Avitar Inc.
Employee Drug Testing is our core business
Learn More
  Drug Testing
  ORALscreen 4*
  ORALscreen OSR
  ORALscreen Reporting Form
  Alcohol Testing
  Hydrophilic Medical Grade
  Drug Policy Development
  Drug Testing Audit
  Substance Abuse   Management
  Program Management
  MRO Services
  Confirmation Services
  ORALscreen4 Tutorial
FAQ's: Frequently asked questions about workplace drug testing. >>

Case History: The Importance of Being Random. >>

Product Support: Questions? Comments?

Conducting random onsite drug tests in your workplace is easy. See for yourself. >>
Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association
National On-Site Testing Association
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
Society For Human Resources Management


Changing the status quo in workplace drug testing
SAMS™ Glossary Substance Abuse Management Solution™

Absent Rate: Measures absenteeism, [(# days absent in month) ÷ (Ave. # of employees during mo.) x (# of workdays)] x 100

Absence Rate [(# days absent in month) ÷ (Ave. # of employees during mo.) x (# of workdays)] x 100 Measures absenteeism. See BNA Job Absence Report Absenteeism: Analyzing Work Absences

Adulterated specimen refers to a sample of bodily fluid (typically urine) that contains a substance that is not expected to be present, or contains a substance expected to be present but is at a concentration so high that it is not consistent with typical results. Adulteration of urine specimens is common, while adulteration of saliva / oral fluid or hair specimens more difficult, if not improbable. Also can be used synonymously with substitution. A sample that is drug free that is substituted for the donors sample at or after the time of collection is also referred to as an adulterated specimen.

AGC: Associated General Contractors of America

Air blank may be used in evidential breath testing devices (EBTs) using gas chromatography technology, and refers to the reading of the device's internal standard. In many EBTs, simply a reading of ambient air containing no alcohol.

Alcohol is the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.

Alcohol concentration is alcohol in a volume of breath expressed in terms of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a breath test, or as a concentration of nanograms per milliliter for saliva or blood alcohol tests.

Alcohol confirmation test is a subsequent test using an EBT, following a screening test with a result of a specified concentration (0.02, .04, etc.) or greater, that provides quantitative data about the alcohol concentration.

Alcohol screening device / ASD, or on-site alcohol test, on-site alcohol screening test; a breath or saliva device, other than an EBT, performed via established procedures, to determine whether or not an employee might have a prohibited concentration of alcohol in a breath or saliva specimen.

Alcohol use is the drinking or swallowing of any beverage, liquid mixture or preparation (including any medication), containing alcohol.

Assay is a procedure where the concentration of a component part of a mixture is determined. There are numerous applications of an assay, such as an antigen capture assay, bioassay, competitive protein binding assay, four-point assay, immunoassay, microbiological assay, stem cell assay, and many others.

ASSE: American Society of Safety Engineers

Baseline testing is done to establish the level of illicit drug (or alcohol) use at the initial implementation of a comprehensive drug free workplace (or substance abuse) program.

Blind specimen or blind performance test specimen is a specimen submitted to a laboratory for quality control testing purposes, with a fictitious identifier, so that the laboratory cannot distinguish it from an employee specimen.

Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT), a person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol testing process and operates an evidential breath- testing device.

Cancelled Test / Invalid Test, a drug or alcohol test that has a problem identified that cannot be or has not been corrected. A cancelled test is not a positive or a non-negative,or a negative test. An example is an on-site test, in which the control line is not present within the requisite time period.

Chain of custody refers to the procedure used documentation and the handling of a drugs-of-abuse (or alcohol) specimen (typically required for confirmation of non-negative on-site tests or laboratory-based screening tests) from the time the employee donates a specimen to the collector until the specimen is destroyed. Certain screening tests, such as on-site oral fluid-based test for drugs of abuse or alcohol do not require a chain of custody procedure unless a confirmatory test is needed. (Note: Avitar provide Chain of Custody forms for non-federally mandated workplace drug testing. For DOT or federally mandated testing, the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) are used. )

CLIA waived, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments waived tests are defined as simple laboratory examinations and procedures that are cleared by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for home use, and employ methodologies that are simple and accurate as to render the likelihood of erroneous results negligible; or pose no reasonable risk or harm to the patient if the test is performed incorrectly

Collection container a vial or cup use to contain a sample specimen (oral fluid, urine, blood hair, etc.) for a subsequent test procedure typically associated with laboratory-based tests and/or confirmation drug tests.

Collection site is a designated located selected by the employer or perspective employer, where employees or applicants present themselves for the purpose of providing a specimen (typically only used for urine-based, or blood-based tests) for a drug test and/or alcohol test.

