Should You Use In-House or External Alcohol and Drug Testing?

There are strong arguments for using an external drug testing provider. Chief among them are expertise, experience and objectivity. Expertise and experience go hand in hand, ensuring that tests are expertly administered and accurately analysed.

Objectivity lends weight to the findings, their context being that they are provided by an independent and impartial organisation whose members do not personally know tested staff members, have no tendency to shelter or condemn and confine themselves to providing precise results.

Leave the job to impartial experts

It is a huge ask to assign alcohol and drug testing chores to staff members. Even with the best intentions, including training, they are highly unlikely to have the focused expertise of specialists.

The proliferation of problematic drugs, ranging from old standbys like alcohol and prescription drugs (legal) and all the illegal ones like marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, ice and more — all add new complexities to testing. And given that test results can have serious employee consequences including possible cautioning, dismissal, workers’ comp problems or legal action, test results become legal evidence. This needs to be accurate and clearly presented.

It stands to reason that the obvious objectivity provided by an off-site independent testing laboratory means results are free from management/peer influence, errors introduced by inexpert testers and/or result compilers. Staff members are likely to be more co-operative with outside testers than colleagues performing the same task, often resented as a form of management ‘policing’.

Properly qualified testing laboratories invest substantially in resources for equipment calibration and maintenance, results verification, sample handling/processing, data analysis and documentation. Such laboratories also go to great lengths to be up to date on new and emerging drugs in the increasing use of them in unfortunate combinations.

Naturally, such scope and depth of service must come at a price. But when compared to the expense of setting up your own testing facilities in a way that provides equivalent accuracy, engaging an external AOD test provider is likely to be your most cost-effective, accurate and compliance-encouraging option.

Notwithstanding the above, some companies and businesses find themselves in situations where external drug testing is simply not an option. This can be due to remote locations and/or economic constraints within the business. In such circumstances, in-house testing can sometimes be the only viable option. Where this is the case, Druglizer experts can provide equipment, training and 24 hour support to companies and businesses to ensure that quality drug testing is still available to help deliver safer workplaces and increased productivity.

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