History: Drug testing helped identify a massive post-war heroin addiction epidemic.
Drug testing originated shortly after the Vietnam War. In 1971, US President Nixon directed the military to initiate a urine drug testing program to identify service members in need of rehabilitation. This newly formed program yielded a disturbingly high positivity rate among military personnel returning from Vietnam. In the years following, the U.S. Department of Defense formally defined and put into place forensic drug testing requirements for the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. After implementation, drug test positivity in the military dropped from a staggering 27.6% in 1974 to 5.3% in 1988. Service members indicated that they believed drug testing was the main reason for this decrease in drug use. Australia soon followed with the implementation of alcohol testing for motorists and then drug testing for some government employees.
Pass/Fail: You can pass a drug test
How can you pass a drug test? Don’t do drugs. Attempting to evade drug tests and believing false advertising from concoctions designed to help in deceiving laboratory tests, simply does not work. Drug test technology continues to evolve and there will always be people who try to find ways to cheat a urine drug test. One of the best ways to combat potential cheaters is to diversify your workplace drug testing program and choose test types with observed collections, such as oral fluid and hair, to reduce the risks of cheating.
Most recently, would-be drug test cheaters are using synthetic urine despite immediate termination of emplyment if used. Specimen validity testingis an additional level of testing performed by laboratories today help ensure the integrity of a test by measuring pH, creatinine, adulterants, and specific gravity. Simply put, testing labs can determine if a urine specimen is actually human urine.
Despite these three lesser known facts, the benefits of drug testing are backed by research and sound science. We are committed to continuing to educate employers about the importance and benefits of drug testing.