What Types Of Drug Tests Do Employers Commonly Use?

Many employers require potential employees to pass a drug test before being hired. Some companies also perform random drug tests even after hiring employees that may occur at any time during the time of employment. This is done to ensure that employees are not using illegal drugs before, during, or after working hours. By requiring employees to pass drug tests, companies are more likely to have a safe working environment with reliable employees. These are some of the different types of drug tests that many employers commonly give to potential and current employees.


A urinalysis is the most common type of drug and alcohol test given today. By testing a sample of the person's urine, this test can detect the presence or absence of specific illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. This test is often preferred because it can be done easily and results normally come back within a short period of time.

Hair Testing

Hair testing is also a way to check to find out if a potential employee or current employee has drugs in their system. This is done by taking a small sample of the hair and then sending it to a lab to be professionally tested for drugs. This test is considered especially thorough because it can show which drugs a person has used, how recently they have been used, and for how long the person was actively using the drugs. Hair drug tests can detect the use of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and various other illegal drugs.

Oral Fluid Testing

Another type of drug test that is commonly given by employers is the oral fluid test. This test is done by taking a sample of the person's saliva and sending it to a lab to be tested. This test is also popular because it is very inexpensive and can be done quickly by simply swabbing the inside of the mouth. Testing the oral fluid of a person can detect drugs or alcohol as early as within a few minutes up to 48 hours after using drugs or consuming alcohol. 

Breath Alcohol Test

Some companies also keep a test onsite that can detect if an employee has been using alcohol while on the job. This test is an evidential breath alcohol test. The employee blows into a breathalyzer and this gives a reading as to the level of alcohol that is in their system. Often this type of test is given at certain types of jobs, such as bus services, taxi services, construction jobs, or heavy machinery operating jobs. If an employer is impaired by alcohol while performing any of these jobs, it could be very dangerous for them, their co-workers, and the public as well. 

If your business needs drug and alcohol testing, contact a testing center in your area.