The History Of Illegal and Legal Drug Testing in The US

The primary test performed on salivary samples is the high spectrum chromatography test detailed earlier. Chromatography is not as heavily affected by the smaller sample size like other tests are. Mass spectrometer tests generally test for the concentration of substances, and according to Bohr’s law, concentration and absorption values are directly related to one another. Having such a small sample size can not guarantee a high enough overall concentration to give accurate readings as a result.

Once a saliva sample is collected, it is usually mixed with some form of diluent, as the saliva sample itself is less than 1mL in volume. When diluent is needed, the sample is usually wrung from a collection cloth or pad into a set volume of diluent. The collection time for salivary samples usually takes between one and three minutes in order to collect enough of a sample. Many of the collection devices have an electronic indicator which will alert the technician or person being tested once a sufficient sample has been collected. The main downside specifically with the pads which have diluent already present is that there is usually not enough of excess sample to further test or investigate positive results through other methods, such as centrifuge separation, chromatography, and the like.

Since the collection of salivary fluid is so non-invasive, it is much easier to have a technician present to prevent the tampering or adulteration of samples, unlike urine tests, where the issue of privacy is much more of a concern. Unfortunately, due to the rapid cycling of substances in the mouth due to the salivary process, there is also a much shorter time window for salivary testing, especially when excess rinsing of the mouth with water and other substances are involved. There is a great resource to pass a drug test at You can find all sorts of urine drug test information there. The substance usually will reach equilibrium within 15-20 minutes with rinsing. While this does not give a negative result, it will throw off the test reading if they are specifically testing to see if the concentration falls within a certain range, such as alcohol or other legal substances that have a minimum limit.


Breathalyzers are an interesting test, in that they don’t actually measure the blood alcohol content. In order to measure blood alcohol content, a blood test is required. Instead, breathalyzers estimate the BAC by using an anode and cathode to measure the electric current caused by the oxidation of ethanol in the breath into acetic acid and water. They use this charge to estimate how much ethanol is in the breath by determining how much ethanol is required to produce the charge recorded. It is important to note there are two kinds of breathalyzers. The small hand held ones used by officers are not accurate enough to hold up in court as evidence, but are enough to warrant an arrest. These hand held tests are usually followed up by the use of the large breathalyzers in police stations, which are accurate enough to hold up in court.


All in all, there is no easy way to cheat drug and alcohol and testing. If you are looking for a job, or have a feeling you many be required to go for testing in the near future, the best thing you can do is sober up and stop using for at least a month to make sure your system is clean, and expect to be tested, even if there have been no drug tests scheduled. A lot of employers now use drug testing, so anyone searching for a job should avoid drug use or excessive alcohol consumption until after they are hired and any drug testing has been completed. Many employers do random drug testing if they have reason to believe any of their employees may be working under the influence, so simply staying as sober as possible is the only surefire way to pass a drug test. If there are no drugs in your system, there is nothing to pick up by the tests.

Remember that you have a right to know what type of test you’re taking before you ever head in to take the test. For those who are nervous about the test, knowing can help ease your anxiety and keep you confident in your results.

Is Drug Testing Legal

When it comes to the Supreme Court, blood and urine tests have been found to be minimally invasive. When it comes to federal laws surrounding drug testing in the workplace, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 is the most referenced law. Although we will get into the development of this law later, the short and sweet version is that any employer receiving federal grants must be completely drug-free. Keep in mind, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 doesn’t specifically reference testing in the workplace.

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So, what does all of this mean? It’s state law that will govern whether employer drug testing is legal or not, and these laws vary between states. For the most part, testing by employers is legal as long as the applicant is notified that it will be happening for all employees. When an employer tries to get away with only testing certain applicants, that’s when they can get themselves into hot water. Keep in mind; you can only ever be tested by an employer if you agree to the test. Testing without proper authorization can leave employers open for lawsuits.

History of Drug Test in America

After learning about the general practice of drug testing, you may be curious as to why it happens. In fact, in 2006 the country saw 84% of private employers participate in drug testing their applicants before making a job offer. The history of drug testing is pretty recent, dating back to the beginning of the 1900s and becoming more widespread during the Reagan Era.