I’ve created this blog as an insider look into the drug testing industry. The drug testing industry has become a multi-billion dollar business and its here to stay. The beginning of the recession has caused many to find themselves out of work for the first time in years or recent college graduates entering the hardest job market in history. So what do they do? They get their resume polished up, compile their references and head out into the hostile job market. Along with that resume and references you hand over, your now expected to hand over a cup of your urine.
It no longer matters how smart you are, your experience, your stellar references, how hard of a worker you are – your not getting the job if you don’t pass that drug test period.
Drug testing has become the norm for a typical job application, with millions of potential workers being tested each year, it continues to become very profitable. Most of the time it’s a urine test, but now hair testing, saliva from your mouth, and blood test are being checked for drugs.
Our laboratory testing is actually on-site (rapid read, quick scan, dip card, test strips, test kits. Whatever you want to call it) testing in disguise. Here is the basic are the economics behind drug test:
The NIDA 5 (Cocaine, Meth, THC, Opiate, PCP) dip cards cost $1.50 in bulk (For a decent made in USA Card). Though there are cheaper Chinese imported version (remember, this is a money motivated industry. Most people use the cheapest they can get). For the screen our lab will drop a dip card into your urine to see if it is positive or negative for drug toxins.
We charge a company anywhere from $20-$60 per “Laboratory Test” plus a “collection fee” of $15-$30.
Now if the drip card comes up negative your urine will be never be sent over to the GC/MS (Gas Chromography/Mass Spectromity) testing which cost us around $100 to test. You can obviously see the problem if every single test was run through GC/MS, we would loose money. This is obviously not what happens.
ALL urine samples are “screened” with the drip card. We know that 99% of all of the tests are going to come up negative, so they hit them with the same $1.10 test that an onsite kit uses. If it comes out negative, it’s reported negative and never sent to GC/MS. If it’s positive you’ll have to deal with and MRO before your sample goes to the GC/MS for quantitive verification.
A medical review official (MRO) will call you and will try to find out why you tested positive. MRO’s are NOT impartial, they work for our lab, they are for quality control, and keeping cost low. They want you to admit you use drugs so we don’t have to spend $100 on your urine sample on the GC/MS.
You can begin to see how HUGE the profit margins are on drug test and why drug testing is getting out of control.
How did this happen? You can thank Former President Ronald Reagan and his War on Drugs. That along with the drug testing industry access to lobbyist and large contributions to political campaigns have secured new laws that will guarantee them non-stop business.
In 1988, Congress passed the Drug Free Workplace Act, this makes any company who wants a federal contract has to drug test their workers.
Then in 1991 Congress passed new laws requiring random drug test of safety-sensitive positions such as truck , pilots, train, and bus operators. Then drug testing got out of control, the states jumped on the wagon, it spread into schools, social service offices, people on probation, and hasn’t stop.
The only place you won’t find drug testing is in Congress and the top executive positions for companies, the people occupying these position have made sure they will never be tested.
Civil rights groups and labor unions continue to fight drug test and argue it’s an invasion of privacy. While workers attempt cheat the tests by stopping drug use when they learn they have test coming up or buying products of the internet such as synthetic urine, whizzinator and urinator to help them pass their test.
Despite the drug testing industry claiming that drug usage among the workforce hurts businesses, that’s not true. The Drug Testing Industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the industry wants to keep it that way. Companies like Lapcorp, Quest, and mine make a substantial amount of their profit from drug testing. They aren’t going to deliberately damage that.