Drugs are something of a touchy subject. They have different lengths in which they stay in the body and the effects stay longer in the blood than in the urine. Whatever the case may be, your office could randomly conduct a drug test. Now, what would happen to you if you are to be found guilty?

First and foremost, you should note that it is under your employer’s right to request a drug test on their employees, especially when there is suspicion on the workforce. However, you can rest a bit easier knowing that you don’t necessarily be forced to leave the job in the case that you do get caught.

The Rights You Hold

A drug test should be something that is already stated in your contract or work agreement. That is something that should be commonplace on the part of your employers.

It is vital to note that your employers should still have the consent of their employees. Although, you should prepare for some heat on you if you choose to decline the drug test as stated by Paul Kelley, an employment lawyer at Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Employers should have a formal declaration of a drug testing policy in the workplace already communicated to the staff even before they start working. It would be best if it is legally written on the contract.

However, this policy must have appropriate reasoning whenever a drug test is being conducted.

Length of Drugs Staying Inside You

There is a lot of debate over the actual length of certain drugs being stuck in your system. Generally, most drugs including alcohol, cocaine, MDMA, and crystal meth can be easily spotted in your system during the first 3 days. The traces of those drugs would start to dissipate at around the 3rd to 5th day. However, cannabis such as marijuana can last up to a whole month in the system.

The most common test you can experience in a workplace drug test would be urine-based drug test. Thus, most drugs should be flushed out of your system as long as you wait for a week in between uses.

There are rare instances where an employer might require a hair sample for a hair drug test. Drugs on the hair would generally last a whole 90 days before they disappear completely.

Reasons For Testing

Testing should not be considered as an automatic sign of suspicion. You can be chosen completely out of random. However, you will generally not get a direct answer as to why you are personally chosen to be tested.

One issue with drug testing, however, is that there could be false positive cases which can be due to medications or alcohol ingestion within 24 hours. The alcohol would come off as a drug in most generic drug testing. Thus, it could be hard to prove the employee is actually under the influence of drugs.

There are employers who would personally seek out persons under suspicion to be tested as opposed to a randomized general screening. Other employers might do so considering the employment requirements at hand such as driving or medical work as those could prove to be life or death situations at any given time, as stated by Monica Atwal, an employment law specialist from Clarklegal.

Would You Get Fired If Found Guilty?

This is the million-dollar question when it comes to drug tests. What are the implications you can receive if you are found guilty of substance abuse?

Companies can have different policies or legal teams that would react to your case. There will almost certainly be a case where you have to defend yourself to your bosses and/or HR. However, this could easily violate a businesses’ gross misconduct policy so expect either heavy penalties or possible termination of your contract.

The type of drug will make a difference in most cases as would be the location, severity, and employment. All of those factors would be thoroughly investigated and weighed upon to determine your sentence.

An employee can face something as little as a disciplinary action, all the way to a dismissal if the test and investigation prove the employee completely violates the clear rules indicated when first employed, as stated by Ms. Atwal.

You are almost guaranteed to be on grounds of dismissal of employment when proven that you are under the influence during work hours.

However, there are employers that would direct the employee to a substance abuse specialist or class to help get their employees to abuse in check. The option would be left entirely with your employer.

Please do note that this is not to condone the use of drugs at any point.  There are severe consequences both to your employment and your overall health whenever you take the substance. Do not forget to seek help when needed to control any and all abuse.

Drugs That Are Being Searched On You

It is common for your company to have an on-site workplace drug testing conducted on your established work environment. Normally, there are 5 drug groups that are constantly being checked when you are undergoing a drug test. Most drug testing facilities would insist on companies to check for these specific drug groups as they are the most common baseline drugs that a person would use. Although, an employer does have the right to check for additional forms of drugs should that be a pre-conceived case in the past or is a general rampant problem in the environment.

These are the 5 most common drug groups that would be searched on your sample:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Opiates
  • Methamphetamines

Check out our complete list of drugs tested through our hair drug testing.


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