What does a Drug Screen Test for? How about Alcohol Tests?

With companies and businesses performing more and more frequent drug and alcohol tests in the workplace, employees cannot help but ask what does a drug screen test for? And what does an alcohol screen test for? The availability of reliable and efficient urine and breath alcohol testing methods has made these tests easier to perform. Mobile testing units can perform urine testing. Alcohol testing can be done using devices like the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia. These tests mainly help maintain workplace safety and productivity by preventing the disruptive behaviour from individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What does a drug screen test for, and how about alcohol tests?: Main Reasons

So, what does a drug screen test for as well as an alcohol test? The main reason why companies and businesses conduct drug and alcohol screening and testing is workplace health and safety. Moreover, employers are also legally required by the government to provide all their employees with a safe working environment. Furthermore, employers and business owners should have a comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol policy that covers all drug and alcohol screenings and tests. It is to ensure that all employees in the company understand and accept the policy

Kinds of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace:

  • Pre-employment – testing potential employees during the hiring process. It ensures that a company hires workers that do not have drug and alcohol abuse problems.
  • Random – testing that can happen at any time without prior announcement. Random testing can help identify employees who try to hide their drug and alcohol usage.
  • Blanket – testing all employees under a single event. This procedure should cover all personnel, including operations and administration staff.
  • Post-accident or incident – this testing checks if alcohol or drugs are involved in a workplace accident or incident. It helps clarify that the company or other employees are not at fault. By conducting post-accident or incident tests, employers can address future concerns and make better decisions to prevent similar events from happening.
  • Post-treatment – testing returning employees who have previously tested positive. This screening ensures that employees are clear and fit to return to work.
  • Reasonable Suspicion – testing an employee displaying symptoms of drug or alcohol impairment. This screening is to confirm if they are indeed under the influence of drugs or alcohol during work hours.


What does a drug screen test for?: Drug Testing

Aside from asking the question, “what does a drug screen test for?” it is also important to know how they work. Most drug screening methods involves drug detection using urine drug testing. Urine drug testing is where urine samples gathered by a certified sample collector are taken into a mobile testing unit or registered lab to be analysed. Consequently, a positive test would mean that there may be traces of drugs in the individual’s system. These results would then be taken to a certified lab, as per federal law, to identify the exact and specific drug used. Additionally, drug screening tests are common in sports organisations, for legal or forensic purposes, and for employment (company employee monitoring). Businesses can do drug tests for pre-employment, random testing, or when an employee presents with suspicious behaviour. 

The most common categories of drugs that companies test for are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

How about alcohol tests?: Alcohol Testing

After asking, “what does a drug screen test for? And how about alcohol tests?” then understanding how drug tests work, it is now time to know how alcohol tests work as well. The best alcohol testing method is breath testing. Traditionally, alcohol breath testing are primarily used by law enforcement to make sure a driver in question is sober on the road. However, it is now common to do alcohol testing in the workplace to check whether an employee has had alcohol before or during work. Breath testing devices called breathalysers uses breath samples where one would breathe into a sterile tube. Results would be ready within a few seconds and would test positive if the individual has had an alcohol intake from 15 minutes ago up to almost 24 hours. 

A breathalyser would measure the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to identify alcohol in the system and how much of it is there. Anything equal to or above 0.01% would mean that there has been some alcohol intake. Moreover, breathalysers are now being made more available to the public. Breathalysers Australia offers a selection of high-quality BACtrack workplace breathalysers. Subsequently, the differences in what an alcohol test and what does a drug screen test for are significant but have similarities when discussing their advantages and purposes.  

What does a drug screen test for? How about Alcohol Tests?: Importance of Drug and Alcohol Testing

With clear answers on what does a drug screen test for and what alcohol tests are for, companies should always consider the benefits of frequent and reliable testing. Despite being a little costly, routine and dependable testing could help the company save money rather than lose it. Moreover, drug and alcohol testing would prevent employees from having or ever starting a disruptive and unhealthy habit which could further help maintain workplace safety and productivity. However, before conducting drug and alcohol testing as part of your workplace policy, there are some guidelines that are important to consider. These are:

  • Who will receive the drug and alcohol testing?
  • When will the scheduling be for the drug and alcohol testing?
  • Who will conduct the drug and alcohol testing?
  • What are the substances the test will be detecting?
  • Who will cover the costs of the drug and alcohol testing?
  • How will you ensure the accuracy of the drug and alcohol tests?
  • What are the legal rights to consider if an employee receives a positive test result for drugs or alcohol?


Ensure Accuracy of Alcohol Testing with BACtrack Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia.

After considering what does a drug screen test for and what alcohol tests are for, it is imperative to choose testing equipment that ensures accuracy. BACtrack workplace breathalysers available at Breathalysers Australia are perfect for any company that requires fast and reliable alcohol breath testing. BACtrack devices only take 10 to 15 seconds to process BAC results. Moreover, they also have one-button operations, making it easy for anyone to perform a breath test instantly. These features can allow for more frequent alcohol testing in the workplace. It is especially useful for companies that require high-volume alcohol testing. Furthermore, BACtrack breathalysers use an advanced fuel cell sensor technology. These sensors are police-grade accurate. In addition, they only detect ethyl alcohol in a breath sample. Thus, it lessens the chances of a “false-positive” result significantly.

In conclusion, any company or business that requires alcohol testing can definitely benefit from investing in a BACtrack workplace breathalyser at Breathalysers Australia.