What is a Swab Test?
A swab test is a non-invasive drug and alcohol testing method that involves collecting a saliva specimen along the mucus lining from inside the cheek to determine the recent ingestion of alcohol and/or drug(s) in the system. Employers administer swab test(s) to determine the presence of alcohol or illicit substances and their derivative compounds including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and opioids.
Many companies prefer swab tests to other testing options given their cost-effective nature and the ability to administer the testing either on-site or at a laboratory with a short detection window.
Alcohol and drug abuse is a multifaceted problem with multiple underlying implications that often stem from environmental factors including the nature of the job, gender-based influences, ongoing stress, and easy accessibility. Employers must integrate comprehensive programs that highlight the growing effect that substance abuse contributes to in the workplace, causing marked absenteeism, low morale, and diminished productivity.
The implementation of a drug-free policy reflects a coordinated effort by supervisors and employees to recognize behavioral patterns synonymous with addiction, moderating the number of workers’ compensation claims. Employers can customize swab tests for applicants or employees who display telltale signs that suggest alcohol and drug abuse tendencies including impaired cognition, erratic mood swings, inefficient work practices, motor coordination difficulties, and noticeable withdrawal symptoms.