How To Find Out If A Company Drug Tests?

Looking for a new job but worried about having to take a drug test? You’re not alone. How to find out if a company drug tests? Pre-employment drug screening has become increasingly common, leaving many job seekers anxious about how drug use, even in the past, could affect their chances. Fortunately, there are several ways to discreetly find out if a company requires drug testing without directly asking about its policies. 

Doing your research upfront can save you from an unpleasant surprise down the road. While an employer has the right to maintain a drug-free workplace, understanding their testing requirements can empower you to make informed decisions about your application. 

To cut short your efforts, we have written a complete guide about how to know if a company has a strict drug testing policy in 2023.

Why Do Companies Do Drug Testing of Their Employees?

There are a few key reasons companies choose to drug test employees.

  • Safety is a top priority. Employees who are under the influence of the job can harm themselves or others. They may operate heavy machinery unsafely and cause accidents. The impaired judgment also leads to mistakes and quality issues.
  • Drug use can lower productivity. People who abuse drugs are more likely to miss work. Even when present, they may lack focus and motivation. Their performance suffers as a result.
  • It protects the company’s image. Employers want to avoid scandals related to drug abuse. Testing helps maintain a professional reputation.
  • There are legal motivations too. Some industries require drug screening by law, like transportation. Companies may get lower insurance rates if they test for drugs.
  • Finally, costs may factor in. Drug users have higher rates of illness and file more workers comp claims. Testing brings these costs down.

Major drivers are safety, productivity, image, legal compliance, and cost control. Companies drug tests to protect workers, avoid incidents, and minimize business risks.

How to Find Out If a Company Drug Tests?

Here are some tips to find out if a company drug tests:

How To Find Out If A Company Drug Tests
  • Check their website and look for an employee handbook or policy manual. Sometimes this info is posted publicly.
  • Search online reviews and forums. Current and past employees often share if the company tested them.
  • Ask about the hiring process during your interview. See if a drug screen is mentioned as a standard step.
  • Look up their industry regulations. Jobs involving driving, operating machinery, or medical care frequently require testing.
  • Contact their HR department anonymously to inquire about their drug testing policy. Don’t give your name if you’re concerned.
  • Check job ads to see if being drug-free or passing a drug test is listed as a requirement. This is a clue they likely test.
  • See if the job application asks about drug use history. Companies usually only check what they screen for.

The best bet is to gather intel from multiple sources. Policy details may not be easy to find, but persistence pays off. With discreet questioning and reading between the lines, you can determine if drug testing could impact your candidacy.

What are the Most Common Drug Tests for Employment?

There are many types of drug tests that companies use to check their employees. Some of the most common are mentioned below:

  • Urine tests: This is the standard test. Urine samples are collected at a testing facility. They screen for drugs like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and PCP. Urine tests can detect recent drug use but not long-term or historical use. They are the most affordable option for employers.
  • Hair testing: Hair samples are taken to reveal drug use patterns over months or years. Hair tests cost more but provide a larger history of use. They can detect a wider range of drugs. Employers sometimes use them for safety-sensitive roles.
  • Blood tests: Blood samples can detect very recent drug use. The window for detection is shorter than urine. Blood testing is uncommon unless an incident occurs at work. It’s invasive and more expensive.
  • Saliva swabs: An oral swab can identify drug use in the past few days. Swab tests are easy to administer but limited in their detection window. Some employers use them for reasonable suspicion or post-accident checks.
  • Breath analysis: Breathalyzers detect very recent alcohol use and current intoxication. They provide real-time results conveniently. Breath tests may supplement urine or saliva testing.

The majority of employers rely on urine drug screens. However, hair, blood, and saliva testing provide alternate options in certain situations. Knowing the typical methods can help you understand what to expect.


Do employers have to tell you about pre-employment drug tests?

No, employers don’t have to tell you about pre-employment drug tests. They can spring one on you.

When do employers drug test new hires?

Drug tests for new hires are usually done after a job offer, or during onboarding. Some tests earlier in the hiring process.

Do government jobs drug test hair?

Government jobs often test hair since it shows long-term use. The private sector tests hair less frequently.

Random drug testing at work is your right?

No, random drug testing at work does not violate your rights. Employers have the discretion to test randomly.

What do pre-employment drug tests look for?

Pre-employment tests commonly look for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, and PCP. A standard 5-panel urine screen.

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