Drug Testing vs Drug Screening
Differences Between Drug Testing and Drug Screening
Testing potential hires and employees is an important step for businesses and employers. The terms drug testing and drug screening get used quite a bit. Most people use them interchangeably, however they are very different. Learning the differences will help you make an informed decision that will best help your business.
Drug screening is a cheap and faster option, however they are not particularly accurate. On-site drug screening is primarily used by parole boards and companies hiring low paid employees. These types of drug screening tests are the cheapest way to go for some situations but not what most companies use.
Drug tests are used by companies that need to have a valid and legitimate drug screening program. Most major corporations use drug tests rather than drug screening, as they are more accurate and have more reliable results. Drug testing happens in a variety of ways, the most common three are urine test, hair test, and oral test.
Drug tests are required to follow a scientific analysis process. GC/MS ( gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy ) measures the molecular size, charge, and weight of the atoms in the drug metabolites. Due to the accuracy, GC/MS are more reliable and can measure the difference between things that often create false positives.
Why do Drug Testing or Drug Screening?
Common reasons employers implement drug testing are to:
Deter employees from abusing alcohol and drugs
Prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs
Be able to identify early and appropriately refer employees who have drug and/or alcohol problems
Provide a safe workplace for employees
Protect the general public and instill consumer confidence that employees are working safely
Comply with State laws or Federal regulations
Benefit from Workers’ Compensation Premium Discount programs
How Serious is Drug Abuse in America?
According to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), approximately:
15.9 million Americans age 12 or older admit to current (in the last 30 days) illicit drug use.
36 million Americans age 12 and older admit to having abused prescription drugs.
12.9 million Americans age 12 and older and 12.4 million adults admit to “heavy” drinking (5 or more drinks on at least 5 or more occasions in the past month).
2.1 million Americans 12 to20 years of age admit to being heavy drinkers.