Colonial Testing ServicesColonial Testing Services


Chain of Custody
”Chain of custody” is the process of ensuring and providing documentation of proper specimen identification and handling from the time of collection to the receipt of laboratory results. If the results come under legal challenge, the specimen must have been handled according to chain-of-custody procedures exactly and accurately. The chain-of-custody protocol assures the specimen belongs to the individual whose information is printed on the specimen bottle label, no adulteration or tampering has taken place, exactly who had possession of the specimen and when, how the specimen was transported and stored before it was analyzed, no unauthorized access to the specimen was possible, and the specimen was handled in a secure manner.

Collection Process
All specimen collections should be performed using a secure restroom. After the donor has removed any bulky objects and washed their hands, he or she should choose a sealed specimen collection kit. All seals are removed by the technician in the donor's presence, and the donor is then asked to provide a urine specimen. Following the collection of donor's specimen, the chain-of-custody form is filled out and completed while the donor is present. After all of the specimen bottles, the chain-of-custody form, and the specimen bags are sealed, the donor is allowed to leave.

Collection Site (Patient Service Center)
This is a facility where individuals present themselves for the purpose of providing body fluid(s) to be analyzed for specified controlled substances.

DOT (Department of Transportation)
The U.S. Department of Transportation is the governmental agency that administers regulations requiring drug and/or alcohol testing in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40 of the federal regulations.

Drug Screen—DOT
A DOT drug screen tests a specimen for five drugs—opiates, PCP, amphetamines/
methamphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. A DOT-approved chain-of-custody form is used during the collection process, and a split sample is collected and both specimens are forwarded to the laboratory for testing. Once the laboratory completes the testing process, the results are forwarded to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) for review. Following the MRO's review, results are reported to the designated reporting agency.

Drug Screen—Non-DOT
A non-DOT drug screen can test for the same range of drugs as the 5-panel DOT screen—opiates, PCP, amphetamines/methamphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. It can be expanded into a 10-panel drug screen by testing for the above five drugs and adding barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone and propoxyphene. A urine alcohol (ethyl) screen can be added to either panel if desired.

Drug Testing Policy
A well-drafted policy outlines what type of testing will be conducted, the terms and definitions surrounding drug screening, and recourse for positive test results. A policy is also used to convey a strong message of “zero tolerance” toward drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry)
GC/MS testing is considered to be the most definitive method for confirming the presence of a detected substance in urine. GC/MS is used to confirm test results that indicate any level of a controlled substance. When a laboratory suspects adulterants, dilution or other sample abnormality, GC/MS will identify the exact chemical compounds present in suspicious samples.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)
An MRO is a licensed M.D. with a history of substance abuse diagnostic work. According to DOT regulations, all DOT drug screens must be reviewed by an MRO. Many states also require an MRO review, and this service is available for non-DOT testing, if desired. During the MRO's review, it may be necessary for him or her to speak directly with the donor to verify any types of medication the donor has taken. The client will not be notified if this occurs and will only be notified when a test result is available.

Patient Service Technician
A patient service technician is the designated person trained in specimen collection procedures who ensures that (1) donors are identified correctly, (2) the chain-of-custody protocol is strictly followed, (3) the donor’s dignity is preserved, (4) no sample is adulterated or diluted during collection, and (5) donors and clients receive the best possible evidentiary collection and testing service.

Post-Accident Testing
This refers to testing an employee who is involved in an on-the-job accident (vehicular or otherwise) that may have involved human error and may have caused a fatality, serious injury, or significant property damage.

Pre-Employment Testing
A candidate for employment must pass the drug and/or alcohol test as a condition of employment. Testing can be performed as part of the application process: (1) before an offer of employment is made, (2) as a part of the hiring process after an offer of employment is made but before the employee commences work, or (3) shortly after the individual begins work but continued employment is contingent upon successful completion of the drug and/or alcohol test.

Random Testing
Random testing means the employees are chosen on a "neutral selection" basis without advance notice. True random testing is conducted by pooling a selected amount of numbers determined by the client from the total number of qualified participants' numbers in the random pool.

Reasonable Suspicion/Cause Testing
The "cause" required is an objective, factual, individualized basis for testing, such as when an employee's observed behavior or physical appearance suggests drug and/or alcohol use or possession of drugs and/or alcohol.

Return-to-Duty Testing
Employees returning from a leave of absence for sickness or injury exceeding a given number of days can be required to submit and successfully pass a drug and/or alcohol test as a condition of reinstatement.

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is the department of the federal government that regulates and certifies laboratories currently processing DOT specimens. Laboratories with SAMHSA certification are also available to test non-DOT samples. These laboratories confirm all positive drug screen samples by GC/MS testing.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace (IDFW)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Partnership for a Drug-Free America

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

State Drug Testing Laws

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming

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