Urine Drug Testing FAQ

Why should I use urine drug testing?

Urine drug testing detects recent drug use and there are a variety of testing methods which can be used. Sampling with our urine testing kits will provide an instant result and the testing can either be undertaken by trained company representatives or by AlphaBiolab’s trained collectors. We can also provide a laboratory screening and confirmation service and we provide a rapid confirmation service for samples which are non-negative on site.

Urine testing is suitable for all testing reasons – from pre-employment to random to for-cause and post-incident.

Why is urine testing the most frequently used method for drug testing?

Companies use pre-employment urine drug testing and random testing for employees to protect the business from the risks of workforce drug use. While all drug testing sample types – urine, oral fluid and hair – have their advantages, urine drug testing is by far the most flexible in terms of the large panel of drugs which can be detected and confirmed.

How long can a drug be detected in urine?

Urine drug testing generally detects recent drug use in the previous 24 to 72 hours.  It depends on various factors including the drug being tested for, the amount of drug taken and the individual’s metabolic rate. In the case of cannabis, the detection window can be much longer than 72 hours.

What drugs are detected with a urine test?

Our on-site 9 panel urine testing kits can screen for benzodiazepines, amphetamine, opiates, cannabis, cocaine, buprenorphine, methadone and methamphetamine. We can test for additional drugs in the laboratory.

What are cut off levels?

Cut off levels refer to the minimum concentration of drug in a sample which can be deemed non-negative. Our drug and alcohol testing service follows the guidelines and cut off values set out by the European Workplace Drug Testing Society.

Is drug testing reliable?

We work to the highest standard in the industry and hold accreditation to ISO17025.

Our DNA, drug and alcohol testing service has been carrying out DNA, drug and alcohol testing for the legal profession for many years. All our legal tests follow a strict chain of custody and are legally admissible in UK courts.

What happens when an employee is tested?

At the collection site, the donor provides the sample and the collector will test the sample. If the sample is non-negative, it will be split into two and placed in a tamper evident bag. The necessary documentation will be completed and the sample transported to the laboratory for further analysis.

What if an employee declines to be tested?

This should be addressed in your drug and alcohol testing policy. Some companies will commence disciplinary procedures but this varies according to individual policies. Some policies outline that if an employee declines a drug or alcohol test, their test result will be an automatic fail.

What facilities should be provided for urine collection?

The collection site should have a private room with a toilet and for the duration of the urine collection, access to the area should be restricted.

What if an employee is unable to provide a urine sample.?

In this case, the employee would be given fluids so they should be able to provide a sample within a few hours. Only a small amount of urine is required, about 50 millilitres.

If they are still unable to do so, a ‘Fail to Provide’ form would be completed and retained by the employer. An alternative test may be offered e.g. oral fluid, and if this sample is refused then the employee will be determined as ‘unwilling’ to give a sample as opposed to ‘unable’. Your workplace drug and alcohol testing policy should contain procedures to follow in this instance.

Is introducing workplace drug testing expensive?

Introducing a drug and alcohol testing policy in the workplace is not expensive and the company will actually gain greater productivity, less accidents and subsequent litigation.

Is there any preparation required for the test?

No, the employee should continue eating and drinking normally and keep taking any prescribed medication. Prescription medicine will not interfere with the tests as long as it has been declared to the collector.

Can an employee challenge the result?

Yes, an employee has the right to challenge a positive result and ask for a retest. They will not be permitted to give another sample but the retest will be carried out on the secondary portion of the original sample, which the laboratory still holds. Depending on the company policy, the employee may have to cover the cost of the retest.

To arrange any of our business services or workplace drug and alcohol testing services please contact our friendly UK based customer service team on 0333 600 1300 or info@alphabiolabs.co.uk. Feel free to get in touch with any workplace testing enquiries at all that you may have. We also have Toxicology specialists at hand to provide expert advice and interpretation of results if your situation is particularly complex.

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Please use the contact form below for one of our workplace testing experts to contact you.


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