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Workplace drug and alcohol testing

Promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace benefits the company and your employees. You can help your staff manage their mental health through drug and alcohol testing initiatives plus much more. 


The purpose of workplace drug and alcohol testing is to determine whether your employees are engaged in alcohol or substance abuse. Such activities are sure-fire signals of mental health disorders such as stress, depression and anxiety. 


By identifying individuals that may be suffering from a lack of health and well-being early, you are better placed to help them. In addition, employees that are not impaired by mind-fog and low-energy levels following a hangover or “come down” are more productive and absent less often. 

Companies can also use drug and alcohol testing to screen job applicants during the onboarding process. A testing programme will enable you to determine whether a candidate is a potential liability. 

We also recommend companies that operate in industries where health and safety risks are heightened to impenitent a workplace drug and alcohol testing programme.


With alcohol and substance abuse becoming more prominent in the UK, a workplace drug and alcohol testing programme will help to encourage individuals to adopt a healthier lifestyle. 


How To Implement A Drug And Alcohol Policy

As you can imagine, a drug and alcohol testing programme will not sit well with all of your employees. When implementing a policy, it should be robust and straightforward. 

The reasons for implementing workplace drug and alcohol testing should also be explained clearly in a written policy. We recommend keeping the policy as simple and robust as possible. 


In addition to good health and mental wellbeing, a drug and alcohol policy should include safety reasons that reflect your company’s industry sector and ways of working. 

If you need advice and assistance with drafting a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy, we can support you in the development stage and review the content until completion. With more than 15 years of experience, our experts understand which strategies are more readily accepted by employees.

Testing Services
Urine Drug Testing

Why Should You Implement A Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy 

There are a number of reasons for introducing a testing policy in your workplace. These include:

   •   Health and wellbeing benefits

   •   Increased productivity 

   •   Reduced absenteeism

   •   Deter drug and alcohol abuse

   •   Pre-employment screening to avoid hiring individuals that present a potential risk of underperforming and absenteeism

   •   Identify employees that may be suffering from a mental health disorder before it becomes debilitating

   •   Random testing (announced and unannounced)

   •   Periodic testing for safety-critical roles

   •   Follow-up testing as part of rehabilitation

   •   Immediate response (For-cause and post-incident/accident)

   •   Industry-specific testing (e.g. Network Rail, construction)

   •   Comply with government regulations

Breathe Alcohol Testing

Performing Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing 

Drug and alcohol testing can be conducted in a variety of ways. The most common are urine samples, oral fluid (saliva), hair, blood and breath (alcohol).

Standard, urine or saliva testing is the preferred choice for most employers. However, companies that intend to test senior executives or officials occupying sensitive roles in government may prefer hair drug testing which is an ideal solution for analysing longer-term drug or alcohol misuse.


Testing programmes can also play a key role in your recruitment process. By testing candidates, recruiters can determine whether individuals have a history of alcohol and drug misuse.

Our experts will discuss the options available to you and advise you of the best solutions for your business. Once we have a clear idea of your requirements, we will prepare a tailored programme and quotation for your company. Many companies such as the National Grid require their staff to undertake regular drug and alcohol tests. 


We also work with you to ensure initial screening and confirmation tests are undertaken in a controlled environment. For accuracy, it is important for the right conditions to be in place.


In the event of a positive test, our licensed medical specialists examine the results and follow up with the individual to determine if the traces could have been caused by other types of medication. We also ensure the chain-of-custody procedures were followed correctly. 


What Substances Does Drug and Alcohol Testing Measure?

Workplace drug and alcohol tests are effective for identifying illegal substances including:

   •   Amphetamines (meth, speed, crank, ecstasy)

   •   Anabolic steroids (synthesized, muscle-building hormones) 

   •   Cocaine 

   •   Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, peyote)

   •   Hydrocodone (prescription medication known as Lortab, Vicodin, Oxycodone)

   •   Inhalants (paint, glue, hairspray)

   •   MDMA ( commonly known as Ecstasy)

   •   Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)

   •   Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust)

   •   THC (cannabinoids, marijuana, hash)

The tests can also pick up substances found in prescribed medicines including:

   •   Barbiturates (phenobarbital, butalbital, secobarbital, downers)

   •   Benzodiazepines (tranquillizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax)

   •   Methaqualone (Quaaludes)

   •   Methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction)

   •   Propoxyphene (Darvon compounds)

Workplace Drug

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing 

Random testing is an excellent tool that serves as a deterrent for alcohol and substance abuse. Implemented in the right way, random drug and alcohol testing can become a regular fixture that enhances your company culture around, safety, health and wellbeing. 


