Caught With Your Pants Down? What to Expect During a Drug Test
You spent weeks – maybe even months – searching for your next job. Then you got called in for an interview, and you nailed it!
Your dream job is right there within your grasp. The only thing standing between you and that first big paycheck is…the drug test.
Even if you don’t use recreational drugs, the idea of submitting to a pre-employment drug test is intimidating. However, since 57% of U.S. companies require drug screening from new employees, chances are you’ll face it eventually.
What types of drugs are employers testing for? And what can you expect during your screening session?
Read on to find out!
What Drugs Are They Testing For?
Most employers will order either a 5-panel or 10-panel drug test.
A 5-panel drug test looks for the following:
- Opiates (heroin, codeine, morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- THC (marijuana) – even in states where it’s legalized!
The 10-panel drug test also looks for these common painkillers and prescription drugs:
Is it possible to “beat” a drug test? To be sure, many have tried.
Methods include diluting urine or providing someone else’s urine. Some have even created synthetic urine with devices such as the Whizzinator.
However, providing tainted or fake urine is highly illegal, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. For this reason, it is highly NOT recommended to try it!
(Worried about painkillers showing up in your urine test? Try some of these natural pain remedies instead!)
What to Expect During a Drug Test
Well, the big day is here. It’s time to step into that clinic and provide the urine sample that will determine your professional fate.
The process will probably go something like this:
- Smile nervously at the receptionist as you present identification. This is to verify that you are actually you.
- The collector will ask you to remove unnecessary layers of clothing (coats, jackets, etc.) and empty your pockets. Basically, she has to be sure you’re not planning to tamper with the collection process.
- In most cases, you’ll have privacy while you urinate. However, if the collector has any reason to think you might tamper with the sample, she may assign a same-sex observer to accompany you.
- The collector will give you a sealed container with measurement markings and a wide mouth. Before you touch it (or yourself), be sure to wash your hands to remove any trace chemicals on your skin. This could adversely affect the test results!
- Once you’ve filled the cup, the collector will examine it for any signs of tampering. She’ll also check the temperature and make sure there’s enough for the ordered tests.
- You and the collector sign paperwork stating that the specimen is correctly labeled. You also sign off that there were no issues during the collection process.
- Exit the clinic and give a big sigh of relief. It’s over!
Depending on where the clinic processes the test (in-house or sent to a lab), it may take a few hours or a few days to get the results back.
We know it’s difficult, but be patient! And try not to worry.
You’ll pass that test with flying colors and be on your way to your new job before you know it!
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