Should You Be Drug Testing Your Employees?

Many small business owners wonder if they should be drug testing their prospective and current employees. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of each decision.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, you know first-hand how difficult it can be to make tough decisions. The choice of drug testing is considered controversial, so it’s best you make an informed decision.

The Basics

A lot of employers choose to drug test the prospective employees. Typically, the candidate finishes the interview and is chosen for the job.

image of drug testing yoru employeesAt this point, the employer (you) will ask the prospective employee to take a drug test. Their are four major kinds of drug tests, each with different pros and cons:

  • Urine
  • Hair
  • Saliva
  • Blood

Before we dive into each type of test, it’s important to understand the impact of the results. If you decide to drug test, then your handbook must state that a failed test will mean the employee is not hired.

For this example, we’ll assume the candidate takes the urine drug test; it’s the most commonly used screening nationwide.

After interview, the candidate will drive over the testing facility. They will then be asked to provide a urine sample. Most labs provide results quickly, and you should know the answer within 48 hours.

If they pass, you can proceed with your new employee.

The Pros

The idea behind the test is that you’ll find “clean” employees. Studies show that drug-free workers are more efficient and less likely to engage in bad behavior.

The Cons

While it sound simple, there are actually quite a few things that can go wrong. In addition to things going wrong, the tests are not free, and do impose a cost on the business you’re running.

Cheating The Test

Yes, there are products out there that are specifically designed to help people pass their urine drug test (as well as other screenings). If you’re employee gets their hands on synthetic urine, then there is a good chance they can manipulate the test.

Here are a few resources that talk about synthetic urine:

In a nutshell, it’s possible to pass the test if you use the fake urine. The most popular brand appears to Quick Fix Plus 6.1, and it continues to fool most testing laboratories.

The urine contains uric and area, which are key components to making urine look legitimate.

How Accurate Is The Urine Test?

In addition to synthetic urine, the urine screening is not the most reliable test available. The hair drug test is more accurate, but the cost is about three times as much.

People asked to take a urine test can speed up their recovery using a few methods:

  • Detox drinks
  • Exercise
  • Dieting
  • Water Consumption

If the candidate decides to drink a ton of water, it’s possible to dilute their urine sample. While the laboratories are set to detect diluted samples, many users will offset this with creatine and other B vitamins.


So, should drug testing be a part of your employment screening process? It depends where you are as a business, but we would say no.


Starting a small business takes a lot of time and capital investment. As business owners, we know that every dollar counts. If your budget is tight, why spend your precious dollars on drug testing?

It’s probable that your employers will cheat the test, so it’s not worth the effort. If you can’t go without drug testing, then go with the hair follicle test. Yes, it’s much more expensive, but it’s the only test that will work.

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