If you already have a safety workplace policy, have you included a drug-free policy in the requirements?

Reducing risk is a strong driver of pre-employment screening activities and with the growing issue of drug consumption, employers are increasingly requiring additional drug testing as part of the recruitment for new employees as well as in the monitoring of current employees. This is done various reasons, among which to:

  1. Establish a safe and healthy work environment
  2. Reduce absenteeism
  3. Increase productivity
  4. Improve employee morale, creativity, and emotional stability

What are HR departments actually testing for?

  1. Amphetamine
  2. Marijuana / Cannabis / THC
  3. Cocaine
  4. Opiates / Morphine
  5. Benzodiazephine
  6. Metamphetamine
  7. Barbiturate
  8. Methadone
  9. Phencyclidine
  10. MDMA


There are several methodologies in conducting drug tests. They are done through urine, saliva, and hair where each has its pro’s and con’s.

Urine is the most common method and is known to be cost effective. But it is the easiest to cheat. Products used to dilute or adulterate a urine sample are available in the market although a diligent attention to proper collection protocols can mitigate this risk. While Saliva is hard to adulterate and can be done anywhere, it is not cost effective as there are two step pricing: kit and then test with limited panel options.

The last is the Hair test, which is less invasive than urine. It does not show in 1 to 7 days of use and more expensive than the other two, but the advantage is that the collection cannot be cheated as it is done by direct observation.

The chain of custody plays a very important part in the process. In some companies, drug testing also applies to existing employees where they conduct the test regularly and randomly.

Having drug testing in place should no longer be an option as employers must maintain a safe workplace to protect the business and employees.

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