Accuracy of Alcohol Breath Tests today is extremely high, mostly due to the rise of fuel cell technology.
With so many people being caught out after a few drinks… and even the morning after a big night, can breathalysers be relied on?
You’ll find semiconductor sensors in breathalysers for $5-$100. They were used in old versions of alcohol breath testers. You can still find them for sale, but don’t trust them to give you accuracy.
They work by heating up a coil, and when alcohol is pushed through the chamber by your breath, the resistance changes, and this resistance change is measured as your Blood Alcohol Content(BAC).
Semi conductors were mainly used to detect alcohol in the air… NOT TO MEASURE IT. This type of sensor needs to be warmed up first before use, sometimes for 60 seconds each test.
Here is a chart that shows the variance in accuracy of a semi conductor vs a fuel cell sensor.
The error ratio is of the semi conductor is +/-0.01 at 0.08 BAC. Which equals 12% above and below actual BAC. As you can see, the higher the BAC, the wider the error of margin extends.
At 0.08 BAC the range stretches from 0.07 to 0.09. That’s a huge difference! Further out to 0.12 BAC the margin possibilities grow from 0.105 to 0.134!
Compare that to a Fuel Cell which has lower than 5% margin of error. This is why the police (or anyone serious about accuracy) only use fuel cell breathalysers.
Fuel Cell Sensors
Fuel cell sensors offer the most accurate and stable readings in breathalyser technology in the world today.
When we say stable, we mean they will not defer as mush as a semi conductor when foreign substances are introduced such as cigarette smoke or some foods.
Check out this video on accuracy of fuel cells
Fuel cell sensors works by using an electrochemical reaction for platinum against ethanol molecules. How many ethanol molecules get through equates to the level of BAC.
When ethanol passes through a fuel cell it’s converted to electricity, then the breathalyser measures the current of the electricity and that become the BAC reading. See video below
Calibration is a must with alcohol breathalysers. The perfect analogy is a clock that needs readjusting after a long period of time, so does a breathalyser.
After many tests being performed (usually hundreds) the alcohol sensor will need to be changed, or adjusted back to working specifications.
Breathalysers are very sensitive instruments, as the cells are exposed to alcohol over time (especially high levels of alcohol), the accuracy can drift and give inaccurate results. This is why buying a unit that has calibration capabilities is a must!
Check out this video using an Australian police breathalyser the LE5
These breathalysers can be calibrated which makes them favourable compared to throw away versions.
Today, alcohol breath testers range from as a key ring sensor, to wall fixed breathalysers with print out and GPS capabilities.
Sadly, the gap between good and bad seems to be widening with the rise of ebay/amazon and “race to the bottom” type of market platforms.
Such units that cost under $100 are usually from shady sellers and manufacturers.
There are a few things you need to look for when choosing an accurate unit. Such as,
Fuel cell sensor! This is a must!!
The ability to be calibrated
Quick start up times
Workplace breathalyses should have a passive mode
Breathalysers with a Passive mode have a setting where no mouthpieces need to be used. Just like a police breath test in the above video, some testers have the ability to detect alcohol in the air. This is great to save money on mouthpieces, and also (just like the straw saga) to help the environment from plastic litter.
So in conclusion, alcohol breath tests can definitely be relied on! But they have to be a reputable distributor with fuel cell technology.
Yes. It is very important that a line in the test region (no matter how faint) must be considered a line, and must be considered negative. This is how drug testers in Australia are trained.
This is the most common question we receive. The colour, or density of the line have no meaning on the drug test. This answer was backed up by our manufacturing engineers.
As you can see by the picture A below, there are variations in line densities. This does NOT mean that there could be traces of the drug in lighter lines.
Picture B has a non-negative result for AMP Amphetamines as there is no line at all, and must be confirmed either positive, or negative by pathology.
Urine drug tests will not tell you how much drugs are within a sample (like a breathalyser), rather if above, or below a cut off point. eg marijuana has a cut off point of 50ng/ml. The test will only show negative, or non-negative either side of this point.
Drug tests cannot measure in a quantitative measurement. They really just give you a yes, or no answer.
If you have a non-negative result on a drug test, it will need to be confirmed positive in an accredited lab. We can help you with this. Please ask us how by contacting us here.👍
False positive is a positive result when testing a negative sample, a false negative is negative result when testing a positive sample.
It is normal with drug testing devices that there will be false results sometimes due to either contamination of the sample, or close molecular chemical similarities to the drug being tested.
In most cases the result is actually NOT a false positive technically speaking, because the medication the person is already taking IS actually that drug! For example, a person might be taking a pain medication and then test positive for opiates. What they actually tested positive was for codeine, which is an opiate! Check out possible chemicals that could cause false positives below.⬇
Many medicines you can purchase at your local chemist containing pseudo-ephedrine, ephedrine, or other sympathomimetic amines tend to interfere with urine screening tests and cause false positive results for amphetamines, but do not cause positive test results in the gas chromatography/mass spectrometric, or GC/MS, confirmation, thus pose no serious challenge in drugs-of-abuse testing.
In contrast, several prescription medicines containing opioids, amphetamines, or other ingredients can cause positive confirmed results in DOA testing. Eg Use of Marinol to control severe pain produces a positive confirmatory test for marijuana metabolite (11-nor-9-carboxy9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; THC-COOH) in urine.
It is important for an individual undergoing workplace drug testing to report the use of such prescription medication and name of the prescribing doctor so the Medical Review Officer can contact the doctor and verify medical use of such controlled substances. Otherwise, employment may be denied or other adverse action may be taken by the employer against that individual.
Urine drug testing
False positives in urine testing do happen from time to time, and must be followed up with pathology confirmation testing via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). This will take away any chance of a false result.
One of the most popular stories is how poppy seeds tend to cause positive results for opium. Opiates are detected in drug tests by identifying morphine, and because morphine is made from the same plant as the poppy seed it produces a false positive to opiates.
