Drug Abuse in the Workplace: How Does Drug Testing Work for Small Businesses?

There are a number of hurdles that applicants are going to have to cross before they start their first day of work. One of the gates through which job applicants may have to pass is drug and alcohol use testing. Company policy and state laws can vary from place to place; however, in the state of Minnesota, employers might make passing drug and alcohol tests a contingency of the job offer. Furthermore, even after starting work, employees might still be tested for drugs and alcohol within the limits of the law.

There are a few reasons why drug and alcohol testing in Minnesota workplaces is so common. One important factor is the opioid epidemic that has spread across the country. Millions of people have been impacted by the flood of illegal drugs that have harmed countless lives. Now, states like Minnesota are cracking down on drug crimes. According to Keller Law Offices, “Drug crimes can involve illegal drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, but they can also involve prescription drugs that are not prescribed to the user and simulated drugs.” For this reason, employment drug testing is becoming more common. There are several types of drug and alcohol tests that might be used by employers. Some of the most common include breath alcohol tests, saliva drug screens, urine drug screens, blood drug tests, and even hair drug tests.

If someone shows up for drug and alcohol screening prior to employment, there are a number of points to keep in mind. Some of the most common drugs that are going to be screened on a pre-employment test include opioids, narcotics, benzodiazepines, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. All of these substances will stick around in the body for different amounts of time. For example, while most of these substances will clear the body’s urine in a day or two, marijuana might persist for a few weeks.

One of the most common drug tests that employers might use is a urine drug screen. This drug test works by looking for breakdown products of various drugs in the body’s urine. When the body removes these substances, it metabolizes the drugs into waste products that can be excreted in the urine. Urine drug screens are used to look for these products. This allows the drug screen company to extrapolate what substances someone has ingested over the past few days or weeks. In some cases, people might have a valid prescription from a doctor for a legitimate medical condition. It is important to make this known ahead of time. One of the most common examples is Ritalin, which is used to treat ADHD.

Employment drug testing is a serious issue. Many employers are going to make passing a drug test a requirement for hiring. It is critical for everyone to review the company’s policies ahead of time.



Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.