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Professional Drug Screen Certification Options

  • By: Andrew Easler, Esq.
  • Published: Mar, 25 2015
  • Updated: Dec, 20 2022

The drug screening industry has grown exponentially in recent years. This is due to several factors, including the realization that a drug and alcohol-free workplace is more conducive to health and safety, and new government and industry regulations for transportation companies. For professionals, this shift has opened up a range of new career options. Professional certification is the key here, though. What professional drug screen certification options do you have?

Hair Screening

There are several ways to obtain samples from donors for drug screening. While urine is the most common, hair samples can also provide vital insight into a person’s drug use history over a longer period of time. This type of screening is generally used for pre-employment purposes and is preferred by companies that want a more in-depth analysis of a candidate’s history with illicit drugs. For instance, opiates and methamphetamines are eliminated from the body in 72 hours or less, so they won’t show up on a urine screen performed after that time. They will show up in a hair test, though.

Urine Screening

Urine screening is the most common type of testing method for drug testing today. Urine shows drug use for a shorter period than hair, but testing is faster, less intrusive and generally more affordable than hair testing. It’s also the most frequently used testing method for random drug testing, as well as for follow-up testing and other needs where drugs or alcohol might not have time to leave the system.

Professional Training

The key to getting started as either a hair screening technician or as a professional urine specimen collector is to complete a drug screen certification program. Any program you consider should meet some specific criteria, though.

First, the program should meet or exceed both industry and governmental regulations and standards. This is particularly important if you intend to work with clients in the transportation industry, as DOT standards are different from those imposed on businesses outside the transportation sector. Moreover, each industry in the transportation sector, such as the FAA and FMCA, has its own specific rules and regulations about testing methods, requirements, and more.

As you can see, the most important criterion for earning professional drug screen certification is working with a quality education and training provider. The company should be at the forefront of the drug screening education sector, should comply with government regulations, and should adhere to industry best practices.

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