This is a substantially higher safety issue than false positives, because a drug taker could deliberately fool the test and be at risk of hurting themselves or others. Unless the test is followed up by GC/MS, they could slip through the process and cause harm.
False negatives could also occur due to incorrect testing methods due to lack of training or faulty testing devices. The biggest cause of false readings is due to the sample being tampered with. The patient could water down their sample or use a commercially sold synthetic urine, etc. These tactics have been voided thanks to modern testing methods called adulteration testing.
Adulteration tests for creatinine, nitrite, glutaraldehyde, pH, specific gravity, bleach, pyridinium chlorochromate in urine.
Saliva drug testing
Like urine, positive results have to be followed up with pathology confirmation testing in a lab. Again, this will take away any chance of a false result.
There are a few things that will cause a false positive in saliva testing. Prescription drugs such as pain killers that contain codeine or other opiates. Some antibiotics can trigger cocaine and opiates. Ventolin (Asthma medication) can set off the drug test for amphetamine. B-2 vitamin causes false positives for THC, etc. This is why the subject must let the collector know exactly what medications they are taking.
False negatives occur mostly when the subject has adulterated the test results. This can happen more easily with saliva drug testing. There are a lot of mouthwashes commercially sold that say it can beat a saliva drug test. Sometimes they can, and sometimes they can’t. Some people say vinegar rubbed on the tongue, or Listerine breath freshening strips just before the test… but that is immediately before the screen. The way around this is to make sure the subject has had nothing in their mouth for at least 10 minutes prior to the test.
In depth review of drugs that cause false positives
The active chemical of some medication will be metabolised to amphetamine, this will cause positive amphetamine/methamphetamine test results. Eg Adderall contains a mixed amphetamine salt widely prescribed as a psycho-stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD, or ADD, and use of such medication would cause a positive amphetamine test.
In 2002 the Food and Drug Administration in the USA approved eye drops which contained hydroxyamphetamine and tropicamide. Although amphetamine is metabolised to hydroxyamphetamine, hydroxyamphetamine is not metabolised to amphetamine. Therefore, use of such products should not cause a positive (non-negative) amphetamine test result.
Drugs that may cause false positive to amphetamines include,
Several medications from the chemist for pain relief contain codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or a related opioid. Oxycodone has variable cross-reactivity with different opiate-screening assays.
There is also a specific immunoassay which recognizes the presence of oxycodone in urine… but taking codeine or morphine containing analgesic medication produces positive opiate test results in drugs-of-abuse testing.
Be careful when eating a beagle, or a poppy seed roll! Poppy seeds is where morphine comes from, and morphine is the main calibrator in drug tests for opiates.
Drugs that may cause false positive to opiates include,
Hospital local anaesthetics (Cyclimorph, Pethidine, Procaine)
Antidiarrhoeal medicines (Diocalm)
Although marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, a synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (Marinol) is used for treating nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and also as an appetite stimulant to patients with AIDS. Because Marinol is also converted into marijuana metabolite (THC-COOH), it causes positive marijuana tests; however, 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), which is a natural constituent of cannabis products, is not in Marinol.
THCV is metabolized by the human liver into THCV-COOH, and the presence of this metabolite (in addition to THC-COOH in urine) indicates abuse of marijuana rather than prescription use of Marinol.
Drugs that may cause false positive to cannabis include,
Benzodiazepine(Valium) is part of the AS4308 and is required to be tested in urine testing in Australia. Benzodiazepines is one class of the most frequently prescribed drugs in Australia, and these are used as tranquillisers, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants as well as to treat symptoms of anxiety.
More than 50 different types of benzodiazepines exist, but not all 50 drugs are available in Australia. The most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines in Australia are Valium, temazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, and clonazepam. Other examples of derivatives in this class include areestazolam, halazepam, and quazepam.
Usually, immunoassay screening for benzodiazepines recognizes the presence of common drugs and metabolites after medical use or abuse. ElSohly, et al, analyzed benzodiazepines in 156 urine specimens from alleged victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault and observed that oxazepam was confirmed in 50% of the specimens followed by nor-diazepam (48%), temazepam (43%), and diazepam (40%), while the presence of alprazolam was confirmed in 21.8% specimens and lorazepam in 15.4% specimens.
Drugs that may cause false positive to benzodiazepines include,
Cocaine is used infrequently as a local anesthetic in ear, nose, and throat surgery, and also is administered topically during ophthalmitic procedures.
Positive drug testing results for cocaine (as benzoylecgonine, the major metabolite) may be encountered in subjects who have undergone such procedures. A patient may be positive up to 72 hours after an otolaryngologic procedure where cocaine is used as an anesthetic.
Cocaine metabolite can also be detected in the urine specimen of the physician who is performing the procedure.4 Jacobson, et al, studied the effect of use of ophthalmic solution containing cocaine on urine excretion of benzoylecgonine in patients. Out of 50 subjects studied, 47 subjects (94%) demonstrated a positive screening result for cocaine (as benzoylecgonine) four to six hours after receiving eye drops.
In addition, 35 subjects (70%) showed positive results 24 hours after receiving eye drops containing cocaine.
The authors conclude that ophthalmic administration of cocaine may cause positive test results up to two days after procedure.
Drugs that may cause false positive to cocaine include,
Antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Ampicillin)
Coca tea, Coca leaf, Coca flour, Coca oil
Kidney disease medication
Some pain medication
Aesthetics (bupivacaine, Sensorcaine, Vivacaine)
Novocain, although synthetically derived from cocaine, has a distinct structural difference from cocaine and the metabolite of cocaine (benzoylecgonine). Therefore, use of Novocain during dental procedures or use of other anesthetic agents, including benzocaine, tetracaine, and lidocaine, should not cause false-positive cocaine test results in urine DOA testing.
