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What Happens After a Positive Result?
What Happens After a Positive Result?

What Happens After a Positive Result?

Blog and Opinions Red Slashes Jul 18, 2016
By: Wayne St. John

So, you take a drug and/or alcohol test. Great. Now what?

It’s easy enough to walk into a clinic, receive a drug and alcohol test, and then leave for the day. However, what happens when the test result comes back? With the result being either negative or non-negative, what does it mean for the employee and employer?

Firstly, to understand both terms, a negative result means that nothing was found in the person’s system, while a non-negative result means that something was. Pretty easy to figure out what happens when you get a negative result back as it is back to work for you, but what happens if the latter occurs?

Non-Negative Result

What happens if you receive a non-negative result? This is a question that many employees and employers think about. Here are the general steps for testing that take place:

  • The sample is given an initial screening test
  • If required, a second more specific and comprehensive confirmation test is conducted
  • If the lab reports a positive result, the Medical Review Officer (MRO) will contact the employee to determine whether there is a legitimate medical reason for the test result
  • The final result is released to the employer
  • If deemed positive with no legitimate medical reason, the employer may request the employee attend an assessment performed by a certified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) or Substance Abuse Expert (SAE)

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Return-To-Duty Services

When a substance abuse issue has been identified through a testing program, and a company is committed to ensuring a safe workplace, a return-to-duty service may be appropriate. Such services ensure that the employer is doing their due diligence required to maintain a safe workplace.

Here is what a return-to-duty service provides:

  • A third-party case manager – introduced to avoid any perceptions of collusion or favouritism – who will help in identifying the abuse and surrounding issues
  • Assurance that the company is adhering to all acts, policies, and regulations
  • A fast, safe way to get employees back into the workplace, while equipping them with the necessary tools to succeed
  • Reduction in financial losses and increased productivity
  • Qualified service providers who can meet the needs of employees who suffer from substance use disorders

It is worth noting that this is not a short process. Even if the employee successfully completes substance abuse treatment and is back on the job, due to the fact that recovery from substance use disorders is an ongoing process, employers must keep up with compliance monitoring. What this means is when an employee is back to work, the employer(s) should provide follow-up testing that is not revealed to the employee prior to test time. This ensures program compliance is maintained. Throughout this whole process, it must be clear that confidentiality is key. Respecting people’s privacy, and keeping information about their substance use issues confidential, is critical in ensuring full cooperation and trust.

Let Us Help

At CannAmm, we know that drug and alcohol testing can seem to be an inconvenient requirement for some, but the fact is that employment drug testing and occupational health testing really does improve workplace safety. Our commitment to helping those we test to do their job safely is done by:

  • Respecting privacy and ensuring medical information is only shared with required parties
  • Standing by to help resolve any health conditions or substance abuse concerns
  • Conducting all employment drug testing respectfully and professionally
  • Delivering reliable results quickly
  • Ensuring forensic integrity for every test
  • Ensuring your test is accurate every time

So, even if you do end up receiving a positive result, know that the road does not end there. There are resources available to help get you back on your feet, and back on the job, in a safe and effective manner. After all, everyone has the right to get home safe at the end of the day. 

Questions or Comments?

Do you have any questions about what we wrote. Let us know and we'll get back to you!
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