Everything You Need to Know About Drug Testing in Dental Offices 

Drug testing dental office employees for illegal substance use can help employers screen out illicit substance users. Dental offices are part of the country’s health and public services and it is imperative that this workplace is drug-free. Independent researches show that substance users and abusers have higher incidence of workplace accidents, absenteeism and health insurance claims which are all contributing factors to lowered productivity and increase in employer’s expenses.

Prevalence of Drug Use in Health Care and Social Assistance

The most recent statistics regarding illicit drugs and heavy alcohol use and abuse among health care and social assistance industry indicate that more than 6% have used illicit drug and 1.7% of 6% are drug dependent. Over 4% in the industry are into heavy alcohol use and of this percentage, 5.6% are alcohol abusers.

The same survey indicates that 48.1% of people working in the healthcare and social assistance industry underwent pre-employment drug testing and some 29.1% went through random drug testing.


Among Full-Time Workers Aged 18-64

HCSA Industry All Industries Average
Illicit Drug Use 6.1% 8.2%
Heavy Alcohol Use 4.3% 8.8%
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1.7% 2.6%
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 5.6% 9.2%

source: http://www.sapaa.com/page/wp_stats_hcsa

When to drug test

A dental office has stocks of pain killers and sedatives for patients’ use during procedures. In these instances the drug used are under the supervision of the attending dentist. However the availability of these drugs may tempt both dentist and staff, old and new users! What to do? Under standard state and Federal laws, drug testing in the workplace as pre-employment protocol is acceptable.

If an employer suspects that his employee has symptoms of drug or alcohol use, he can do random drug testing on the grounds that the employee has lapses in his performance or that his heavy drug or alcohol use has caused danger to those around him. In most instance the standard company policies regarding drug testing have clauses pertaining to drug testing in the workplace. If not, it is best to seek the advice of a lawyer to draft a policy regarding this issue. Background screening should also be a part of pre employment requisites.

Types of Drug Testing

A standard Urine drug test is good choice for random testing and periodic drug testing of dental office staff. It is easy enough to collect urine sample in a dental office as there are facilities where the specimen can be collected. Aside from regular background check, a recommended pre employment drug test is a 5-panel urine test where the drugs detected are: cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, amphetamines and opiates such as morphine and heroin. Panel urine tests of 2-4, up to 12 drugs are available also. Instant urine tests in formats of dip cards, cup, dip strips and cassette are also options.

CLIA waived drug test kits include multi-panel cups, multi-panel cards and single panel drug tests. These tests are available from 4 -panel up to 12-panel CLIA wave urine dip card.

A hair drug test is an acceptable type of pre employment test to deter the use of illicit substance to would-be employees and employees. Hair testing is not exactly inexpensive but greatly accurate and convenient to use.

Saliva drug testing is deemed the easiest, simplest and most convenient type of drug testing. It accurately detects up to six drugs in a single test kit. This is a good option for random drug testing.

Call us for free consultation. We will gladly confer with you as to what are the best options are available for your office.





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Drug Testing Kits & Prescription Drug Screening for Dentist Offices

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