Both urine and saliva drug testing methods will have false positives/negatives from time to time, and in most cases will be the same for urine and saliva. Saliva tests seem to have more false negatives due to the ease of diluting or altering the sample against the person being tested. Also, saliva testing has been around for a while, but compared to urine testing, it’s still considered to be evolving. Urine testing is considered the gold standard.
Please contact me here if you have any questions or comments, and I will get back to you asap.
Onsite drug testing in Australia mostly use instant drug test kits that give a result within around 5 minutes. This is the most affordable way to conduct drug testing in Australia and is backed by Australian standards AS4308 (urine) and AS4760 (saliva).
Some companies have a different approach due to high risk industries such as some aviation jobs, where they will bypass instant drug test kits and go straight to pathology. This way takes a lot longer to get a result but is considered by the courts as the “gold standard” as they use mass spectrometry to analyse samples. This is a very accurate way to analyse a sample of saliva or urine.
Pathology drug test cut off levels
Pathology testing actually use different cut off levels than instant drug test kits. For example, THC is detected in urine at 50ng with an instant drug test, but in the lab the cut off is 15ng. But labs are far more rigorous in breaking down exactly what is within the sample. Here is what they test for and cut off levels of each drug in urine,
Morphine/Codeine – 300ng
MAM (metabolite of heroin) – 10ng
Amphetamines – 150ng
Pseudo/Ephedrine – 500ng
Phentermine (used medically as an appetite suppressant) – 500ng
THC – 15ng
Cocaine metabolites – 150ng
Benzodiazepines – 200ng
Aminobenzos – 100ng
How Mass Spectrometry works
OK, time to geek out a bit! Mass spectrometry works by pushing the sample through a tubular column via helium gas. Curtain drugs pass through at curtain known speeds. When it gets to the end it is fragmented through ionisation and the fragments are sorted by mass. Now curtain drugs have a known fragmentation patterns, so these two tests together can give pathology a fairly good idea of what chemicals are present… I told you it was a bit geeky!
Order your pathology drug test
When sending a sample (urine, or saliva) to the lab for testing, you need to have all correct collection devices in place to conform to pathology procedures including collection, chain of custody forms, and matching id numbers on forms and collection containers. We can supply you with urine and saliva pathology confirmation kits for one fixed price. All shipping and pathology fees are included.
So, in conclusion we can supply you with pathology tests at a very affordable fee, where that’s all you pay! We’ll take care of all shipping and laboratory costs for you. Just follow the simple instructions included and send it to the laboratory in the free express satchel included.
Demand for a safer workplace in Australia, and even the world is on the increase due to a record high number of employees testing positive. Nearly 1 in 11 employees in the US were unable to pass an oral drug screen. Therefor becoming involved in the drug testing business could be a great career opportunity!
Starting a drug testing business (just like any business) will require basic knowledge and experience onsite and will require you to gain accreditation through a NATA registered training provider. Don’t worry, we can put you in touch with these companies and when the next drug test course will be near you. The courses are either face to face, or online with a Skype practical. Courses are held in most major cities and are very frequent.
Drug Testing Training
Here’s what you will learn, 1. Understanding of relevant Australian Standards and Legislation 2. How to perform a Saliva Drug Test 3. How to perform a Urine Drug Test 4. How to perform a Breath Alcohol Test 5. Practical, hands on application of drug and alcohol testing skills 6. Understanding of drug and alcohol testing related issues and how to deal with them (communication, employee reaction, considerations for policy and procedures)
Please contact us here to find out more about drug and alcohol testing courses.
Get out there!
After you have gained certification you may look into asking for work experience with an established drug and alcohol testing company. As in many industries, it’s not enough just to be certified. You need experience in the industry to get your foot in the door first. Once a good relationship has been formed with your peers, you should then think about branching out.
Your next question to ask your self is what market should you serve? Specialising (opposed to generalising) in curtain areas is a good idea. That way you can keep it simple and focus on honing in your one or two specialities. For example, specialising in testing schools, you would become great at talking with kids and young adults about drug and alcohol tests. You would also become great at learning exactly what principals and school managers need to hear to give you the green light!
Do some research before you jump in and start. Maybe write a business plan and put down a projected target for where you’d like to be in 5 years. Targets are a great thing to have on paper, because goal setting can really propel you forward.
The next step will be to buy equipment such as urine, or saliva drug tests and alcohol breathalysers…I know a really good company for this!….
After this you may want to buy liability insurance as sometimes drug tests are contested. This will put your mind at ease and you can focus on building your empire…. in OZ!
In Australia there are currently 2 main ways to test for drugs.
Detecting drugs or prescription medication in urine is different than saliva, as some drugs break down in the body and cannot be detected as well in urine samples. These drugs break down into what is known as a metabolite. For example, THC (marijuana) uses THC-COOH as the detectable major metabolite to detect THC delta 9 (the active ingredient in marijuana).
What drugs show up in a urine test and for how long?
In Australia there are certain drugs under each standard that need to be detected. We have included here the range of detection.
Amphetamine type substances 3-5 days
Methamphetamine 3-5 days
Cocaine metabolites 2-4 days
Cannabis 5-30 days
Opiates 2-4 days
Benzodiazepines 3-7 days
Opiates 6-12 hours
Amphetamine-type stimulants 12 hours
Delta 9 THC 25ng/ml 12-24 hours
Cocaine and metabolites 12 hours
The above drugs are a bare minimum when following the Australian standard.
These are standards where companies (who drug test their own staff), and workplace drug testing companies need to adhere to. In saying that, some companies choose to test for more drugs like MDMA (ecstasy), K2 (synthetic marijuana), alcohol, etc. Most pre-employment medicals these days are likely to test for alcohol in urine as well as the 6 mandatory drugs.
What drugs can be detected in a urine test?
There are a lot of drugs that can be detected in urine. However, it is up to the workplace policy to suggest what drugs need to be detected. Here is a list of what drugs can be detected in urine.
