My Son’s First Pre-Employment Drug Test

Q: My son applied for his first job and he was hired. However, he has to submit to a pre-employment drug test first. I’ve never had to take a drug test for a job before – I work for myself as a contractor. Please tell us what we can expect from this testing.

S. Gillihar
Seattle, WA

A: Congratulations to your son for landing his first job! Drug testing is actually a common practice before a person is officially hired. It allows employers to make sure that they are hiring people who are going to be clean on the job. When an employee uses drugs on the job, it can put everyone at risk.

The drug screening process your son can expect is simple. More than likely, all he will need to do is submit a urine sample. If the employer uses hair follicle testing, your son will have to submit a hair sample – usually about 100 individual hairs. There is nothing for you or your son to worry about, as the procedures are done quickly and without any invasiveness. The results will be back in a matter of days and, provided that your son tests negative, he will be working before you know it.