What is the difference between Wide & Narrow window drug testing:
- Narrow window test mediums, back to lab or point of care:
Narrow window testing is used in the following circumstances:
- Random testing
- Mass Screening
- Continuous prescribing protocols (Rehabilitation)
- Instant reporting (Non-Affirmative action other than suspension for a back to lab process)
Saliva & Urine have a limited window of detection, each of which are dependent on purity of drug used, cutting or bulking agents used, type of drug used, how often it is used and so on.
TOX247 has chosen Saliva as its primary narrow window testing medium, WHY:
- Saliva can test for all drugs, depending on the above factors, across a 0-48 hour window and is therefore better suited to measuring recent use by the donor as well as potential issues with regard to cognitive abilities etc. Urine can retain Cannabis, depending on the above factors, for up to 28 days other drugs vary from 3-5 days, again depending on the above factors
- With regard to saliva, the donor is present throughout the process, not so with Urine where the toilets have to be prepared and closed off, the application of loo blue to the cistern & flush, searching for masking agents and equipment to deliver drug free urine from a pouch and or wizzinator by the donor, the need to have a policy entry providing a time limit for the provision of a urine sample with relevant supervision (3hrs), Urine sampling in the workplace cannot be an observed sample.
- Saliva is quicker and easier sample to collect with no policy restrictions
- Saliva is the best collection medium for mass screening, random programmes as there is no applied time restriction. Urine is not appropriate in these circumstances
- Saliva does not require the preparation of a toilet or time limit applied
- Saliva is as good as and better than urine, in some situations, as a narrow window test medium
- Wide window / Historical Hair Testing; back to lab only
Wide window has many more testing application that narrow window testing, such as:
- Return to work (Post Sick)
- Relocation / Secondment
- Support to narrow window
- Historical abuse pattern
- Prove & Disprove defences of spiked drinks, false positives
- Investigation support
- What are the problems with Point of Care (POC) test devices:
- Instant tests require an instant response to a presumptive positive result be made. This will usually be employee suspension as the POC has raised a doubt about the employees fitness for work and under a raft of civil & criminal legislations how can your risk putting that person back into the workplace, or drive a company vehicle on a public road?
- The only affirmative action you can take is: to take another sample for submission back to the laboratory. You cannot dismiss or take any disciplinary action from the result of POC device, other than suspension.
- The panel of drugs that can be tested is very limited and may not reflect the drug demographics for your location or workplace culture
- Point of care testing provides a narrow window test which is inappropriate for pre-employment testing. A donor simply has to abstain from substance misuse for just a few days before a scheduled medical / test and they will usually beat the narrow window device used
- What are the benefits of Back to Lab (BTL) testing with TOX247:
- UKAS accredited processes that are able to be presented in: workplace disciplinary actions, evidence at tribunal or criminal courts
- Full and final toxicology reporting for any affirmative action processes with the ability to examine qualitative and quantitive evidence of drug compounds found over and above legally defined cut off limits. This is very important for your employee assistance programme where you need to make a judgement on the severity of a donor’s substance misuse and any action you take in rehabilitating them. Remember you cannot dismiss an employee who self refers a substance and or alcohol misuse issue to you, you have to manage the matter in its entirity around employment & criminal law
- Reduced or no suspension time due to rapid turnaround. There is a need for recruiting protocols to be changed to allow an employer to define / expose the hidden threat of illegal substance misuse of a potential employee and subsequently their integrity. Studies have shown there is a significant on-cost to employing a substance misuser as opposed to a non-user. The need to suspend in a workplace incident is removed dependant on the workplace situation, as there is no POC indicator of a problem.
- Findings have in the past shown an increase in positives from donors who passed the POC device test but failed the back to lab testing when both were used simultaneously, what testing strategies do you employ?
- The ability to have a wider range of drug(s) groups analysed. The library of compounds found within the laboratory process can run into thousands, which ones are your 10 panel POC device missing? What is the impact to your business? TOX247 will agree with you an increased list of drugs to be tested for as a standard for your company. This will include an enhanced list of misused prescription drugs and other substances as they come to notice
- The ability to change the panel of drugs to fit your demographics. Over time we can change the drug tested for as we build a picture of your employment pool and your workplace culture. The panel can be flexible to respond to seasonal events such as festivals and other scenarios when specific substances are sold into the black market. In addition, why keep testing for drugs that constantly report a negative result. TOX247 can be so flexible that it can from time to time dip sample and increased drug panel for monitoring of annual drug demographics as well as drug profiling
- What are your next steps:
- If you have no programme at all contact us direct and we will guide you through what is a complicated subject that if not managed correctly can cause you more problems. If not managed at all the on-cost implications will far outweigh the cost of a simple programme
- If you need to modify your existing programme or would like a free review of your policy and programme of testing contact us direct and we will provide you with an expert opinion so that you can better manage your risk exposure, which you should now make as a fair representation to your insurer by law
If your current provider is not proving sample results within 48 hours, your on-cost in negative productivity wages can be massive across the company. If your policy and programme of testing is wrong, you are likely paying too much for the restricted service you are receiving. Call us! IT’S FREE