Follow-up Drug Testing

Unplanned tests, such as follow-up drug tests, tend to yield higher positivity rates.

Quest Diagnostics employee in the toxicology laboratory Follow-up drug testing is for employees who have previously tested positive for illicit substances or violated a company’s drug and alcohol policy. It is usually performed in conjunction with return-to-duty drug testing. Follow-up testing is performed after an initial return-to-duty test, and is only completed if the employee tests negative for drugs on the return-to-duty test and returns to their position.
 
As with return-to-duty testing, follow-up tests performed for the safety-sensitive, federally-mandated workforce are governed by regulations. After the return-to-duty test is completed, employees are subject to at least six unannounced follow-up tests in the first 12 months after returning to their positions, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The employee’s Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) usually establishes the number of follow-up drug tests required and they are generally completed in addition to other drug tests, like random drug testing. Follow-up drug tests must be conducted under direct observation for all DOT-covered employees.
 
Unplanned tests, such as follow-up drug tests, tend to yield higher positivity rates by reducing drug users’ opportunity to cease use or make other attempts to cheat the drug test. In combination with other reasons for testing, follow-up testing can play an important role in helping to maintain a drug-free workplace.
 
Drug testing can help to improve employee morale and productivity while decreasing absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft. Because every business and workforce is unique, every employer should make a careful determination about the drug testing program elements that are most beneficial for their workplace.

Download our Drug Testing Solution At-A-Glance matrix to compare urine, instant urine, oral fluid, and hair drug testing.

Download our Guide to Establishing a Workplace Drug Testing Program.

Read our Reasons for Testing blog series
 
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