Recent News & Updates

What Is A Dilute Drug Test?

Water In A Drinking Glass

Have you ever received a drug test result that said dilute? Applicants and employees who know they are going to test positive may attempt to tamper with their sample to pass the test. The most common way of doing this is by diluting their urine, leading to a dilute drug test result.

Diluting urine means that the donor drinks a significant quantity of water before providing a specimen, and their body is overly hydrated. However, it is possible that a donor doesn’t do this with the intent of cheating the system and simply drinks a lot of water in general.

It is widely known that some donors try to dilute their urine because they consumed drugs and are trying to flush out their system. This practice will result in a dilute drug test result.

What can be done?

A dilute drug test result can still be used. If it is positive dilute, then it is positive and the employer should proceed accordingly. However, If it is negative, the employer does have a few options to help in making the best determination.

An employer can require that anyone who has a negative dilute drug test be retested. The employer can specify that the donor retest via another urine drug test or can choose another testing method that may be harder to cheat. Keep in mind that when testing a DOT donor, it may be necessary to retest that donor under a Non-DOT policy if choosing another testing method. This would mean that the test, if positive, would not report to the clearinghouse as DOT only allows for DOT urine samples. The employer can choose other options like a hair follicle or saliva drug test, which are both conducted under direct observation. Contact our office for help in developing a testing protocol for a dilute drug test.

Illicit drug users who test negative dilute often slip through the system and get hired more often than one would think. Sometimes, these users will get caught through random testing or reasonable suspicion testing. Don’t risk it! The safety of the workplace should come first! We are here to help provide the resources needed to promote safety in the workplace. Contact us for answers to any questions!

CBD & Workplace Drug Testing

CBD Molecule

Recently CBD has gained popularity as some researchers say it could be highly beneficial to treat certain medical conditions. Many employers have questions about the effects of CBD on safety and how it will relate to their workplace drug testing policy and practices.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of approximately 400 compounds found in cannabis, the same plant that produces the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While CBD comes from the same plant as THC and shares some similarities, it does not produce a “high.” Early research shows that CBD may benefit medical and therapeutic issues such as seizures, neurological diseases, pain, cancer, inflammation, and mood disorders, including PTSD.

In some medical marijuana states, CBD products are allowed to have residual levels of THC up to 5%. Early research of CBD products has shown some adverse reactions in some people such as drowsiness, fatigue, decreased blood pressure, anxiety, possible endocrine disruption, altered immune function, dizziness, psychomotor slowing, and diarrhea.

 Will I fail my test?

CBD itself would not report positive for marijuana or the marijuana metabolite. If the CBD product contains THC at a sufficiently high concentration (5% or higher as allowed in some states where medical/recreational marijuana is decriminalized), it may cause a positive. Keep in mind that CBD with a residual level of 5% THC is not legal in all states.

It is important to remember that neither CBD nor medical marijuana use is allowed to be considered an alternative medical explanation for the positive test result when the test is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The important part of workplace testing is to educate your staff and managers. Give us a call if you have any specific questions about CBD use in the workplace! 1.800.452.0030 ext. 0

What you need to know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing

Laboratory

What is a DOT drug test?

A DOT Drug test is a drug test that is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act when they recognized the need for a drug and alcohol-free transportation industry. This act requires that DOT regulated employers implement a drug and alcohol testing program for their safety-sensitive employees.

The DOT regulations and procedures are listed as 49 CFR Part 40. These rules are published by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC). The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance publishes and provides authoritative interpretations of these rules. Each DOT agency and the U.S. Coast Guard write industry-specific regulations, spelling out who is subject to testing, when, and in what situation.

Who is required to get DOT drug & alcohol tests?

Anyone designated in the DOT regulations as a “safety-sensitive” employee is subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. A safety-sensitive employee is someone who holds a job that can impact both their safety and the safety of the public.

These are some of the DOT regulations on who is subject to testing:

Aviation (FAA) Flight crews, flight attendants, flight instructors, air traffic controllers at facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the U.S. military, aircraft dispatchers, aircraft maintenance or preventative maintenance personnel, ground security coordinators and aviation screeners. Direct or contract employees of 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 certificate holders, Section 91.147 operators and air traffic control facilities not operated by the FAA or under contract to the US Military. See FAA regulations at 14 CFR Part 120.

Commercial Motor Carriers (FMCSA) Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders who operate Commercial Motor Vehicles, 26,001 lbs. GVWR. Or greater, or operate a vehicle that carries 16 passengers or more including the driver, or required to display a DOT placard in the transportation of hazardous material.1 1 In some instances, states allow waivers from this qualification, such as operators of fire trucks and some farm equipment. Check with your state department of motor vehicles for more information. See FMCSA regulation at 49 CFR Part 382.

Maritime (USCG) An agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Crewmembers operating a commercial vessel. See USCG regulations at 46 CFR Parts 4 & 16.

Pipeline (PHMSA) Operations, maintenance and emergency response. See PHMSA regulations at 49 CFR Part 199.

Railroad (FRA) Hours of Service Act personnel, engine & train, signal service or train dispatchers. See FRA regulations at 49 CFR Part 219.

Transit (FTA) Vehicle operators, controllers, mechanics and armed security. See FTA regulations at 49 CFR Part 655.

What do DOT drug tests test for?

All DOT drug tests test for the following:

*Specimens collected for testing are:
Drug: Urine
Alcohol: Breath & Saliva

* The FRA requires blood specimens as part of their Post-Accident testing.

