Benefits of Drug Testing

Drug tests may be used for a variety of reasons. There are a number of scenarios in which drug testing is useful, including:

  • Drug testing may be used to ease family stress, or to demonstrate good health for parenting and custody causes.

  • Many employers require drug tests in order to ensure safety in the workplace.

  • Law enforcement officers may administer drug tests if impaired driving is suspected.

  • Courts may mandate drug testing after certain offenses.

  • Sports teams or organizations may use drug tests to check for performance enhancers or other substances.

  • Drug tests may be used during an intervention as a tool to help a loved one understand the scope of the problem before they accept treatment for a problem with drugs or alcohol.


Type of tests:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMSHA) has identified five main methods of drug testing:

  • Urine: tests for the presence of drug metabolites in urine for a few days after ingesting

  • Breath: breath-alcohol test determines the amount of alcohol currently in the bloodstream, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC), for a few hours after consumption

  • Blood: can test for current levels of drugs or alcohol in the bloodstream for a short window of time, usually a few hours

  • Hair: can provide a complete drug history for up to 90 days, not including current levels of impairment; longest testing window

  • Oral fluids: can detect drugs currently in the system by a swab of saliva from the inner cheek, usually for a few hours after ingesting drugs



Each year drug and alcohol abuse costs U.S. companies billions of dollars, which includes turnover rates for employees, unexcused absences, lower productivity, accidents, and increased workers’ compensation claims.  According to the National Safety Council, employees who abuse prescription drugs are two to five times more likely to take unexcused absences, be late for work, be injured or violent at work, file workers’ compensation claims, and quit or be fired within one year of employment.