Collector, a person who instructs and assists employees at a collection site, who receives and makes an initial inspection of the specimen, provided by those employees, and who initiates and who may initiate chain of custody documentation.

Cost per Hire Costs involved with a new hire. Can be used as a measurement to show any substantial improvements to savings in recruitment/retention costs. Determine what your recruiting function can do to increase savings/reduce costs, etc. (Advertising + Agency Fees + Employee Referrals + Travel cost of applicants and staff + Relocation costs + Recruiter pay and benefits) ÷ Number of Hires

Confirmatory, or Confirmation Drug test is typically a laboratory analytical procedure, using GC/MS, gas chromatography / mass spectrometry  equipment and associated procedures, performed on a specimen (oral fluid, urine, blood hair, etc.) to identify and quantify the presence of a specific drug or drug metabolite.

Confirmed drug test is an authorized GC/MS confirmation test result received by and commented upon by an MRO, after the MRO’s review of all relevant available information.

Consortium / Third-party administrator (C / TPA). A service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug (and, or alcohol) testing services to employers. C / TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers' drug (and alcohol) testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer as a single entity.

DATIA: Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association

class="lgnt" Designated employer representative / DER , an employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from other duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with an established drug/alcohol policy.

Dilute / Diluted specimen , A urine specimen with creatinine and specific gravity values that are lower than expected for human urine.  Note, hair and saliva samples are typically not diluted.

Employee , Any person who is working for hire for a public or private institution and potentially subject to drug testing and/or alcohol testing.  Drug testing may be done on a random basis for all employees, for employees working in safety sensitive positions, in cases of reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty situations, as well as for applicants for employment (pre-employment testing).

Employer . A person or entity employing one or more employees (including an individual who is self-employed) subject to DOT agency regulations requiring compliance with this part. The term includes an employer's officers, representatives, and management personnel. Service agents are not employers for the purposes of this part.

Error Correction Training . Training provided to BATs, collectors, and screening test administrators following an error that resulted in the cancellation of a drug or alcohol test. Error correction training can be provided in person or by a means that provides suitable interactive training, such as a computer-based training program.

Evidential Breath Testing Device (EBT). A device approved by NHTSA for the evidential testing of breath at the .02 and .04 alcohol concentrations, placed on NHTSA's Conforming Products List (CPL) for "Evidential Breath Measurement Devices" and identified on the CPL as conforming with the model specifications available from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Program.

GC/MS Testing Gaschromatography-mass spectrometry is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. The GC/MS has been widely heralded as a " gold standard" for forensic substance identification because it is used to perform a specific test. A specific test positively identifies the actual presence of a particular substance in a given sample.

HHS . The Department of Health and Human Services or any designee of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

Illicit Drugs . Drugs determined to be illegal and/or prescription drugs held without a valid prescription.   Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates, including Ecstasy and Oxycotin/Oxycodone, represent over 95% of the illicit drugs typically encountered.  While some drug tests screen for PCP and amphetamines, both of these tests present issues.  PCP is used by such a small sample of the population, that the statistical significance of a positive result is questionable.  Amphetamine tests will cross-react with many over the counter medications, and thus are likely to create an unacceptably high number of "false positives/non-negatives."

Immunoassay is a biochemical test that measures the level of a substance in a biological liquid, typically serum or urine, using the reaction of an antibody or antibodies to its antigen. The assay takes advantage of the specific binding of an antibody to its antigen.

Initial drug test/screen. The test used to differentiate a negative specimen from one that requires further testing for drugs or drug metabolites; examples include on-site saliva or urine tests.

Initial validity test . The first test used to determine if a specimen is adulterated, diluted, or substituted.

Invalid drug test/screen . For laboratory-based tests: a drug test for a specimen (urine, saliva, hair, blood, etc.) that contains an unidentified adulterant or an unidentified interfering substance, has abnormal physical characteristics, or has an endogenous substance at an abnormal concentration that prevents the laboratory from completing or obtaining a valid drug test result.   For on-site tests: tests that fail to produce a control line or otherwise are observed to be inoperable within the specified time limit.

Laboratory (Certified Laboratory ). Any U.S. laboratory certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program as meeting the minimum standards of Subpart C of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; or, in the case of foreign laboratories, a laboratory approved by similar guidelines / processes.  (The HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs are available on the internet at or from the Division of Workplace Programs, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockwall II Building, Suite 815, Rockville, MD 20857.)

Medical Review Officer (MRO). A person who is a licensed physician and who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory/confirmatory testing results generated by an employer's drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results.