Instant drug tests are known as immunoassays. They are based on the principle of competitive binding. Drugs which may be present in the urine specimen compete against their respective drug conjugate for binding sites on their specific antibody. These are the two lines on the drug test.
A urine or saliva specimen migrates upward the absorbent strips via capillary action. A drug (if present in the urine specimen below its cut-off concentration) will not saturate the binding sites of its specific antibody. The antibody will then react with the drug protein conjugate and a visible colored line will show up in the test line region of the specific drug strip.
The presence of drug above the cut-off concentration will saturate all the binding sites of the antibody. Therefore, the colored line will not form in the test line region. A drug-positive urine specimen will not generate a colored line in the specific test line region of the strip because of drug competition, while a drug-negative urine specimen will generate a line in the test line region because of the absence of drug competition. To serve as a procedural control, a colored line will always appear at the control line region, indicating that proper volume of specimen has been added and membrane wicking has occurred
Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Screening
When do employers drug test? Employers do drug testing as part of the pre-employment hiring process. It’s part of a medical examination where they also test your hearing, sight, existing injuries etc.
Passing the drug test and alcohol screen can be mission critical to gain employment. This is why you must make sure you’re clean before going in to the pre-employment medical. Buying a few drug test kits will allow you to test yourself before you go in. Because there is no turning back once you are there.
Random drug tests at work
Like the name suggests… they are random! This type of testing catches out most drug users as they don’t suspect anything. Employees can be asked to undertake a drug test at random if he or she is acting suspicious, especially if the type of work is safety conscious, eg scaffolding, operating machinery, construction workers etc. Employers have rights to hand out drug tests because employers have a responsibility under health and safety legislation to provide a safe working environment for all employees. Consult your work drug testing policy for correct policies and procedures.
It has been stated repeatedly that illicit use of drugs is bad and harmful.
Despite the obvious fact that getting involved with illegal use of drugs is very much risky, we can never assume that our loved one won’t become a victim of illegal drugs. It is never too late to save them from further damages. With simple support and effort to pull them out of addiction from illegal use of drugs.
Here are the things you can do to help a friend:
Always give the time… even for a small talk.
Have a talk with them and make them realise the consequences if they continue to drown themselves in illegal drugs. You can never assure that they will stop their urge to take illegal drugs, yet you should always consider the situation and put more effort for them.
Keep them busy and bond with them to carry them out of being addicted to illegal use of drugs. Find their favorite hobby that they enjoy and do it together. With this, they will be preoccupied with harmless recreational activities which hopefully will steer them away from drug use.
Be a good listener
Know their side of the story. Find out trigger events that caused them to turn to drug use. Listen to what they say. Listening and being patient may make them open up to you about their drug use.
Be consistent and help him/her to stop
The best way to keep them on the right track is to have your personal drug testing kit and randomly suggest them to take the test just to make sure their willingness to change is a fact. The person who will best help them change is themselves. But you can give them support and make them consistent.
You must understand that this type of addiction isn’t easy to escape. Give them love attention and effort to help out before it is too late for them.
There are a lot of drug testing kits in store that you can use to help you facilitate the changes that your loved one on their way on conquering illegal drug addiction. If your looking for supplies, you can buy yours here today.
Cut Off Levels for Drug Tests – Australian Standard
Unlike other countries around the globe, Australian Standards for drug testing cut off levels have its own approved amount for testing. It is important to know and understand how cut off levels work and why these cut-off levels need to be followed.
Before anything else, do you have an idea what the Australian Standards for alcohol and drug testing are? This blog will discuss the basic information on why knowledge in the cut off levels as approved by Australian standard is essential.
Australian Standards for alcohol and drug testing:
– The Australian police are quite lenient when it comes to using a breathalyser even though most industries require users to have AS Certified breathalysers. Yet they have police laboratories to check their accuracy and reliability of the testing instruments.
– The Australian Standard cut off level for oral drug testing is increasingly getting popular because of its advantages. Although the standard itself is basically thrown out by NATA and is on review, people and companies still wish to stick to it. It will only require you to collect a saliva specimen from the person to be tested. Plus, it will only take a few minutes if you use a personal drug testing kit.
– This is the standard cut off level for urine drug testing. This type of drug testing can give you the most accurate results by far. It can detect the presence of a drug from the user even after three to four days of intake. Sometimes longer in regards to THC.
To give you further idea about the Australian standard cut-off levels, below are the cut off levels approved by the Australian Standards whenever you need to conduct drug testing:
Australian Standard cut off levels
Opiates 50 ng
Amphetamine 50 ng
THC 25 ng
Cocaine & amp;metabolites 50 ng
AS 4308:2008 (ng/ml)
Amphetamine 300 ng
Benzodiazepines 200 ng
Cannabis metabolites 50 ng
Cocaine metabolites 300 ng
Opiates 300 ng
Methamphetamine 300 ng
At Oz Drug Tests, we want you to understand the Australian Standard cut off levels are for and why they are important when conducting a drug test. The right cut off level can provide you the most accurate results. It is like any other policy that are provided to control and approve the right actions when using a drug testing kit.
If you have any questions, feel free to send them to us here.
Saliva Drug Test Kit – Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Drug Testing
Saliva drug test kit/oral drug testing gave each and everyone the access to pro-actively fight the illegal use of drugs. With the support of Australian drug testing laws, employers are now legally permitted to keep drug testing kits and conduct personal/private drug testing for their employees (with the permission/agreement with the person to be tested in accordance with their policy). Read further to see what saliva drug test kits can do. Now, here’s the advantage and disadvantages if you choose to use saliva drug testing.
Advantages of saliva drug tests,
Who wouldn’t like to have a fast, most accurate and easy to analyse drug testing procedure? For a lot of obvious reasons, saliva drug test kits are easier to use and can provide instant results that can be analysed by anyone. You might not believe us, but yes, saliva test kits are much more affordable than a laboratory test and wont make you wait for more than a day before getting complete results.