Because random testing is not scheduled and could occur on any given day, employees are more careful about the amount and/or frequency they consume drugs or alcohol.


To ensure the testing is random, we run a program through a computerised random-generator that stores a form of employee identification such as a social security number. This ensures testing is unpredictable and could be anybody in the workforce. 


Random testing is naturally a sensitive issue. Employees can feel like they are being spied upon or victimised. It’s obviously important to ensure that random drug and alcohol testing is rolled out effectively. 


With over 15 years experience of in delivering random alcohol and drug tests in the workplace, our experts understand how employees can react. Moreover, we know which strategies work well and which methods are treated with suspicion. 


Random Drug Testing Options 

There are various options to consider when implementing random drug testing. Each option has pros and cons which our experts will explain to you during your initial consultation. It’s important that you have the right fit for your business.

The options are: 

Point of Care Testing 

Instant screen results can provide a sign of possible misuse. The sample types used for the test are urine and saliva. However, there are limitations so a laboratory confirmation test should be undertaken to confirm results.


Urine Laboratory Testing 

The science for urine drug testing is well established. As a result, this is still the most popular method in the workplace. However, these tests only detect drug or alcohol use within the previous few days so only provides evidence of recent use. 


Breath Alcohol Testing 

Breathalysers are a well-known instrument for detecting alcohol consumption within the last 8 to 24 hours. We use non-evasive breathalysers approved by the Home Office and can incorporate them in conjunction with any of the above testing methods at no extra cost.


Periodic Drug and Alcohol Testing

We recommend periodic drug and alcohol testing for companies that work in safety-critical industries. For example, if you want to ensure a subcontractor meets the health and safety requirements to fulfil a contract. Other examples include offshore workers or contractors working overseas. 


Follow-Up Drug and Alcohol Testing

Follow-up testing is ideal for employees you are supporting to overcome drug or alcohol abuse. These tests can be part of their rehabilitation program to help them get back to work.

You may also want to perform follow-up tests on employees that have previously tested positive. This enables you to monitor the individual's mental health and wellbeing and ensure there are no issues that could potentially lead to illness and/or absenteeism. 

Immediate Response (including post-incident/accident testing)

The immediate response service is typically required for call-outs following an accident or incident you suspect may be a direct result of drug or substance abuse. Our typical response time is 2-3 hours. 


Conducting drug and alcohol testing following an accident or incident can be a very sensitive issue due to the implications traces of mind-altering substances can lead to. 

We, therefore, have a strict protocol to follow including relevant documents and procedures. Our expert team will support and guide you through the implementation of immediate response testing together with any follow-up action that may be required. 

Contact Our Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Specialists 

Whilst we cannot write your drug and alcohol policy for you, we can certainly advise you of the terminology to use and the best practices to implement.


Signing up to our service gives you access to our best practice procedures and policies that are proven to be effective. In addition, you will work with trained specialists that have a wealth of experience of workplace testing for drugs and alcohol. 


Our experienced team has multiple years in the field and can provide advice about what works and what doesn’t work based on first-hand knowledge. We have worked with hundreds of companies in all industry sectors for more than 15 years. 


We also provide templates you can use for guidance. The templates include key questions and help you build out a drug and alcohol policy that is most appropriate for your business environment and company culture. In addition, you may want to learn about the current drug classification laws in the UK here.

Our robust services can be adapted to suit your company. No matter what size your business is, a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy help to support the health and wellbeing of your staff and capture potential risks before they become a problem. 

Call us today for an informal chat 

and request a no-obligation quote

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Book your drug test in Ashford Kent

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A. Unit 129 Ellingham Industrial Estate, Ellingham Way, Ashford, Kent, TN23 6LZ

T. 01233 349021 Option 3

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