NADCP: National Association of Drug Court Professionals

NIDA: The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a U.S. agency whose mission is to "lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction" [1]. In 1974, NIDA was established with a mandate to carry on the work of the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (now the National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

NOTA: National On-Site Testing Association

Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC ). The office in the Office of the Secretary, DOT, that is responsible for coordinating drug and alcohol testing program matters within the Department and providing information concerning the implementation of this part.

Oral Fluid : Oral fluid consists primarily of secretions from the submaxillariy (65%), parotid (23%), an d sublingual (4%) glands. Drugs of abuse detection windows / times are similar to those for blood samples (Huestis and Cone). Oral fluid normally contains the parent drug rather than drug metabolites, as a most commonly detected in urine.

Pre-employment testing is a program applied consistently to either all applicants or applicants in positions defined as safety-sensitive.

Post-accident testing can reduce a company’s workers’ compensation expenses in many states. Essentially, a company establishes a published policy that all employees involved in a workplace accident must be tested for drugs-of abuse and alcohol. Oftentimes, if an employee is found to be under the influence, he or she will become ineligible for workers compensation and/or medical benefits.

Qualification Training . The training required in order for a collector, test administrator, BAT, MRO, SAP, or STT to be qualified to perform their functions per an established drug and alcohol testing program. Qualification training may be provided by any appropriate means (e.g., classroom instruction, internet application, CD-ROM, video).

Random testing is conducted by randomly selecting a specified percentage / subset of the employee population, and /or a percentage the employee population at established intervals (i.e. “frequency”- monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) for drugs-of-abuse testing. This method encourages employees to remain drug free.

Reasonable suspicion testing occurs when an employer has reason to believe that an employee is under the influence. Suspicious behaviors such as poor job performance, tardiness, smelling of marijuana or other substances, or reports from witnesses that an employee is using drugs all typically constitute reasonable terms for testing.

Return-to-duty testing , similar to “Scheduled testing” is most commonly used as a follow-up to a previous positive test. Some employers offer “last-chance” agreements to employees who test positive on the premise that they submit to regular and ongoing testing.

Saliva: Oral fluid consisting primarily of secretions from the submaxillariy (65%), parotid (23%), an d sublingual (4%) glands. Drugs of abuse detection windows / times are similar to those for blood samples (Huestis and Cone). Normally contains the parent drug rather than drug metabolites, as a most commonly detected in urine.

SAMHSA: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Scheduled testing is most commonly used as a follow-up to a previous positive test. Some employers offer “last-chance” agreements to employees who test positive on the premise that they submit to regular and ongoing testing.

Screening Test Technician (STT). A person who instructs and assists employees in the alcohol/drug testing process and operates a screen test.

Service agent . Any person or entity, other than an employee of the employer, who provides services to employers and/or employees in connection with drug and alcohol testing requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, collectors, BATs and STTs, laboratories, MROs, substance abuse professionals, and C/TPAs.

SHRM: Society for Human Resource Management

Stand-down .The practice of temporarily removing an employee from the performance of safety-sensitive functions based only on a report from a screening or laboratory to the MRO.  (Note: Further action may is determined based upon an appropriate laboratory-based confirmatory test.

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). A person who evaluates employees who have violated a drug and alcohol policy or program and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Substituted specimen . A specimen, typically encountered with urine specimens, which are not from the originally donor, and provided in order to falsely "pass" drug of abuse tests.

Turnover Costs , Factors (i.e. knowledge, skills, and abilities) and costs incurred when an employee leaves your company. Evaluate if HR practices are having a causal relationship in positive changes to improving cost of turnover. Cost to terminate + Cost per hire+ Vacancy Cost + Learning curve loss.

Workers' Compensation Cost per Employee , Analyze and compare (i.e. year 1 to year 2, etc.) on a regular basis. Analyze workers compensation further to determine trends in types of injuries, injuries by department, jobs, etc. HR practices such as drug testing, safety training, disability management, and incentives can reduce costs. Use metric as benchmark to show causal relationship between HR practices and reduced workers compensation accidents/costs. Total WC cost for Year ÷ Average number of employees.

Verified test. A drug test result from an appropriated certified laboratory that has undergone review and final determination by the MRO.

Read Important SAMS Programs Elements for further information


*ORALscreen is a registered trademark of Avitar Technologies, Inc. DRUGOMETER is a trademark of Avitar Technologies, Inc. ORALscreen, ORALscreen OSR: For Forensic Use Only. Not for Consumer or Clinical Use. BreathScan, ORALconfirm: For Forensic Use Only. Not for Consumer or Clinical Use.

& by Pixelgroove