Disadvantage of saliva drug tests,
There are quite few points to consider as a disadvantage when using a saliva drug test kit. Most conflict are appearing in the time/day a person used/take in an illegal drug. Saliva drug test kit can only detect drug contamination for about 4-10 hours after use, depending on the drug. Most illegal drug users try to manipulate the saliva drug test to try to adulterate the results. To avoid this from happening, random testing may be something to think about. Not only would it make them fight the temptation to take up illegal drugs, they may also realise what the negative impacts are of using illegal drugs at work. In less than five minutes, you can have an accurate result for an affordable price. Without a doubt, saliva drug testing is one of the most effective drug testing methods out there. Looking for a one stop shop that will provide you saliva drug testing kits? Click here to know more and purchase your personal saliva drug test kits.
What will random drug testing do for your business?
Well, who doesn’t want to have a safe and employee-friendly workplace environment? It’s obvious enough that everyone would love to have a safe workplace. Any act of misconduct that can lead the workplace to a risky situation must be prevented.
Illegal use of drugs and working under the influence of alcohol aren’t safe for both your employees and workplace. It will only lead your workplace to be out of control.
If you want to maintain good conduct and a safe workplace, introducing a legal term that will prevent each of your employees to do anything that can make the lives worse. Implement a random drug testing policy and have the authority to regulate the safety within the workplace.
Can I conduct a random drug test at work?
Absolutely! It is a responsibility in managing the safety of your people and the workplace itself. However, it is important to let your employees know about the terms, policies and procedures.
Yes, Australian workplace drug testing laws support every employer on making sure of the safety within the workplace but introducing the idea and purpose of this is essential.
Policy and Procedures
Failure to introduce drug and alcohol testing policies within the workplace removes every employer’s rights to conduct the procedures. Drug and alcohol testing procedures should be included within a contract and be read by every employee/staff that will work within the workplace
You can include the following on your policy and procedures:
Responsibility of management and employees within the workplace
Purpose of random drug testing
Drugs to be tested
Type of drug and alcohol testing kit you’ll use when conducting a test
Consequence and procedure if the positive test is confirmed
Terms (zero tolerance/3 strikes and you’re out).
It’s important that your employees are educated about why you need to implement random drug testing and keep them on your side and everything within the workplace will be great and in place.
Drug Test Kits for Parents – Keeping Teenagers Away from Drug Abuse
Drug test kits at home will be useful for most parents that proactively fight illegal drug use, especially when it comes to their children. There is a huge likelihood that our teens today are prone to get involved with illegal use of drugs. If you want to know whether your child is into illegal drug use, drug testing is accessible. However, it is not ethical to conduct drug testing against any person’s permission. It is important to approach them in the right way when telling them why you need to conduct a drug testing on them.
Various signs that your child is involved to illegal use of drugs:Different drugs can exhibit diverse effects to the user’s behaviour. Be on the watch out for your child’s symptoms of illegal drug use. Severe use of illegal drugs can cause the following symptoms:
loss of focus and tiredness resulting to frequent absences from school
less interest on learning and a decline in academic grades.
Users may also have loss of appetite and heightened outbursts. The need for money will also be an issue because of your child’s dependence on drug use. These signs need immediate action.
If your child is not involved to illegal use of drugs, it doesn’t hurt to take time to observe and resolve symptoms early in the piece. Always make the first move and reach out before losing them against their possible drug use.
Starting a Conversation
When dealing with your child,
stay calm and don’t lose your temper.
Don’t agitate your child’s mood.
Resist the need to search your child’s bedroom for some evidence.
Think of the best approach to address your child’s decisions and the consequences that come with it.
Prepare some drug testing kits at home
Show them that you are there to offer help and support, whatever the result may be.
Educate your child about the risks of illegal use of drugs. No matter what their decision in terms of taking the risk or not, always show your support.
Home drug test
If your child approves to conduct a drug test, you should be prepared to have the drug testing kits at home and always keep a record. This will be a journey towards a clearer future for your child and making them understand the risks involved.
Keep your children close and don’t lose the chance of reaching out to them when they badly needed it. It is most recommended to use saliva drug testing kits for your child at home, which is less invasive and easier to use. You can order your home drug testing kit from us here as we offer a wide range of drug testing kits in store.
Preparing your workplace from any worse case scenario is a must. Productivity in the workplace does not only depend in effective task handling, but also in knowing the condition of your employees. Always remember that your employees are a very important asset to your business. Building up a great relationship with them, and this means keeping them safe within the workplace is your responsibility as an employer.
Abusive use of illegal drugs still exists. Anyone in the workplace can be a victim of drug use. Drug use is addictive and detrimental to the user as well as the people close to them. Take control and proactively fight illegal drug use in the workplace. Plan for an effective drug testing policy within the workplace.
Here are a few examples of a drug and alcohol policies,
It’s important to have a very stringent policy that notes exactly what to do in every instance. There have been wrongful dismissal cases for policies that were too general and unclear.
To get an idea on how to plan for your drug testing policy, read the types of testing for the workplace.
It is necessary to test all your applicants before hiring them. Safety within the workplace is your number one priority. Drug testing is more likely known to be a necessity to government or industrial contracts, but it can also be conducted by small to medium private businesses that aim to keep the workplace safe and employee friendly. You can easily find medical centres that do pre-employment medicals that include drug testing.
This unannounced random testing is done to a group of employees. Most high risk businesses use a random database system when selecting employees to be tested. Because of equal and fair chances for employees to be tested, they will refrain from taking illegal drugs.
This is the crucial part wherein the need to get tested is too soon. Yes, accident comes unexpectedly but wouldn’t it be nice if we proactively approach this matter and prevent further injuries or damage. After an accident, the sooner the testing the better… although the standard is no longer than 12 hours post accident. Urine or saliva can be used for testing, but this should be stated clearly within your policy.
