When starting a new job, it can feel like an eternity waiting to pass a drug screening first before starting. How long does pre employment drug screening take? This can depend on a number of factors, including the material tested and the drug being tested for. However, with that in mind, there are some guidelines for how long to expect screening to take.

What Makes a Drug Screening Take Longer?

From an outsider’s perspective, it might be hard to imagine what could make a drug screening take so long. However, the material being tested, the substance tested, and even the initial results can all meaningfully impact screening time.

Materials Tested

Different types of drug screening tests are required for different materials being tested. Drug tests most commonly screen samples of hair, blood, or urine, depending on the substance being tested for.

Substance Tested

Each drug has its own unique chemical signatures to test for that require individual testing.

Many employers use a standard five-panel test for screenings. These tests check the sample for five different substances (typically a combination of cocaine, cannabinoids, PCP, opiates, and amphetamines). Some employers prefer a ten-panel test, which also screens for alcohol, barbituates, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, methadone, and propoxyphene.

For additional tests and screenings, this could extend the wait time an additional day or two, depending on other factors.

Initial Results

Both you and your employer have an interest in ensuring a drug screening test is as accurate as possible. False positives can happen for many different reasons, even in carefully controlled laboratory settings.

Because of this potential risk, labs almost always rerun positive results to confirm them. This can add extra time to testing but also helps confirm the accuracy of the results.

Laboratory Used

The lab performing the test and how many other tests are being performed can also impact screening time. Even a fully staffed and stocked laboratory can only perform so many screenings in a certain amount of time. In most cases, however, the lab itself shouldn’t meaningfully impact the length of time spent waiting on results.

Employment Drug Screening: What to Expect

If you’ve never had an employer ask for an employment drug screening, you might still be unsure what to expect.

You will first have to provide a sample for testing, either sent to a lab or given on-site. Usually, that’s all you need to do before getting results.

How Many Days Should I Expect to Wait for Results?

With all this, you may still be excited to start work as soon as possible. Even with all those factors above to consider, most tests should be done within 5 to 10 business days.

The major factor here is the material being tested. For urine and blood testing, turnaround usually takes 1 to 5 business days. For hair testing, this is closer to 4 to 10 business days for the most commonly used methods. If any tests turn up positive, there may be additional time required to retest.

Start Screening Today and Finish Faster with Soteria Screening

For most tests, within a few days, you should be seeing results and starting your new dream job. If you want to get this process done quickly and effectively the first time, call on the experts at Soteria Screening. Soteria Screening is your source for fast, friendly, and reliable drug tests and screenings. These include drug tests and other procedures, including a TB test for employment.

Call or schedule to make your appointment today to talk with one of Soteria’s experts. They can answer any questions you might have, including whether or not you can see your pre-employment drug test results.

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