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Donor FAQs
 Is the process controlled and confidential?
Yes. Specimens are collected at the collection site and processed through a National Institute of Drug Abuse (N.I.D.A.) approved laboratory. To guard against tampering, a legal chain-of-custody procedure is followed. To assure donors confidentiality, specimen containers are carefully identified by an assigned coding systems, referred to as the chain-of-custody number. The results are then reported using the same coding system. A medical review officer (MRO) reviews all D.O.T. specimens as well as any positive results.  back to top

 What information do they put on the forms that go with my sample?
D.O.T. testing requires a special form that is designed to provide anonymity for the donor and will not have your name on it (for the laboratory copy). For all other testing, a similar form is used, but typically has the donor name on the laboratory copy. While the collector does typically as for your social security number, you are not required by law to give it, for either D.O.T. or any other testing. The purpose of putting your social security number on the test is to give you a number that you can confirm in case any questions arise, especially if you have prescriptions, as the MRO must verify your identity before discussing results. If you are uncomfortable giving your social security number, I.D. numbers from federal or state issued forms of identification are another viable option for you to use (i.e. your driver's license or I.D. card number).  back to top

 May donors be required to strip, wear a hospital gown, or empty pockets?
You do not have to strip or wear a gown. The D.O.T.'s procedures state: "The collection site person shall ask the individual to remove any unnecessary outer garments such as a coat or jacket that might conceal items or substances that could be used to tamper with or adulterate the individual's specimen. The collection site person shall insure that all personal belongings such as a purse or briefcase remain with the outer garments. The individual may retain his or her wallet." (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40) It should be noted that a collection site person may ask the donor to empty their pockets, display the items, and either leave their belongings with the collector, again, the individual may retain his or her wallet. This does not mean an individual may keep a purse or other sort of bag with them during the collection. The collection site person will provide a secure area for individuals to place their personal belongings. It should also be noted that it is permissible to have an observed collection if the employer requests, with a sound reason, or if there is a suspicion of tampering.  back to top

 What if I just can't "go" right then (shy bladder)? Can I just go home and come back later?
If the donor is unable to provide a specimen initially, fluids are provided, with the dual objective of assisting the willing donor and encouraging the non-willing donor. There is no option for the donor to leave teh site and ocme back at a later time. Only if the donor is still unable to provide a complete specimen do additional procedures come into play (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40). The donor is not required to drink the fluids provided. According to D.O.T. guidelines (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40), the donor is allowed 3 hours from the time the first specimen is provided to provide a complete specimen. If the donor is unable to provide another specimen in the time allotted, there is a procedure to verify a medical condition. If the donor is unwilling to provide a specimen, then it is considered a refusal to test which is treated the same as a positive  back to top

 What if I am physically unable to provide a specimen?
Specific documentation of the individual's medical condition, including the fact that he or she is unable to provide a urine specimen, should be obtained and furnished to the employer. The MRO should, after a thorough examination of the individual's circumstance, notify the employer that the individual cannot provide a urine specimen (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40).  back to top

 What if I am physically unable to provide a specimen?
Specific documentation of the individual's medical condition, including the fact that he or she is unable to provide a urine specimen, should be obtained and furnished to the employer. The MRO should, after a thorough examination of the individual's circumstance, notify the employer that the individual cannot provide a urine specimen (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40).  back to top

 What are the turn-around times for the test results to come back?
Typically, results come back in 24 to 48 hours from the time the lab receives the specimen. Tests that are deemed positive from the laboratory, whether caused by prescription or not, tend to take a longer amount of time to come back, up to 72 to 96 hours from the time the lab receives the specimen, due to the need for further testing at the laboratory and time for the MRO to contact the donor and discuss the results. Around nationally recognized holidays and during some weather emergencies (depending on where the laboratory is located), results may take a longer than normal time, but this delay usually does not exceed 24 to 48 hours past the normal reporting time.  back to top

 How reliable is drug testing?
When both screening and confirmatory tests are conducted, the combined tests themselves become virtually 100% dependable. Most testing is automatically set up to do both the screening and confirmatory types of tests.  back to top

 What are the different types of methods used to drug test?
Urine, saliva, and hair are three of the most commonly used methods to detect drug use. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Urine is generally considered the standard because this has been used as the method of drug testing for several years. Saliva is developing quite rapidly as an alternative to testing due to its less intrusive nature. Hair testing offers the option of viewing a longer detection time for drugs. Please see Detection Times for a list of what substances can be tested in the different methods and the average amount of time after use that the substance can be detected.  back to top

  What kinds of tests would I have to take? What drugs would I be tested for?
Your employer has the right to set up a testing program for illicit drugs and/or alcohol and drug abuse. Under most circumstances, the types of tests, the drugs tested for, and the cut-off levels can all be determined by your employer except in cases of D.O.T.-mandated testing. However, the manner in which the testing is required may be (and in many cases, is) regulated by both Federal and State governments. Most companies use the same cut-off levels that the government sets (required for all testing falling under D.O.T. jurisdiction), however, some companies due use L.O.D. L.O.D. is the lowest level of detection that the laboratory is able to test. As technology improves, laboratories are able to test at lower and lower levels. Many of the drugs being tested are now able to be tested at near zero levels.  back to top

 What does testing "positive" mean? What does testing "negative" mean?
Testing laboratories use "cutoff limits" to determine if a specimen is positive or negative. D.O.T. and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have established cutoff limit guidelines for both alcohol and drug testing. A negative result indicates the level of a drug or alcohol being tested for is either not present or is below the cutoff limit. A positive result indicates the substance is present at a level above the cutoff limit. It is important to note that all test results go through a MRO. The MRO reviews the test results, and in the case of a "positive" test, notifies the donor and discusses possible prescription interactions. If there is a valid prescription causing the "positive," the MRO will change the result to a verified negative and the company will receive a "negative" drug test result.  back to top

 Who establishes the cut off levels?
If you are under the jurisdiction of D.O.T., the you must follow the D.O.T. regulations and cut off levels. If not, then it is up to the employer.  back to top

 What is a MRO?
A MRO, Medical Review Officer, is a doctor who reviews drug test results to determine possible prescription interactions, conducts an interview with the donor (typically via the telephone) to discuss positive results, and discusses any questions regarding the testing process with a laboratory toxicologist.  back to top

 What qualifications is the MRO required to have?
The MRO shall be a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders. GlobalLab's MROs are certified through the American Association of Medical Review Officers, complete courses and seminars related to drug testing to remain current with all information in the testing process, and meet all requirements for D.O.T. compliance.  back to top

 What should I do if someone I work with has a drug problem?
That's a question you have to answer for yourself. But you owe it to yourself, the people who work with you, and the person with the problem to seriously consider discussing it with your supervisor, safety manager, or other managerial person. Whether or not you discuss it with the person who has the problem depends to a great extent on your relationship with that person. Most of the time it's not advisable. A person with a serious problem, whether it's drugs or alcohol, usually needs professional help.  back to top

 Can I go to management for assistance if I have a drug or alcohol problem? What would happen?
That depends on your company and its Policies and Procedures. Ask the person in charge of your testing program.  back to top