The need to implement the policy: Not always legal
Testing employees without implementing a policy for drug testing in the workplace makes you a violator of local laws in Australia. Provided that every person has the right to privacy, means you could be breaking the law if you haven’t implemented a precise drug testing policy within the workplace.
Are you testing for legal drugs?
The use of opiates today is legal, but these days is prescription based. Get familiar with this situation and never give in to employees who only want to abuse the use of illicit drugs. It is your responsibility as an employer to keep your employees safe and far from being a risk within the workplace. Educate yourself about these legal drugs, and set policies that are best for your company.
Suspecting someone is affected by drugs isn’t enough to submit them into a drug test. Know the alternatives. Have a talk and know your employees side on this matter. You’ve got your human resources team to initiate an approach. It would be best to know their side of the page first before making things worse within the workplace.
Implement drug testing policy at your workplace today!
Plan now and take responsibility of taking care of your employees within the workplace. Take control of the situation and be legally authorised to conduct drug testing without violating any persons right. Put them within your policy and educate present and future employees about it. For your drug testing kits, you can contact us here and we can give you the best testing kit that will fit your workplace. You can also visit our online shop here and order your drug testing kits today.
Surface drug testing kits are used to detect the presence of drugs from almost any surface or item that they get contact with. Surface drug testing uses a special paper that is used to wipe on the suspected item which on the process can show any drug residue from the surface being examined.
The surface drug test kit’s ability to spot drug paraphernalia can be used as strong evidence against the person suspected to illegal use of drugs. Having a personal surface drug test kit allows the person to conduct surprise drug tests at home and at the workplace.
Surface Drug Test:
At Home – While there is a lot of risk around your child, keeping them away from the environment isn’t easy. As an adult and a parent, you have the responsibility to drive their lives towards a better future. If illegal drugs continue to exist, better to have responsibility and achieve the goal. Before things get worse, better make action to change negative outcome.
Being paranoid is different from being responsible. With surface drug test kits, you can:
Test your home from illicit drug occurrence
Test children and or family members’ bedrooms with a simple swipe.
Prevent further addiction of a family member who secretly take illegal drugs.
At the Workplace – As a reputable business, keeping the workplace clean, safe and drug free is a must. A simple drug related issue can put the whole company into shame and worst loose trust from important clients. We know that you want to keep your business away from this kind of issue. Prevent these from happening by using surface drug test kits as surprise check ups for your employees. Use surface drug test kits at the workplace to:
Determine if employees had a secret activity within the workplace
Ready to use equipment to keep drug related issues privately
Prevent employees from taking illegal drugs – they need their job like how you need your business from running.
If you are to use these surface drug test kits at the workplace, discuss this within your company’s policy and agreement and make sure to orient your employees about it. Better have a written authority that can allow you to conduct drug tests.
Major Australian companies aim to build a workplace that is friendly, productive and safe. Without proper policies and agreements, this goal is difficult to achieve. Put bluntly, we are pushing you to focus and implement drug screening test policy for your company in Oz!
Most companies demand potential employees to pass drug screening requirements to be employed with the company. Take the right steps now because the credibility of your company’s credibility and workplace rests on you.
There are two types of drug screen test kits that will help keep your workplace safe and clean. They are urine screen tests and oral screen tests, which both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Get familiar with these drug screening kits and grab the opportunity to conduct an affordable, convenient and safe drug testing at your workplace.
Urine Drug Screening
Urine drug screening is a painless method that can detect various illicit drugs a person takes even after 3-4 days of last used. Urine drug screening kits is personal drug testing equipment that gives you the authority to avoid urine adulteration that most users try to do.
Compared to oral test kits, urine test kits can give you in-depth results that can detect even the tiniest residue from urine samples. This way is regarded at the GOLD standard. Pardon the pun!
Oral Drug Screening
Detect drugs and get results within minutes with oral drug testing kits. Oral drug testing kits can detect drugs sometimes after 1 day from last use. This method is perfect for a surprise screening especially for illegal users who want to alter the results to pass the drug test.
In fact, oral screening testing can be easily altered by using mouthwash which can wipe out drug residue and avoid the person from salivating for 30-40 minutes. It is best to have oral drug screening kits at the workplace which will take your employees by surprise.
Keep your workplace clean and safe; invest in our drug screen test kits and implement random drug testing agreements with your employees. Oz Drug Tests supplies quality drug screening test kits and we aren’t limited with Australian Standard cut off levels.
OK, I thought I would go on a bit of a rant about the misleading marketing and huge prices chemists in Australia are charging for drug testing kits these days. I get so many calls about where people can purchase drug test kits in a hurry to test themselves before a pre-employment medical, and I tell them to contact their local chemist. I get that you’ll pay for convenience, but… I just checked out how much the largest chemist in Australia is currently charging for a 6-panel urine test dip card, and it was $18.49…for 1! plus shipping no doubt. They say “we beat everyone’s prices”!… Obviously not. We have the same thing for as low as $4.73 plus free shipping on orders over $100. I guess this is what they can charge for convenience and have the highest rank in google! Also, when they market a drug test by saying “test yourself before you drive” is misleading at best! The cut-off levels are much lower in the saliva drug tests the police use. For example, the oral drug test in use on our roads is the Drugwipe. The cut-off level for THC with the drug wipe is 10ng/ml(parent delata9), where the chemist brand THC is 50ng/ml. This is 5 times lower than the chemist brand! This means you could pass the drug test from the chemist, but fail the police drug screen on the road!
So if you need to know a result quickly, by all means buy a drug test from a chemist, but be prepared to spend a lot more. If you would like to save some hard earned cash, buy from us. If you choose to express, we can have it there the next day! Depending if your address is within the express post network.
Here at Oz drug tests, we offer a great range of drug testing kits; saliva and urine. We are different than any other drug test supplier Australia being that we also supply american standard as well as Australian. American standard tests are much more mass produced, and hence cheaper, so we can pass the savings on to our customers.
