Drug and Alcohol Testing - Sherwood Park & Vermillion
Our alcohol and drug testing services are available on demand. Businesses in Sherwood Park, Vermillion and the surrounding areas can choose from a range of options to receive fast, accurate results.
For all tests, recipients need to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the appointment to fill out paperwork. This includes signing a form that allows us to send the results to the employer or, in the case of a private test, specifying who should receive the results. Before drug or alcohol testing, Sherwood Park, Vermillion and area recipients also need to prove their identity with a passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued photo ID.
Recipients must not eat or drink anything, chew gum, or smoke cigarettes 15 minutes before their test. They also should not consume any alcohol for at least 24 hours before alcohol testing. Finally, they should bring nothing with them except what they need.
We can determine the current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a person’s system immediately with our alcohol testing. Vermillion, Sherwood Park and area employees can receive the service onsite or at the clinic. All our technicians are certified to standards set out by the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT).
Receiving the Test
We start with a screening test, using either a US DOT breath alcohol machine or a saliva alcohol screening test. If the result is above 0.020 percent, we run a confirmation test with an evidentiary breath-testing device. This ensures that the results are legally defensible.
The breath test involves recipients emptying their lungs completely into a disposable tube — every recipient receives a new tube for hygiene reasons. The technician can immediately provide a digital readout of the test results.
For a saliva test, the technician inserts a collection kit into the recipient’s mouth for 60 seconds. Sufficient saliva allows the technician to determine the BAC level immediately.
We offer three different types of drug testing: urine screening, oral fluid/saliva screening, and hair strand testing.
Our urine screening uses an express point of care testing (POCT) method. This means that it immediately yields a negative or non-negative result, although it does not tell us anything about the level of drugs in the person’s body. The main disadvantage to this testing is possible adulteration of samples — for instance, we are unable to guarantee that the sample belongs to the person receiving drug testing. Sherwood Park, Vermillion and area employers can seek further laboratory analysis in cases of doubt.
Recipients of the test should avoid drinking too much water leading up to the appointment. They receive the test by providing a sample of urine at the clinic — flushing the toilet will make the test invalid. The sample is then checked immediately for any unexpected temperature, volume, colour, or odour, as well as for the presence of foreign objects and signs of tampering.
Oral Fluid/Saliva Screening
There are several benefits to oral fluid/saliva drug testing. Vermillion, Sherwood Park and area businesses can receive screenings onsite, as the test is noninvasive and requires no specialized space for privacy. The test also eliminates the risk of performance anxiety and tampering.
The only disadvantages are that the test cannot tell if the person used drugs outside a 12 to 24-hour window, and cannot show you how much of a drug is in the person’s system. For these reasons, it is usually used in post-accident situations, as well as random drug screenings.
Express oral fluid POCT identifies the presence of amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine. To also detect propoxyphene, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and methadone, businesses should opt for lab-based fluid collection. This also provides a legally-defensible result.
Hair Stranding Testing
For employers who want to determine historical drug use, we can analyze hair shafts. This looks for drug molecules inside the hair strand, eliminating the risk of contamination from hair products. In addition to their documentation, recipients should bring a list of prescription and over-the-counter medications that they are taking. This information will remain confidential.
We can either examine a 30 or 90-day period for amphetamines, methamphetamines, MDMA, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, barbiturates, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and hydrocodone. Negative results take five to seven business days and positive results seven to 10 business days to process.
Receiving the Results
In all the above, should the results come back non-negative, a medical review officer will determine whether this is due to appropriate prescription drug use or illegal or inappropriate drug use. Confirmed-positive results are virtually 100 percent accurate.
Purpose of the breathalyzer is to measure BAC, or blood alcohol concentration. BAC is expressed as the weight of ethanol in grams per 100 ml of blood. BAC of 0.05 percent equates to 0.05 grams of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood in your body.