Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Exactly What Is A Non Us dot Drug Test

Drug & alcohol tests are done in many industries.

Workers that fall under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations must be given a specific type of drug test required for employment drug screening. It is a five-panel test often referred to simply as a "DOT drug screen," and the chain of custody (COC) used must be a federal form. Workers employed in positions that do not require drug screening under DOT regulations are given non-DOT tests if their companies have drug-testing policies in place. Companies have flexibility in establishing non-DOT policies and procedures for drug testing, including what substances to check for and how often drug tests are required.

DOT vs. Non-DOT Employment Drug Screening

The five drugs tested for on a DOT drug screen are:

Marijuana (THC)




Phencyclidine (PCP)

A non-DOT drug screen can be identical to the five-panel as listed above (though not using a federal COC), can be a 10-panel drug screen (as detailed below), or can include more panels if the ordering agency requires more in-depth testing.

Standard 10-Panel Drug Screen:

Marijuana (THC)




Phencyclidine (PCP)

Barbiturates (Seconal, Nembutal, Amytal and Tuinal)

Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Librium)

Methaqualone (Quaalude, Sopor)

Methadone (Dolophine, Methadone Diskets, Methadose)

Propoxyphene (Darvon, Dolene, Doxaphene, Profene 65)

Instant Results for Some Employment Drug Screening

Urine and saliva boast the ability to produce "instant" results. In this type of test, the specimen is placed into an enclosed cassette-style device with a sterile dropper, giving an immediate result--similar to a home pregnancy test. Some prescription medications, even those not being tested for, can result in a false positive or inconclusive result. In this instance, another sample (typically urine, even if the initial sample was saliva) will be taken and sent to a lab for in-depth interpretation.

Laboratory Testing Methods for Employment Drug Screening

Urine specimens may also be initially sent to a lab where they are analyzed by certified technicians using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). If any of the substances tested for are shown above the cut-off level, the results are them forwarded to an MRO to interpret further. This process involves the MRO contacting the patient, and possibly the prescribing physician of any substance that showed up in the results.

Hair tests are also conducted using GC/MS, and there are no instant forms of these tests currently available. Here, the donor is required to give at least a 1.5 inch sample of hair. If there is no hair available on the donor's head, body hair may be used, but not a combination of both types.

Result Turnaround for Employment Drug Screening

All instant drug screens produce an on-site result and can be immediately called to the employer by the collection site. Urine drug screens sent out for examination are normally returned within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the lab. Hair testing typically yields results from the lab within three to four business days.

Windows of Detection for Employment Drug Screening

Hair tests cover the largest time frame, typically up to 90 days prior to collection. Urine drug screens sent to a lab using GC/MS have a detection window of about three to 14 days, depending on the type of drug and frequency of use. Instant urine or saliva drug screens cover anywhere between 24 hours to one week prior to collection.

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