Workplace Drug Testing ~ Choosing the right test kits

Dr Mike Garside

Whether you're already testing or considering starting the right test kits will make all the difference.

15 years ago drug and alcohol testing was only available through a select number of specialist laboratories, and the only options available to companies needing screening was to enter expensive and slow contracted services, with long delays between testing and obtaining results. Jump forward to 2018 and the biotechnology has made massive leaps forward, enabling instant on-site screening, with positive or negative (clear) results in 5-10 minutes after sample collection. The enables businesses to get a workforce back in business fast and with minimum disruption. Drug screening has also moved out of the clinic setting and onto the work floor, with saliva options for almost all drug screens. Looking for the right drugs is essential and this includes testing for some drug groups which you may not consider in the classic "drugs of abuse" including some prescription drugs and the new psychoactive substances NPS or legal highs which have not been included on traditional older drug screens.


Remember you can test the environment as well as the people.

We have all probably watched Gordon Ramsay's TV series on drugs and seen the findings when he tested changing rooms and toilets in some restaurants for Cocaine residues, but it is worth mentioning that wipe test and compound test kits are now available which will screen for up to 10 drug group residues. Only minute amounts of the drug have to be left for the test to detect its presence, and they can also be used on powders, tablets and vegetative product suspected of containing cannabinoids or synthetic cannabis. 


Most Companies choose saliva oral fluid test kits.

An integral part of any company drug and alcohol policy has to be the choice of testing kit. More and more companies are opting for the saliva route of sample collection for initial instant screening. It's easy to see why, with an ever-growing catalogue of saliva test membrane options available, saliva test can now offer up to 13 screens in a single test. Sample collection is straightforward and can be directly observed with little or no ability for the sample to be tampered with, substituted, diluted or adulterated. 

Correct procedure, correct records, correct confirmation.

Most centres safely rely on instant screens to exclude all the negative results but it is essential to follow through with UKAS accredited confirmation testing of any non-negative findings. non-negative includes any screens with indeterminate results including invalids and will also include positive results where declared medications may be masking abuse or causing drug interactions. Fast track laboratory services can provide certificates results in 72 hours. Expect between 4 and 6 percent of tests to require a confirmation test.


Access Diagnostic Tests UK Ltd

Based in Aylsham Norfolk Access Diagnostics is the UK distributor of ALLTEST and InstAlert Brands of Drug and Alcohol testing kits. Directly or via our national network of re-sellers and suppliers we can assist in all matters which come up when your company introduces drug screening. Whether you're looking to test 1 person or 500, we can guide you through the legalities, responsibilities and options to ensure your decisions stay legal, enforceable and above all improve the productivity and health of your workforce.

To find out more visit or call us on 01263 731 168 Monday to Friday 8.30-4.30pm


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