Pre-employment physicals are commonly used by employers to screen a potential hire for drug and alcohol abuse, in order to maintain a drug and alcohol free workplace and ensure employee safety. This preventive step helps mitigate the risks of drug-related accidents at the workplace. Various methods are used for conducting pre-employment physicals.
Urine tests are the most common, but hair, nail clippings, blood, or saliva can also be used for testing purposes. Test requirements vary with the cost and timeframe of every respective test. While a urine drug test screens for the most recent drug abuse, a hair drug test can provide a history of drug use within 3 months of the test date and alcohol consumption within 30 days of the test date. A pre-employment physical examination usually screens for the following five drugs:
- Amphetamines (meth, speed, crack & ecstasy)
- THC (cannabinoids, marijuana & hash)
- Cocaine (coke & crack)
- Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine & morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP & Angel dust)