, Lab-Based Drug Testing in Kansas City

Ready to ensure that your workplace drug testing program is effective and legally sound? Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North offers assistance with assessing, creating, and implementing workplace drug testing, including administering tests for pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and random drug testing.

To learn more about our drug testing services and how to use the instant drug test correctly, call (816) 399-4597 today.

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