Australian standard urine tests have the following cutoff levels,
Opiates (Morphine) 300ng/ml
This combination of drugs and cut off levels should be used when drug testing onsite, or where confirmation testing is needed. Cut off levels in the lab directly relate to the Australian standard instant drug test cut-offs.
Here is a picture of the urine drug test dip card after testing. As you can see this would be a negative result for all drugs. All lines are present in the test regions and control regions.
Notice the MET and AMP lines. They are naturally lighter due to Australian standards having a lower cut off level. American standards have AMP and MET cut off levels at 1000ng/ml, where here in Oz it’s only 300ng/ml. This means more than 3 times as strict as overseas drug tests.
The strips used in these dip cards are made from the same manufacturer as the One screen cup, which is certified to Australian standards AS4308. This means they have been verified to work within Australian standard cut off levels. These are the same drug tests you will find in pre-employment drug testing clinics… who we also supply.
American (FDA) standards
We offer American standard urine drug tests as they are a more affordable solution as they are more mass produced. The second positive is they produce a more distinct line in the test region, meaning an easier to read test. Cut-offs in American standard are higher in some drugs causing lines to be more prominent.
Here are some examples of Oz cut off standards. Opiates in urine instant drug tests in the USA are detected at 2000ng/ml, wherein Australia, they’re at 300ng/ml. That’s about 7 times less! Amphetamines and methamphetamine are detected in the USA at 1000 ng/ml, where Australia is 300ng/ml. The remaining drugs are relatively the same as international standards such as THC 50ng/ml, Cocaine 300ng/ml, and Benzodiazepines 200ng/ml
Here we have the 5 panel dip card at work! As you can see this is a negative result as all lines are present in the Test and Control Regions. This test has USA cut-offs and are FDA cleared. Some customers actually prefer these cutoff levels as they produce a more defined line in the test region due to the higher cutoff, as you can see!
Oz drug tests are in partnership with an accredited drug test training company, and will now offer drug and alcohol test training all throughout Australia. Drug testing (whether it be urine or saliva) can be a difficult area if you don’t know what you are doing. This is why we offer a drug testing course so you’ll have confidence with correct procedures and Australian law.
HLTPAT005 Collect specimens for drugs of abuse testing
Completing the drug and alcohol training course you will get,
Training from an accrediteddrug and alcohol testing company
National accredited training online.
Ongoing professional development with news and resources.
Current knowledge through 18 years of experience.
What you will learn,
Australian Standards and legislation
How to perform a urine and saliva drug test
How to perform an alcohol breath test
Saliva and urine drug test “hands on” practical.
How to deal with real life drug testing issues such as employee reactions, policy and procedures.
Training sessions are always happening around Australia. If you would like to enrol in the face to face course, please click here for enrolment form. We will get back to you within the hour with dates near you.
If you have any questions at all, please contact us here.
Oz drug tests is very proud to introduce our new mobile program!
Upload Test Results Random Name Generator Step By Step Guides Inventory Tracker
This program is designed to make life easier by simplifying the drug testing process.
This program is designed with the following functions,
Upload mobile photos of drug test results to our data base for safe keeping and accessing anywhere.
Random name generator lets you randomly select names from a list. You can choose how many and at what frequency you like.
Step by step guides for saliva and urine drug testing correct to Australian standards. Follow online through your mobile device or PC to AS4308 and AS4760
Inventory tracker will keep your supplies in stock, so you will never run out again!
Run program through mobile phone, or PC!
The Oz drug tests mobile program is designed for companies in Australia with a drug and alcohol testing policy. Some policies can differ from one to another, so the Oz drug tests mobile program can be tailored to the frequency of testing needed in the existing drug testing policy.
We also offer a drug and alcohol testing training course. This is where someone in a business can become an accredited drug and alcohol tester, and then use our program to begin their own testing. You can save a lot of money this way, by not outsourcing.
Workplace Drug Testing Australia; drug testing laws.
In the Australian workplace these days it’s very important to have a good understanding of Australian drug testing laws.
Drug testing employees shouldn’t be seen as a punishment or a mistrusting measure, but a way in which to care for your employees’ welfare, and the people around them. Most employees do the right thing and want the rest to do the same. Companies have a duty of care to make sure their workplace is safe for all employees. For this reason, you can legally conduct drug testing in Australia in your business.
Employees should be told about your policies and procedures before a drug testing programme is introduced. You can choose what frequency people are tested (randomly), or for cause (incident). Keeping your employees in the loop about carrying out drug testing will always be the best way to go.
Mandatory drug testing
There are certain industries where drug and alcohol testing is mandatory. These industries include,
Truck driving (road testing)
Construction sites (publicly funded projects)
It is a well-known fact that mining employees are subject to regular drug and alcohol testing. Every time an employee enters a work site, they are subject to an alcohol screen, and randomly subject to a drug test. Such big companies cannot afford to have such company destroying PR, so they really have to do all they can to reduce accidents.
In aviation, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), have a programme called a Drug and Alcohol Management Plan (DAMP). All organisations within the aviation industry must abide by these strict rules. It is pretty much an outlined written statement about how they will deal with Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).
We think the truck driving industry will go down the same path as construction, as there has recently been an explosion of truck drivers testing positive to drugs on Australian roads.
The construction sector over the past few years in Australia has begun to ramp up their drug testing. The Australian government has made it mandatory for random drug testing on publicly funded projects. Cleaning up the construction industry is their vision as the industry had a bad name for this reason.
So, in conclusion, the most important thing to know about Australian drug testing laws, is that it is legal to have a drug and alcohol policy in your workplace. And the absolute most important thing to remember is to educate your employees about the policy.
Urine tract infection drinks (Ural)… bought from chemist
Synthetic urine… buy online
Someone else’s urine…eeeew!
Sneaking bleach or ammonia into your urine… while being tested
Most of these ideas (except for drinking water to excess), are very sneaky, and there is a possibility of being caught when giving the sample. Usually the drug test officer will be very close the whole time.
