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Questions about Your Pre-employment Drug Screen

Pre-employment Drug Screen1.  Why do they think I am taking drugs?

It’s not personal, it’s company policy. Everyone is treated the same way.  If you’ve never had a drug test, don’t be anxious.  It’s as simple as giving a urine sample, some blood or a bit of hair, depending on the test your company prefers.


2.  What happens if I don’t want to take it – can they make me?

No one can force you to take a pre-employment drug screen.  What they can do is refuse to hire you.

3.  Do I have to pay for the drug test?

No. Pre-employment drug tests are paid for by the employer. 

4.  Will I have to do get drug tested again?

That depends. Certain industries are mandated by the federal government to perform employee drug testing.  These are jobs that are extremely safety-sensitive, such as a pilot and air traffic controller or a railway engineer or truck driver. Any person with a job related to national security or defense will be subject to drug testing.

Companies that aren’t mandated create their own policies on employee drug testing. Normally companies that conduct random drug testing will provide that policy for you when you are hired so that you can read it and sign it.  Your signature indicates your agreement to be tested.

4.  I take medication – will I fail the drug test?

Make sure you let the drug testing facility know that you are taking prescription medication, particularly narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants or tranquilizers. Bring pill bottles or a note from your doctor, so the company knows you have legitimate prescriptions. You would not normally be penalized for legal use of prescription medication.

5.  I used to do drugs. Will that show up?

That depends on how recently you stopped using the drugs and what type of test used for your pre-employment drug screen.  Evidence of most narcotics will stay in your urine for 1-4 days after use, roughly a day in your blood and up to 90 days in your hair.  

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