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Drug Testing Training: Importance, Types of Testing, & Procedures

11 March, 2024

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Drug testing training is essential for performing accurate and reliable drug tests in various fields. Individuals must undergo thorough training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out the tests accurately. Having the right credentials to perform the test is important, especially for organisations and healthcare facilities. Completing the program allows them to conduct urine, saliva, and breath testing. Each type has different procedures to follow, from sample collection to analysis.

The abuse of drugs or alcohol is a prevalent issue that needs to be consistently addressed. Therefore, drug testing plays a crucial role in identifying individuals who may be under the influence of illicit substances. The accuracy of such procedures relies heavily on the training and expertise of the person administering the test. This article will provide an in-depth look at the importance of drug screening training, types of tests, and procedures.

Importance of Drug Testing Training

Drug testing training is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of drug test results. Without proper training, individuals may not follow correct procedures or interpret the results accurately. This can lead to potential false positives or negatives. Additionally, it can have serious implications for individuals being tested, as well as organisations relying on drug test results for decision-making purposes.

Moreover, training is important for understanding the legal and ethical considerations surrounding drug testing. Individuals conducting the test must be aware of the laws and regulations in their jurisdiction or specific industry. Without this knowledge, organisations may be at risk of legal liabilities or violations, such as the right to privacy and consent.

Furthermore, it helps to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals in safety-sensitive jobs or situations. By accurately detecting drug use, companies can prevent potential incidents that could harm their employees or the public. Therefore, training individuals to conduct drug and alcohol testing properly and interpret results correctly can ultimately help to create a safer and more productive environment.

Compliance with Legislative Requirements

  • Classroom training informs on the legality of drug testing procedures in different jurisdictions and industry standards.
  • Following legislative requirements help to protect the rights and privacy of individuals.
  • Non-compliance can lead to legal consequences for the organisation, including fines and lawsuits.
  • Compliance with regulations ensures the accuracy and reliability of drug test results.
  • Failure to comply with legislative requirements can damage the reputation and credibility of the company.
  • Administrative requirements for drug and alcohol testing procedures help to standardise the procedures across different organisations and industries.
  • Compliance enhances the overall effectiveness and fairness of drug and alcohol testing policy.

A woman opening her mouth for a swab

Drug Testing Training – Types of Testing

Drug testing training covers different test methods. One of the most common types is urine testing. This type can detect the presence of various drugs or their metabolites within the previous few days. It is the preferred method of testing by employers because of its efficiency, ability to provide quick results, and relatively low costs.

The second type is the saliva drug test. It is less invasive than a urine test, but it has a shorter detection window. This test involves the collection of oral fluid or saliva samples using a swab. It is also one of the favourable choices of many employers because of its ability to detect recent drug use.

Another type of method covered in drugs of abuse testing is the alcohol breath test. This method uses a breathalyser device to measure the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of individuals. It is the most non-invasive form of alcohol screening, as it only requires a breath sample. In addition, the device can provide the results in seconds.

What to Detect?

Drugs of abuse testing typically include screening for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). These drugs or their metabolites can stay in the system for different lengths of time. Additionally, breath alcohol testing can detect ethanol, while urine and oral fluid drug tests can trace metabolites like ethyl glucuronide (EtG).

On the other hand, sending the specimen for laboratory testing can identify a more comprehensive range of substances, including designer drugs and prescription medications. Moreover, individuals training for a collection role also learn to recognise the negative effects of drugs and signs of abuse.

A testing officer documenting the sample

Drug Testing Training – Procedures for Testing

In drug testing training, participants will learn the procedures for specimen collection, handling, storage, and analysis. To earn their certification, they will have to pass the practical component of the learning program. In conducting the test, individuals have to follow the chain of custody procedures of sample collection and documentation.

Participants must be able to demonstrate facilitating urine, saliva, and breath tests using the different collection kits. Likewise, individuals show competency in performing onsite drug tests in a workplace environment. This includes adhering to the chain of custody requirements from the point of collection to transporting the specimens to the laboratory.

If the initial screening shows non-negative test results, drug and alcohol testing officers often forward the samples to the lab for further analysis. Confirmatory testing determines the specific substances and enables the quantitation of drugs in the sample. In addition to testing, individuals will learn how to deal with clients, including respectful communication about special procedures and reporting of results.

Collection Requirements

Collection centres require the use of certified drug and alcohol testing equipment to ensure accurate results possible. For example, urine drug test cups, saliva test kits, and workplace breathalysers must have Australian Standards (AS) accreditation. Moreover, following strict protocols helps maintain the integrity of the samples.

For urine testing, training participants must label and seal the sample containers properly to prevent tampering or contamination. Meanwhile, when collecting saliva samples, individuals should use sterile swabs and follow proper swabbing techniques. Lastly, breath alcohol testing requires the use of properly calibrated breathalysers to ensure accurate BAC measurements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, drug testing training covers a range of methods and procedures to detect drugs and alcohol in individuals. By undergoing this training, individuals contribute to ensuring safety and promoting a drug-free environment for all. Participants learn how to conduct urine, saliva, and breath tests following strict protocols and chain of custody requirements to ensure accurate results. This includes specific procedures for sample collection, documentation, and interpretation of results.

Upon successful completion, individuals can work in various roles in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Furthermore, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the test can help individuals and organisations make informed decisions. It also helps mitigate legal risks due to drug-related incidents in the workplace. This is why many employers use drug testing as part of their workplace safety programs. It not only helps minimise accidents but also improves productivity and employee morale.

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