Top 5 Drug Testing Errors & Mistakes

For HR professionals and employers, selecting the right employee drug testing solutions can improve workplace safety and productivity. However, it's important to understand the common errors and pitfalls, and how to choose a reliable drug testing partner.

This article will help you understand five factors in successful employee drug testing and some of the most common drug testing mistakes.

Health Street
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Drug Testing: 5 Common Pitfalls

Companies in many industries test their employees for drugs, including transportation, construction, healthcare, government, education, and more. Although drug testing is routinely conducted in many sectors, errors are commonly made. Some of the most common drug testing mistakes include:

  1. Privacy neglect
  2. Sample collection errors
  3. Lacking a clear drug testing policy
  4. Ordering the wrong drug panel
  5. Failing to follow industry, local, state, and federal guidelines for workplace drug screening

Health Street is a leading drug testing solutions provider that can help employers navigate the drug testing process and avoid common drug testing mistakes. We offer drug testing services for any industry, with over 25 years of experience. Health Street has helped over 10,000 companies with drug and alcohol testing, occupational health, and background checks. We cooperate with SAMHSA-certified laboratories and stay in touch with the most recent law changes to help ensure compliance.

Wrong Test Panels

Most employers choose urine drug testing because it is accurate, affordable, and easy to administer. Urine drug tests can detect drug use up to one week back. On the other hand, hair drug tests can detect drug use between 5 to 90 days, but are more expensive. Each testing method has specific benefits and limitations.

Sample Collection Errors

Failure to adhere to strict collection guidelines can lead to drug testing accuracy issues and jeopardize the credibility of the drug test results. Avoid drug testing process errors by choosing a reputable drug testing provider that uses SAMHSA-certified laboratories.

Regulatory Compliance

Drug testing regulations and laws can differ from state to state, making it challenging for employers to comply. Some industries, like law enforcement and public health, often mandate drug testing, and failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to fines, suspensions, or revocation of operating authority.

Communication Gaps

When setting up a drug testing policy, ensure it is written clearly and communicated well. It should align with local, state, and federal laws. To prevent drug testing issues, regularly review your policy every year and consistently inform your employees about any changes.

Privacy Neglect

Negligence can stem from how the test is conducted, errors in documenting or reporting the results, or mishandling of samples. Drug test results must be maintained and shared accurately. For example, when an employee seeks new employment, and their potential employer requests drug test information, any data the former employer provides must be accurate to avoid privacy negligence.

Health Street’s advantage lies in its extensive array of testing solutions

Health Street offers diverse drug testing solutions to meet your needs and bring fast, reliable, and accurate results to clients. We have nationwide testing labs that provide DOT and non-DOT substance testing. Whether you choose urine drug tests or hair follicle tests, we have your back. We also offer alcohol screenings, post-accident testing, and can manage random pools.

Ready for accurate drug testing? Register for a test at one of Health Street’s conveniently located clinics near you and ensure reliable results.


Specimen collection handbook – samhsa. (n.d.-aw).
Considerations for safety and security-sensitive industries. SAMHSA. (n.d.-a).
Urine collectors. U.S. Department of Transportation. (n.d.).
Author(s)G N Herman; R B Bernholz. (n.d.). Negligence in employee drug testing. Negligence in Employee Drug Testing | Office of Justice Programs.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). Drug testing [PDF file].



Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.


Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.