Much like any other tests, drug tests require proper preparation. These tests are usually required by employers or when applying for occupational health permits. There are also some employers who randomly test their employees, which means that preparation can’t be possible.
However, for those expected and announced testing, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare for a smoother process. While many articles teach frequent and habitual drug users how to trick these tests, you should know that this isn’t one of those.
Here are some simple steps to help you become prepared on the day of your drug test appointment:
1. Bring Valid Identification
For tests that will be conducted outside of your workplace, be sure to bring government-issued identification such as the following:
- Driver’s license
- National ID
This document is important as to secure the identity of the test taker. Some illegal drug users take advantage of the system by letting someone pretend to be them in the hopes of passing the test. Doing so isn’t only illegal, it’s also not a safe practice.
2. Know the Type of Test
Preparation includes knowing what type of test will be used to administer the drug test. Testing methods may be one of the following:
- Urine test
- Hair test
- Saliva/sputum test
- Blood extraction
While you usually won’t be able to choose the drug testing method especially in the case of pre-employment, you can mentally prepare yourself for the test to make you comfortable. For example, people who have hemophobia will have to mentally prepare for blood extraction. For those who usually have a shaved head, they will need to forego a haircut because hair tests require at least 1.5 cm of hair.
3. Bring Only Essential Items
Most test centers will tell you to store your personal belongings somewhere secured such as a locker. This step is usually done to prevent people from duping the test. There will also certain test centers which will ask you to remove any coat or jacket you are wearing. For convenience, dress as light as you can and keep your things at a bare minimum.
4. Avoid Too Much Water and Mouthwash
Drinking too much water to force yourself to urinate may be inadvisable as this will dilute your urine. Drink normal amounts of liquid before the test. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or using alcoholic mouthwash for at least 24 hours before your appointment as this can contaminate the quality of your urine. After your drug test, you can now use mouthwash and even go back to drinking your liquid supplements.
These testing centers will always treat every patient with respect, so don’t be intimidated or scared. Listen attentively to their instruction and do as you are told to avoid any inconvenience. The following are things that they may ask you to do before they administer the test:
- Remove some pieces of clothing.
- Empty your pockets before entering your assigned cubicle.
- Urinate within 3 minutes of coming inside the assigned cubicle or restroom if it’s a urine drug testing.
- Repeat the procedure if they see contamination or it does not match the drug testing center’s criteria.
- Throw out any chewing gum in your mouth if it’s an oral drug test.
- Get hair from other parts of your body such as armpit or legs if the hair on your head isn’t long enough.
Refusal to follow instructions or leaving the testing area will mean failure and may spell trouble for you.
5. Schedule Childcare
On the day of your drug test, be sure to leave your child at home as they won’t be allowed to go inside the testing area. Should you decide to bring your child to your appointment, never leave them unattended in the waiting area. However, medical professionals highly advise to leave them at home, so ask a family member to look after your child on the day of your drug test or book a babysitter. This is for their protection should your test results return a positive result.
The bad stigma of drug testing is long gone. Tests like these are now routine in workplaces and pre-employment. Drug testing has proven to be a useful tool in determining employees who may pose a serious threat to the company and other employees. These tests are continuously making workplaces safer and healthier.