Is Alcohol Included in Employee Drug Tests?

Is Alcohol Included in Employee Drug Tests?

Is Alcohol Included in Employee Drug Tests?

American culture has always placed a high value on alcohol. But with the pandemic, alcohol use among Americans has increased drastically to tackle pandemic-led stress.

In a report published in 2022 by LifeWorks and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, 29% of people who use drugs and 31% of people who drink alcohol said their drug and alcohol use had increased since the pandemic.

These statistics motivate employers to mandate alcohol tests in employee drug tests because they want employees to perform their jobs safely and effectively without impairing their judgment or motor skills.

Why Do Companies Require Alcohol Tests?

If you’re wondering, “Do employment drug tests test for alcohol?” the short answer is yes. Alcohol tests are included in most drug tests.

This is because employers have to make sure that their employees are safe and capable of performing their duties efficiently. They need to be confident that they are not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol that might make them less productive. That’s why employers require drug tests.

Alcohol is included in these tests because it can significantly impair your judgment and decision-making abilities. It also affects your reaction times, motor skills, and even your vision. If you’re under the influence of alcohol while on the job, then you’re not able to perform at your best level, and there could be serious consequences as a result of this impairment.

Alcohol can also affect your ability to interact with your coworkers or clients appropriately. It can lead you to act unprofessionally or inappropriately in social situations with others outside of work hours too, which could impact employee morale or productivity if it happens often enough.

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With the growing incidents of alcohol abuse in the workplace, employers are taking the issue seriously by implementing strict alcohol tests.

According to a survey by the American Addiction Centers, 22.5% of respondents admit to using drugs or alcohol while at work. Men are more likely than women to admit to using drugs or alcohol at work: 25% of men do so, compared to 20% of women. 

This statistic indicates that many employees are consuming alcohol at work and putting themselves and others at risk. The fact that people are drinking on the job means that they are more likely to be involved in accidents.

How Do Companies Conduct Alcohol Tests?

Alcohol is a legal substance, but it’s also one that can have a significant impact on your ability to perform well at work.

As per the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, alcoholics and alcohol abusers exhibit 4 to 8 times higher absenteeism. There are also higher absenteeism rates among other family members of alcoholics. Alcoholics and alcohol abusers are more vulnerable to accidents and work-related injuries. 

Fortunately, there are ways that employers can address this issue head-on by conducting employee drug testing for alcohol.

Breathalyzer tests are the most common type of alcohol test because they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to administer, and can be done quickly. However, they’re not always as accurate as other tests because they measure only alcohol in the mouth and not in the stomach. Hence, you could be drunk but not legally intoxicated, according to this test.

Blood tests are more invasive than breathalyzers because you have to draw blood from your arm or finger. However, they’re more precise than breathalyzers because they measure how much alcohol is actually in your bloodstream rather than just on your breath.

Urine testing usually takes longer than blood or breathalyzers because urine has to go through several steps before it can be tested. It must be collected in a cup or container and then transported back to a lab where it’s tested for alcohol levels.

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How Long Is Alcohol Retained in the Human Body?

Alcohol enters your bloodstream when you consume it. Your liver metabolizes it and turns it into chemical compounds called metabolites. Metabolites are more easily eliminated from your body than alcohol, but they can remain in your system for up to a week. 

The precise amount of time that alcohol takes to leave your body varies depending on many factors, including:

  • Your alcohol intake 
  • The frequency of your alcohol intake and when you last had a drink
  • Your age, weight, and general health
  • Your metabolism

To know a detailed explanation about the exact time within which alcohol can be measured, you can refer to the website of American Addiction Centers.

How Can You Get Through an Alcohol Test?

According to the 2022 Employer Drug Testing Survey, 3 in 4 respondents said they perform alcohol tests in their workplace. This figure implies that many employers take drug testing seriously and will test for alcohol and other drugs. This also means that if you work for a company that performs alcohol testing, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to take one at some point.

If you’re concerned about having to take an alcohol test, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of passing it:

  1. Stay away from drinking alcohol in any form for 72 hours before the test. 
  2. Don’t smoke cigarettes within 24 hours of taking your drug test. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which can also show up on a test as a false positive for drugs like heroin or marijuana.
  3. Next, try eating a high-protein meal before your test. This will help dilute the ethanol in your system, so it doesn’t register as strongly during testing.

In Conclusion

As you can see, alcohol abuse has become a serious and costly issue for organizations worldwide. Some studies estimate that alcohol abuse at work costs employers between $33 billion to $68 billion per year. 

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That’s why employee drug tests are so important. They can help you identify employees who may be abusing alcohol or other drugs and get them the help they need before it costs your organization money or productivity.