Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that the safety of their workplace is not compromised by staff members being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work. To assist them in addressing the misuse of drugs or alcohol, companies should adopt clear policies on what constitutes unacceptable behaviour. Like any policy, this must be communicated widely and effectively amongst staff to have an impact.

To support their policies, many companies have adopted a drug and alcohol testing policy. Our experience is that testing falls into three broad areas

For drug testing an instant, point of care test, is used. This provides a negative or non-negative result. Non negative results are not legally defensible, so the sample will be prepared by the collection officer and sent for laboratory confirmation. You will be supplied with a legally defensible laboratory report.

Alcohol testing is conducted using a home office approved breathalyser. Readings greater than zero will be repeated at 15 minutes intervals until the reading falls or goes above your Company stipulated breath alcohol level (usually the drink drive limit).

Pre-placement testing

We conduct pre-placement medicals for people and some companies include drug and alcohol testing as part of the process. We do also conduct pre-placement drug and alcohol testing on its own. This can be pre- appointment or during your site induction.

Random (unannounced screening)

This is conducted at the work site. People are selected at random or all employees at a site are tested. Knowing that they may be randomly screened acts as a deterrent.

Emergency or “For Cause”

We can conduct tests on demand but we are not available 24×7. If you require 24/7 cover please contact us to discuss.

Drug tests for individuals

A  person may wish to check if there is any presence of recreational drugs in their bodies.   This is common in child custody cases or ahead of a work or visa check.  Our ‘chain of custody’ procedures checks are in place to ensure that the sample is from the person themselves. So that the results would be accepted by a court or tribunal.

Chain of custody process

All of our collection team are fully trained and certified as chain of custody collection officers. All non-negative drug screen results should be subject to laboratory confirmation before any action is taken. You may choose to suspend the individual while you await the laboratory results, the is usually 3-5 days. We can arrange a fast track, 24 hour screen, on a case by case basis. The laboratory results will be reviewed by one of our clinicians and a report provided to you.

Use of instant tests

We generally recommend an instant test is performed and only positive results are sent to our certified laboratory for chain of custody testing. This both speeds up the process and reduces the overall cost of the programme. The instant test will alert to the possible presence of up to 10 different substances.

Our clients are assured of:

+ Use of a UKAS accredited laboratory

+ Rigorous Chain of Custody process when samples are sent to the laboratory

+ Processes adhering to the European Workplace Drug Testing Society guidelines

At Waterloo Health Clinic we test for Alcohol or Drug misuse on behalf of our clients on a daily basis – you can be assured of our expertise and discretion.

Instant substance test and Breathalyzer


  • test for an individual at our clinic

1/2 Day Onsite Testing


  • excludes confirmation tests

Frequesntly Asked Questions

1Why do we need a confimation test after the initial test
The instant test is just looking for molecules similar to the drug being screened. This means that it is not conclusive and any action taken as a result of the test would not be legally defensible
2Will the instant test report any level of drugs in your system
Like all tests there is a sensitivity level. The European Workplace Drug Test Society also gives guidelines as the level of drug found to be a confirmed positive test.
3What is the most common drug found in drug testing
The most common drug found is cannabis.