Public office is a public trust, not only for the President of the United States but for everyone in any branch of government. This holds true at the federal, state, and local levels, and it applies to all civilian and military units.

Workers in the public sector are expected to demonstrate integrity, be of good moral character, and abide by the laws of the nation and the policies of their respective institutions. When they behave against the rules, regulations, and guidelines intended for the common good, they become public charges.

For example, if government workers use and abuse alcohol and illicit drugs, their judgment becomes clouded, their productivity is weakened, and their overall performance becomes very poor. In this case, they will be unable to perform tasks in a timely manner, thus affecting the bureaucracy and the people they serve.

Statistics: Alcohol and Drug Use, Misuse, and Abuse in America’s Public Sector

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, the public sector had 22.2 million civilian employees at the federal, state, and local levels, plus 1.3 million active-duty military personnel.
  • The 2015 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that from 2008 to 2012, 6.6% of employees in the public sector (or public administration industry) were heavy drinkers.
  • The same 2015 SAMHSA report suggests that from 2008 to 2012, 4.3% of employees in the public sector (or public administration industry) were into illicit drugs, such as marijuana/hashish, inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine (including crack), heroin, and prescription drugs taken non-medically.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (or NIDA), in 2008, close to half of active-duty military personnel engaged in binge drinking at least once during the year, while 2.3% of the military population consumed illicit drugs at least once during the year.

Types of Tests That Are Appropriate for Government Agencies

Accuracy is key in every successful alcohol and drug screen, whether in public administration or the public sector, and this is what institutions and organization heads seek in screening kits. And because time is of the essence, the staff assigned to conduct the tests want the process to be swift and simple.

The three (3) types of alcohol and drug tests are:

  • Hair Follicle Alcohol Drug Test. This can tell whether or not an employee has taken alcohol or drugs within 90 days of the test.
  • Urine Alcohol Drug Test. This can prove that an employee has imbibed alcohol or taken an illicit drug within a few days of the test.
  • Saliva Alcohol Drug Test. This is not as invasive as the Urine Drug Test, and it does not require a private room for sample collection. The saliva (or “oral fluids”) can tell if an employee has used alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or amphetamine within three days of the test. It can also detect heroin, but only within a few hours of the latest usage.

Tests for the Federal Workplace

At the federal level, which has mandatory drug-testing programs, the Urine Drug Test is used to screen employees and contractors. The samples are analyzed by laboratories certified by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Saliva Drug Test, however, is used when it is not possible to collect a urine sample from the subject.

In the new guidelines, the urine screening kits must be able to detect additional Schedule II drugs indicated in the Controlled Substances Act: oxymorphone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and hydrocodone).

What American Screening Provides Government Agencies

American Screening understands that workplaces in the public sector—at federal, state, and local levels—may not have a huge budget to test employees for alcohol and illicit drugs. This is why we deliver highly affordable, cost-effective, superior-quality screening kits straight from the manufacturer.

We understand as well that personnel tasked to perform the screens usually do not have the luxury of time to learn the complexities of alcohol and drug testing, which is why we provide safe and convenient products that give timely, accurate results.

To keep pace with trends in substance use, misuse, and abuse, we also offer screening kits for synthetic drugs like K2 (also known as “spice”) and fentanyl.

We likewise have nicotine/tobacco and steroid tests.

All our alcohol and drug testing products conform to SAMHSA, OHSA, and DoD standards.

For more information on how American Screening LLC can collaborate on making your organization and community alcohol and drug-free zones, please call our toll-free number: (866) 526-2873 or write us via [email protected]

We are here to serve the public nationwide and internationally!


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