What You Should Know About Pre Employment Drug Testing

Updated : February 22nd, 2022

What You Should Know About Pre-Employment Drug Testing

A lot of companies now days are incorporating pre-employment drug testing. A pre-employment drug is that before a potential candidate joins a company, a test is conducted on him/her to see whether the candidate is a drug user. If the candidate tests positive for drugs, there is a good chance he/she will be rejected by the company.  

A report by the Society for Human Resource Management declared that 84% of employers in the private sector conduct pre-employment drug testing. Another report by the Clinical Laboratory Quest Diagnostic stated that American job applicants and workers who were tested positive for drugs hit a 14 year high. The process of screening candidates for drugs is known as pre-employment drug testing. 

Companies inform prospective employees that drug testing will be conducted before the applicant gets the job. A lot of private employers, by law, are not required to do pre-employment drug testing. However, on the other hand, employees working in Aviation, Transportation, Safety, and Defense test candidates for the usage of drugs. 

Other Industries like schools, universities, and hospitals require potential applicants to go through a pre-employment drug testing exam. Applicants who would like to work in the Federal or State Government jobs in the U.S will also have to go through a pre-employment drug testing exam.

Pre- Employment Drug Testing Laws By State 

Drug testing laws vary according to each state in the U.S. The state of North Carolina makes all public and private employers go through a pre-employment drug test. In the state of Ohio, a potential applicant can only be tested for drug usage if he/she is provided with advanced notice. An approved laboratory must conduct all drug tests for employees in the U.S. 

What Drugs Do Employers Look For In a Drug Test?

Companies can test employees for a variety of services which include:

  • THC (Marijuana, Cannabinoids, Hash)
  • Opiates (Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, Opium)
  • Amphetamines (Ecstasy, Crank, Speed, Meth)
  • Cocaine (Crack, Coke)

All drug testing activities fall under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If companies want to further test employees for further testing, they use the following tests:

8 Panel Drug Test

  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Barbiturates (Downers, Secobarbital, Butalbital, Phenobarbital)
  • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Librium)

10 Panel Drug Test (Includes 8 Panel Drug Test and the following)

  • Propoxyphene (Darvon Compounds)
  • Methadone 

Additional companies can test potential employees for the following:

  • Nicotine 
  • Inhalants (Paint, Gum, Hairspray)
  • Anabolic Steroids (Synthesized, Muscle- Building Hormones)
  • Hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Oxycodone)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Hallucinogens


The reason that companies test for drugs is to improve productivity and safety in the workplace. Creating a safe workplace is beneficial both to the employee and the company. To sum up, pre-employment drug testing will help reduce the number of drug users in the United States Workforce.  

If at all you are unemployed or are on the job hunt FileUnemployment.org is the perfect platform to help you know all about going about filing for unemployment benefits in the U.S. Alternatively the site also provides a detailed guide to eligibility conditions, training programs and so on.


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