When are safety-sensitive employees required to get a DOT drug test?

DOT drug tests are required in the following situations:

  • Pre-Employment: prior to starting your job responsibilities.
  • Reasonable Suspicion: when a trained supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that changes in appearance, behavior, or Job performance may indicate drug or alcohol use.
  • Return-To-Duty: after a violation of drug and alcohol testing rules. Prior to returning to any DOT-regulated work function.
  • Follow up: takes place after a return-to-duty test. A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) will determine how many tests you will have and when, with a minimum of 6 tests within the first 12 months.
  • Post-Accident: If you are involved in an event (accident, crash, etc.) meeting specific criteria of the DOT agency. Contact us to determine if the accident meets the requirements for a DOT drug test.

What happens if I fail my DOT drug test?

If you fail your DOT drug test, your employer will immediately remove you from performing any DOT safety-sensitive job. For more information check out our article on “My Driver Failed A Drug Test, What Now?”

Nationwide Testing Associations experts stay -up-to-date on DOT regulations and are here to assist you. If you’re interested in using Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., contact us today!

FMCSA Clearinghouse OPEN for Registration!

18-Wheeler on Highway

Registration is open for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. To access the Clearinghouse once it is operational, authorized users will be required to request access from FMCSA by registering for the Clearinghouse. Registering is the first step to ensuring you will be ready when the Clearinghouse is operational on January 6, 2020.

Authorized users include:

  • CDL drivers
  • Employers – this includes motor carriers and other employers of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)
  • Medical review officers (MROs)
  • Substance abuse professionals (SAPs)
  • Enforcement personnel

To register, go to: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov

The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.

In addition, employers may designate a C/TPA who can report violations and/or conduct queries on their behalf. An owner-operator—an employer that employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation—must designate the C/TPA in the Clearinghouse. If you choose to designate Nationwide Testing Assocation, Inc., to report violations and conduct queries on your behalf then contact us!

For more information, contact us!

Medical Review Officer (MRO) Services

Doctor With Pill Bottle

Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by an employer’s drug testing program. Regulations require that Medical Review Officers have knowledge about the pharmacology and toxicology of prescriptions as well as illicit drugs. An MRO should also have knowledge of the federal agency drug testing regulations and guidelines from the Department Of Transportation.

As a Medical Review Officer (MRO), we must act as an independent and impartial “gatekeeper” and advocate for the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing process. Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., is required to review the documents for possible errors, interview donors who have non-negative results to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for their results, and provide feedback to employers regarding performance problems, if necessary.

At Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., our Medical Review Officers (MRO) are certified by a nationally recognized MRO certification board. We ensure that our MROs maintain their certifications by retaking and passing the exam every five years.

Medical Review Officer (MRO) Process

The first part of the process is the collection; the employee/donor/applicant will go into the collection site to provide the required specimen. The collection site will follow applicable protocols and will ship the specimen, along with the lab copy of the Custody and Control Form (CCF), to the laboratory to begin testing. The collection site should also transmit the Medical Review Officer and the DER copy of the CCF to the correct parties.

Once the laboratory receives the specimen, they will begin conducting the required testing. Once completed, the laboratory will transmit the results to the MRO to review and report.

After the Custody and Control Form (CCF) is received, the donor’s name and id number are entered into the system. The Custody and Control Form is then processed so that it will link to the result.

When the lab results are received through an electronic interface, they are immediately downloaded into our system. During this process, the result links to the client, the donor record, and the Custody and Control Form. The system will also determine an applicable status for the result based on pre-set identifiers and criteria

If the lab result is non-negative the system will automatically assign that result to our Medical Review Office, they are then reviewed by our Medical Review Officers. Each donor with a non-negative result will have the opportunity to speak with an MRO regarding their results.

If the lab result is negative, they will report to the company automatically through the system. If the laboratory results appear positive, the MRO will interview the donor to discuss the results and then the final report will be distributed to the company. The medical review process offers an opportunity for the donor to provide a valid medical explanation for any questionable results. Our process is designed to protect individuals and employers from wrongful accusations. We exceed all federal and state regulations and help you maintain a safer workplace!

Contact us today to learn about the Nationwide Difference!

Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Employment

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., has over 37 years of experience assisting companies in making informed decisions. Our nationwide solutions for drug and alcohol testing, compliance services, and background screening are industry-leading. We pride ourselves on our host of full turnkey programs. All of our programs are customized to exceed both our client’s expectations and state and federal guidelines. Our high standards and our emphasis on a customer-first program has set us apart from our industry.

Pre-employment testing is the most common type of drug testing and is a way for employers to make the best hiring decisions possible. When an applicant applies to a job, they may be subject to a pre-employment drug test after a conditional offer of employment has been made. To ensure that the applicant is suitable for the position, most companies conduct a pre-employment drug test. Studies show a correlation between employee drug abuse and Increased absenteeism, higher workplace accident rates, decreased productivity and increased turn over.

When implementing pre-employment drug testing or employment drug testing, it is important to consider your business. What is right for you? Urinalysis? Hair Testing? Oral Fluids? Blood? Each of these testing methods has a different set of benefits. Pre-employment testing is only part of a full turnkey program! It is recommended to pair pre-employment testing with a random selection testing plan, as employees can begin drug use after the initial pre-employment test has been passed.

Contact Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., to discuss which nationwide drug testing program would be best for you! We will work with you to enhance your workplace safety! Discover the difference today!