When using fake, or someone else’s urine, there will be a problem with temperature. The drug testing officer has the right to ask for a second sample if the the first sample is less than 36 degrees Celsius.
Excessive water, urine tract infection medications and sneaking other chemicals into the sample can affect the adulteration test that are used in Australian drug testing these days.
What is Adulteration?
Adulteration is when the sample provided has been tampered with in the hope that the final result is altered. Here is what they test for,
Oxidants/PCC, tests for oxidising agents such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Some fake urine will give non-negative results for oxidents as they contain Pyridinium chlorochromate. Normal human urine should not have any oxidents of PCC.
Specific Gravity, tests if the sample has been diluted via excess water consumption.
pH levels, tests for the presence of alkaline or acidic adulterants. Values outside of the normal range (4.0 to 9.0) will be considered to be altered.
Nitrate, as found in some commercially sold adulterants to pass drug tests. Nitrate should not be found normal human urine.
Glutaraldehyde, tests for the presence of aldehyde. Again this chemical is found in some commercial products to help pass drug testing, and shouldn’t be found in normal human urine.
Creatinine, is a waste product or creatine. An amino acid found in human muscle. Like specific gravity, this test will show if the sample has been diluted from excessive water consumption.
Urine drug testing in Australia is still the number 1 way to test for drugs of abuse. This is due to larger knowledge and research in the area.
Also, drugs can be detected for a longer period. Rarely would drugs go undetected using urine drug testing compared to oral testing.
Urine drug testing devices in Australia are subject to different cut off levels compared to other countries. These cut off levels are much lower and therefore have more ability to detect drugs of abuse for a longer period.
It is this reason why some companies elect to use urine testing rather than saliva. Drugs and their metabolites are only detectable in oral fluids for short periods of time after consumption.
Saliva drug testing has risen in popularity lately, mainly due to the ban on urine testing in the mining sector. Its rise is also due to the ease of use, such as gaining a sample is non-invasive.
It also makes sense to use oral drug testing because the detection period relates more to detecting when a person is “under the influence” and not a few days later. (This is the reason Fair Work Australia banned urine testing in the mining sector as it was found to be an invasion of privacy.) E.g. Cannabis can be detected up to 30 days after use, far longer after the effect of the drug had worn off. Drugs and their metabolites don’t stay in oral fluid for as long as urine or blood.
However, the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) has withdrawn some provisions of the Australian standard 4760:2006 making organisations not able to gain accreditation for saliva drug testing. This allows employees to argue with their employers testing were inaccurate or not in accordance with the standard.
One of the provisions that NATA have found to have issues with is that there is no clearly defined cut off concentrations for specific drug groups. NATA also has issues with “nominated” target values, and what constitutes “fit for purpose”.
In choosing which testing method for use, we believe you should consult professional advice/evidence to support proposed testing or possible changes to procedures.
There are many employers that believe that what their employees do in their spare time won’t have an effect on their business when in actual fact it does. Individuals who use illicit drugs may also believe it won’t affect their job when it could have a detrimental effect on their productivity, attitude and the amount of leave they take.
Ultimately, if your employees are using drugs regularly or recreationally, it could be costing your business big money. Australian businesses are losing a massive $6 billion annually on the loss of productivity and absenteeism due to drugs and alcohol. No business wants to be included in that.
When an employee arrives to work, you want to know that they are clear-headed, focused and ready to start their shift. Worrying about whether their productivity will be jeopardised due to their drug consumption shouldn’t be where your time and energy is spent.
But how do you know if your employees are taking drugs?
Here at Oz Drug Testing, we make it easy for businesses to monitor the drug use of staff. By ordering a drug testing kit, you can easily test for a range of legal and illegal substances and you’ll get the results in 10 minutes – not days!
According to The Global Drug Survey, 2014 up to a third of its survey contributors had attended a work shift hung over or come down from drug use.
It’s also important to educate your staff on the effects of drugs and the workplace. Inform them on how it can affect their productivity and even put themselves or others in danger. An employee that is educated on the matter is less likely to use illicit substances and would be more than willing to participate in drug testing.
Being on top of drug testing in your workplace isn’t an invasion of privacy, it’s a responsibility. As an employer, you are promising to staff that they are working in a safe and drug-free environment. You wouldn’t let harassment be accepted in the workplace so why let drug use slide under the rug? Get your drug testing kit today and know that you’re doing your part for a safer workplace.
For employers, the benefits of promoting a drug-free workplace are manifold. Employees who take drugs at work can compromise the safety of themselves and others, negatively affect workplace efficiency and cause problems with staff management. However, knowing exactly how to promote a drug-free workplace can be hard. Employers run the risk of being seen as unfair if they aren’t clear on what they are doing and the rules of the workplace.
Being clear about the rules of drug and alcohol use at your workplace is important in promoting trust and open dialogue. Make sure your drug and alcohol policy is written down and easily accessible to employees. This policy should be discussed with employees when they are hired. Be clear about the fact that this is not about their private lives unless their decisions will endanger the safety of the workplace.
Educate employees about the dangers that drug use at work could pose. Clear and concise fact sheets on cars or machinery used at work promote employee understanding of the reasons why drug use is not tolerated.
If you believe drug use is impacting employee safety, then you are within your rights to ask for drug tests to be conducted. The legal benchmark depends on your workplace so consult with lawyers prior to any action. Having breathalyzers available for use by those needed to operate machinery is a good way to avoid alcohol use causing an accident. If you have reasonable grounds to believe an employee is using drugs at work, then drug screening may help you decide on your next step.
Acting fairly promotes trust in the workplace. Make sure that the drug tests you use are appropriate for the situation – in some cases Australian case law mandates that an oral swab may be more appropriate than a urine sample. You should also accommodate employees who tell you they are using legal drugs by providing an experienced and licensed data collector to check for their results. Remember that the legal precedent is that random drug testing is an intrusion unless you are concerned about health and safety issues at work.