When applying for a new job, an applicant might feel that the interview is the most nerve-wracking experience in the process. However, for some that have never experienced it, a drug test can actually be the most confusing and thus most stressful part.

Many people are unsure what is tested for and what happens during the experience, particularly those that are prescribed medication from a doctor or who take herbal supplements for their health. The number of drug screening questions pile up in their head, causing the applicant to fester in a sea of worry and stress.

What if these necessary prescriptions or vitamins cause a false positive? Will the applicant need to take the test at the office? What is the test looking for anyway?

Thankfully, these worries are often for naught. These tests are traditionally conducted at an outside lab, eliminating any embarrassing interactions with your potential new employers.

Also, standard drug tests look for five different types of “street drugs” within a person’s system, which are cocaine, marijuana (THC), PCP, opiates such as codeine or morphine and amphetamines such as methamphetamine. These tests are normally conducted by checking a person’s urine rather than hair, blood, sweat or saliva.

Some employers may elect for a more extensive nine or ten panel drug test that also search for various prescription drugs or drugs that have recently become popular, such as MDMA. Alcohol may also be included in the screen.

You won’t be waiting around for days, however. Test results should be returned quickly, with often a twenty-four hour turnaround time for negative test results and a week for a positive one, as it would require further testing.

False positives can occur due to the ingestion of certain substances, but they are not frequent. For example, poppy seeds can simulate opiates in the urine and decongestants can cause a false positive for amphetamines.

The drug testing companies can also detect a false negative in some cases. For example, a high level of creatine levels can imply that a person tried to dilute the urine to hide any drugs in the system.

Before taking a drug test, be sure to disclose all prescription, over the counter and herbal medication that you may be taking to avoid any confusion. Should a false positive occur, you can refute the results, but the same urine must be tested again rather than providing a new sample.

Also, ensure that your potential employer is using a reputable background screening company to test for the results. A less experienced company might mix up the samples or have faulty equipment, costing you a position and the employer a fantastic employee.

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