Alaska Works Partnership Inc. Construction Education & Training.

Drug Tests

It is a safe bet that any prospective employer will conduct pre-employment (and post-hire, random), drug testing. It is a sure bet that every apprenticeship program will indeed test you right away upon entry into their program. Drug testing evaluates urine, blood, saliva (mouth swab), and/or hair follicles. There are several circumstances in which drug testing is required, including pre-employment/random, post-accident, and safety-related incidents. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding drug testing in the workplace.

Drug Testing FAQs

Q: What type of drug tests do employers use?
A: There are several types of drug tests that employers use; urine analysis, saliva tests, blood tests and hair follicle tests. The type of test that is used varies depending on the apprenticeship/employer/company and the position that is being applied to.

Q: What types of drugs do employers test for?
A: Typically, there are two types of drug tests – a 5-panel, and a 10-panel drug test. A 5-panel drug tests usually consists of marijuana, cocaine, PCP, opiates (codeine, morphine, heroin), and amphetamines (methamphetamine). In a 10-panel drug test, also included are tests for oxycodone, methadone, narcotic prescription drugs, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and MDMA (ecstasy).

Q: Since marijuana is now legal, can employers still test for it?
A: Yes. Simply because new laws allow for both medical and recreational, at-home, personal use of marijuana does not mean that you have the right to test positive for it. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and employers will continue to prefer to maintain their, “drug-free workplace” policies.

Q: How far back does hair follicle testing range?
A: Hair follicle tests can detect certain drugs as far back as 120 days.

Q: How long do certain drugs stay in your system?
A: There are several factors that are considered when longevity is questioned. Frequency of drug use and the type of drug are two main factors. A daily marijuana user may find that the drug stays in the system for two months or more, while a one-time user lasts 5-8 days. Here is a chart that explains more detailed information: