Drug and Alcohol Testing

For many employers, substance abuse testing is an integral part of the hiring process. Norwalk Hospital’s Occupational and Environmental Health Services
offers the full array of drug and alcohol testing services. These include:

Drug Testing

Drug testing most often consists of a 5- or 10- drug panel:

5-Drug Panel

The 5-drug panel includes:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates (heroin, painkillers)
  • PCP (angel dust)
  • Amphetamines (“speed”)

10-Drug Panel

A 10-drug panel also includes:

  • Barbiturates (sedatives)
  • Propoxyphene (painkiller)
  • Benzodiazepines (tranquilizer)
  • Methadone (synthetic opiate)
  • Methaqualone (sedative)

DOT Panel

The DOT panel consists of:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine metabolite
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine
  • Marijuana metabolite
  • 6-MAM screen
  • MDMA/ecstasy

Drug testing consists of two phases;  initial screening, and then confirmation testing of all non-negative screens.

Negative test screens are reported to a Medical Review Officer (MRO) for validation and client reporting.

If a test initially screens positive, the specimen undergoes additional confirmation testing. The MRO then reviews the results to determine whether there is a valid reason for a positive test result, such as possessing a valid prescription.

Breath Alcohol Testing

Alcohol screening is performed by an evidentiary-grade breath-alcohol analyzer, which is carefully calibrated and maintained. Initial positive screens are subject to a confirmatory test. Screening is performed by certified breath-alcohol technicians. Alcohol screening is generally reserved for DOT random and post-accident testing requirements. In addition, return-to-duty or reasonable suspicion testing may be employed.

Other services include:

  • Rapid (instant) drug tests
  • Hair testing
  • Drug-free workplace policy review and development
  • DOT compliance services
  • Random drug testing
  • Medical Review Officer services

Considerations When Implementing a Drug Testing Program

Thinking about implementing a drug testing program? Read these important considerations.

  • Seek legal counsel to develop or review your company’s substance abuse testing policy.
  • Communicate the DFWP policy to all existing and prospective employees.
  • Inform prospective employees that undergoing and passing a drug test is a condition of employment.
  • Note that certain occupations may also require random and post-accident testing.
  • Apply testing consistently and equitably.
  • Choose an approved testing laboratory.
  • Choose an experienced occupational health provider to collect the specimen and manage the results validation and reporting process.
  • Visit the collection site to clearly understand the entire process, from check-in to specimen collection and results reporting.
  • Have a system in place to manage the occurrence of a confirmed positive drug test, including having available the services of a substance abuse professional or EAP.