SAMHSA Certified Lab

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Definition - What does SAMHSA Certified Lab mean?

A SAMHSA certified lab is a clinical facility that administers drug screen procedures for employment purposes recognized federally by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) department. Safety-sensitive positions that fall under the Department of Transportation (DOT) jurisdiction require all applicants and/or employees to submit to routine drug testing examinations. This statute acts as both a deterrent and preventive measure against drug abuse in the workplace.

SureHire explains SAMHSA Certified Lab

In the workplace, drug testing dictates the relative health and safety of its employees avoiding hazardous circumstances often linked to chronic substance use. For this reason, many companies are obligated to abide by SAMHSA/HHS guidelines designed to regulate and enforce drug testing policies that reduce and/or curb the occurrence of drug-related accidents. A basic urine specimen is tested for five primary drug metabolites in the system including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). In other instances, employers order additional testing from laboratories to identify and confirm the use of other potential substances in question during pre-employment drug screens, reasonable suspicion cases, and and/or post-incident situations.

After a specimen is collected, a medical review officer (MRO) inspects the sample coupled with medical history documents to correlate actual test results with baseline standards. Drug testing procedures deemed inaccurate or inconsistent can adversely influence an applicant/employee’s candidacy for employment and/or reinstatement to a job position. As a result, laboratories experience a quarterly audit in line with SAMHSA/HHS regulations to establish that clinical procedures including chain-of-custody and quality control measures remain current.

SAMHSA certified labs set a precedent for introducing and maintaining drug testing rules that employers incorporate in health and safety policies in conjunction with employee assistance programs (EAPs). Companies that fall under the DOT umbrella of hiring individuals to fill safety-sensitive positions benefit from SAMHSA certified lab referrals to uphold a drug-free workplace environment.

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