The Substance Abuse Program of the Department of Energy

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Substance Abuse Program is a way to promote a safe and drug-free working environment for all its employees. The program provides knowledge on the effects of substance abuse and a way to promote a healthy way of living. It emphasizes on the fact that drug use is not tolerated in any Federal workplace in the country and anyone caught violating the prohibitions must face consequences. The program is dedicated to protect the environment, maintain public health and safety, and to safeguard national security.

Here is the basic information on DOE’s substance abuse program:

Who are subject to DOE substance abuse testing?

DOE has categorized positions subject for testing and those employees who fall under these positions must comply with the program. Here are the categories that are subject for employee drug testing:

  • Sensitive positions. There are 5 categories that are considered “sensitive positions”:

§  Category 1 – all employees assigned to special-sensitive, critical-sensitive or noncritical-sensitive.

§  Category 2 – those granted regular and ad hoc access to classified information.

§  Category 3 – those appointed by the President

§  Category 4 – those who meet the definitions of law enforcement officers.

§  Category 5 – those who handle Nuclear Materials, sensitive materials, and any position involving the national security.

  • Volunteers. Employees may volunteer to have their names pooled in the testing program.

What are the substance prohibitions of the DOE?

DOE tests for the following substances: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines, and Phencyclidine. It is prohibited to possess, sell, distribute, or manufacture illegal drugs at any site operating under the DOE.

When are covered employees tested for substance use?

DOE’s substance abuse testing program will test employees during the following circumstances:

  • Part of Application
  • Random
  • Occurrence
  • Reasonable suspicion

What is the testing procedure for covered DOE employees?

Testing procedure starts with the collection of a urine sample from an employee, at an appropriate collection site. Only certified collectors are allowed to collect samples because they have the proper training to complete the drug testing requirements. Collectors see to it that employees provide a sufficient amount of sample before it can be sealed and sent to a laboratory. All samples have a chain-of-custody document to ensure that no one tampers with the sample when transported to the laboratory.

All samples are laboratory tested to guarantee accurate results. A positive sample will go through a confirmation test to determine which substances are present in the sample.

What happens to those who violate the prohibitions?

An applicant who is positive of substance use will automatically be notified and disqualified. Employees who are tested positive of drug use are removed from their positions. Depending on the case, there is a possibility that an employee gets a second chance. Before the employee goes back to his/her position, he/she must complete rehabilitation and counselling.

For more information on the DOE’s substance abuse program, follow the link below: