Current Drug Testing Trends
Nothing is immune to change, not even the drug testing industry. In the past year, we’ve seen rapid change in various sectors of the economy, but now technology has affected the way we administer drug tests and the drugs that we choose to test for ourselves. Change can be scary when you’re not informed about what’s going on, so here a few changes within the drug testing industry that you should be mindful of this year.
Virtual Drug Testing
Everything is becoming digitized, even the way we drug test. Since many people are working from home, why not drug test from home as well? As the pandemic lightens, people are looking to get back to work as quickly as possible, and virtual drug testing is a great way to facilitate this process.
Virtual drug testing also makes the entire screening process more efficient because people do not need to travel to take the test or wait on lab scheduling delays. During virtual drug testing, a mouth swab is used over video chat. The drug test kit is mailed to the job candidate, and then a video appointment is scheduled with the employers. The employer’s human resources representative will watch as the potential employee swabs the inside of their mouth. Lastly, the results are shown during the video call. If the impact is positive, then the employer will most likely ask for another drug test to be performed in person at a drug testing facility.
The Regulation of Nootropics
While the nature of how we drug test is evolving, so is our definition of an illegal drug. Most people who test for substance abuse are concerned about a person engaging in harmful activities while intoxicated or being addicted to a particular substance. However, people are now questioning whether we should allow the use of nootropics.
Nootropics are consumed to enhance a person’s memory, focus, and drive to complete a particular task. The nootropic that virtually everybody in America uses is caffeine. Most people can’t go a day without a cup of coffee. Another nootropic that is widely accepted is nicotine, even if it does have a bevy of unhealthy side effects. People are questioning whether nootropics should be regulated because they can be used in competition and academics for an unfair advantage. For instance, people have been using Modafinil, a drug that is supposed to be used to treat narcolepsy, for athletic competitions, and academics. This has led college students to call for drug testing before exams. While the FDA doesn’t currently regulate the nootropics industry, they’re liable to change their regulations within the following year.
Testing For Cannabis
As of June 2021, Amazon has opted to discontinue drug testing for cannabis for most workers and is now supporting the federal legalization of cannabis. Other employers are sure to follow suit. While specific companies are allowed to choose what they drug test for because it is not federally regulated, certain cities have banned the drug testing of marijuana entirely. In both Rochester and New York City, it is illegal for employers to screen new employees for cannabis use. In the past few years, 11 states have banned testing for cannabis use altogether, including Maine, Nevada, and Washington DC.
On top of this, it is becoming more and more common for states to enact laws that protect medical marijuana users from discrimination against employers. In many states where cannabis is approved for medical use, employers cannot refuse someone’s employment if there is cannabis in their system. However, it will remain illegal for medical marijuana users to be under the influence in the workplace. And in states where it is unlawful to drug test for cannabis before employment, potential employees will still be drug tested for jobs in which there are serious safety concerns for working while under the influence.
Fingerprint Drug Testing
Pretty soon, fingerprint drug testing will become the norm. You may be wondering, how does fingerprint drug testing work? Essentially, fingerprint drug testing works by using sweat to screen for drug use. Although the test can only detect drugs in your system for the past 14 to 16 hours, the appeal to employers lies in the fact that it is so quick, inexpensive, and non-invasive. Fingerprint drug testing works by using a drug screening cartridge to collect ten sweat samples via fingerprint. The cartridges are tamper-evident, and it takes less than a minute to administer the test. These tests have proven to be 95% effective.
This new drug testing method has just begun to be adopted by employers in the UK and is currently available in the US for forensic uses. We can easily see this form of drug testing being used for instances where it is suspected that someone is driving under the influence. In the future, fingerprint drug testing will most likely be used to ensure that there are no drugs in the system of someone who works as a pilot or a bus driver. You certainly wouldn’t want someone who had ingested illegal substances within the past couple of days flying an airplane. While regulations regarding this new technique still need to be established, there is no doubt that this trend is sure to catch on.
Even if the world around us is changing, you can count on Countrywide Testing to provide you with reliable products. Whether you’re a concerned parent, a spouse, or an employer, we can provide you with the drug testing products and laboratory services you may need.
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