Drug & Alcohol Screening
With any business it’s reputation and workforce is vital for its success. With heavy fines and legal matters employers are proactive in ensuring workplace testing policies are in place; especially in industries where there is a higher risk of safety to customers and employees such as Nuclear, Rail and Construction & Manufacturing. UK Screening Solutions provides employers flexible and customisable Drug & Alcohol screening.
Standard workplace screening covers amphetamines (including ecstasy), barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and methadone. We are also able to screen for specific substances, including NPS (formerly known as ‘Legal highs’) please contact us directly for further information. The drug screening can be performed through a urine, saliva, hair, or blood sample collected at one of our collection centres throughout the UK or by an on-site team at your location.
We understand how crucial it is to use the right sample type in the right testing scenario. As a result, we use a variety of screening methods and sample types to detect drug abuse or alcohol misuse. Our drug testing methods use saliva, urine, or hair strand samples to test for drugs, and our alcohol testing methods use breath, urine, or hair strand samples to test for alcohol. Below is a detailed overview of each method.
An Oral Fluid (Saliva) screening device is used for the detection of drugs, and can detect drugs for up to 48 hours after consumption. Providing analysis of short-term drug consumption, Oral Fluid screening is commonly used by employers conducting for-cause testing and post-incident testing.
An oral fluid test involves taking a saliva sample from between the cheek and gums to detect the presence of drugs, both legal and illegal. This sample method is reliable as high concentrations of drug components remain in the oral cavity for a period of time after drug consumption. Sample collection is taken quickly and easily, and is less prone to tampering/adulteration as samples are taken by a sample collection officer and the sample donor is in view at all times.
Benefits of Using Oral Fluid Screening to Detect Drug Abuse:
- Easy to collect and non-invasive
- Observed sample collection ensures samples are not tampered with
- Reliable method due to significant level of local absorption of drugs in the oral cavity
A urine test can be used for the detection of drugs and/or alcohol, and offers short-term detection of substance abuse. Alcohol is detectable in urine for less than 12 hours. A urine drug test can detect traces of drugs from between 4 hours and up to 8 days (this may be extended for regular cannabis users to around 30 days).
Urine tests are often used in conjunction with other methods such as hair strand tests to provide an enhanced time-line for drug and alcohol detection; therefore, allowing analysis of chronic substance abuse. It is used as the most common sample type for workplace drug and alcohol testing because it is simple, quick and practical.
A urine test consists of gaining a urine sample from the individual securely. At UK Screening Solutions, we ensure stringent measures are in place to guarantee samples are not tampered with as samples are most commonly deposited privately.
Benefits of Using a Urine Test to Detect Drugs and Alcohol:
- Practical method of sample collection
- Accurate detection of the presence of drugs and alcohol
- Can be used in conjunction with other methods to provide more detailed results
A breath test is used for detecting alcohol. This test determines whether an individual has recently consumed alcohol or is presently over the legal or pre-determined limit. This type of test produces immediate results and is used by employers to carry out several types of workplace testing one of which includes random testing.
Alcohol breath testing consists of using a handheld, non-invasive device to estimate and analyse an individual’s blood alcohol content by measuring the amount of alcohol in their breath. Alcohol is absorbed from the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines into the bloodstream. As the blood passes through the lungs, some of the alcohol evaporates and moves across the membranes of the lungs alveoli (air sacs) into the air. The concentration of the alcohol in the air is related to the concentration of alcohol in the blood, this allows a breathalyser device to be used to estimate an individual’s blood alcohol content.
At UK Screening Solutions we use and supply breathalysers which provide extremely accurate results.
Benefits of Using a Breath Test to Detect Alcohol:
- Practical method of analysis
- Immediate results
- On-site reporting
- Accurate detection of alcohol levels – measures the presence and level of alcohol
A hair strand test can be used for the detection alcohol. It is used for long-term alcohol abuse profiling with a detection window of 90 days or more. This sample type has the longest detection window and is often used in conjunction with other methods to enhance identification of individuals with long term alcohol abuse issues. This type of test is the most common sample type used for alcohol abuse assessment in child protection and family law cases and is now starting to be used by recruiters and employers conducting pre-employment screening.
Hair testing involves taking 2 hair strand samples from an individual to detect if, and approximately when someone has consumed alcohol. Hair grows at a rate of approximately 1cm per month and, as a result, a 3cm sample is usually used to acquire a longer analysis of substance abuse. Hair strand analysis differs slightly for the detection of alcohol and drugs.
When a drug is taken it is absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body. As a result, it is incorporated into the hair follicle meaning that as the hair grows, drugs are transferred into the hair strand. It can take up to 2 weeks for drug components to enter the hair and therefore analysis of a 3cm sample is recommended.
Analysis of the hair strand allows traces of drugs to be detected to provide an overall picture of drug abuse or a month by month analysis.
Benefits of Using a Hair Strand Test to Detect Drugs and Alcohol:
- Sample collection is quick, simple and non-invasive
- Observed sample collection which limits tampering of samples by donors
- Easy to store specimen
- Historic timeframe of substance abuse testing (90+ days)
- Helps identify long term abuse
- Detailed month by month analysis of drug abuse possible
Need Workplace Drug & Alcohol Screening?
Our Drug & Alcohol screening solutions offer reliable and accurate drug screening that can be tailored to your needs. We ensure precise results by ensuring practices are carried out correctly and offer a variety of different screening methods for multiple drugs. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.