Drug Testing

Does Your Co-op Drug Test?

Yes, many co-ops do require a drug test. Big companies are more likely to drug test than small companies, but some small companies drug test too. Check the company’s Human Resources website for policies on drug testing.

Drug Testing Policies

There are several types of drug tests that an employer can ask you to take. Sometimes, a drug test is required before getting hired. Additionally, drug testing can be requested during your employment period. It is important that you read and understand the human resource policies at your company so that you know what might be expected of you in regards to drug testing. Listed below are the common reasons for drug testing.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTING – This type of drug testing is conducted to prevent the hiring of individuals who use drugs. Typically a candidate for a job is required to provide a specimen during the job application process. Generally, a negative drug test result is required before an employer will make a job offer to the applicant. If you know you really want a job, you should make sure that you are prepared to pass this kind of a drug test.

RANDOM DRUG TESTING – Random drug testing is a strong deterrent to drug users because it is conducted unannounced. Using a random selection process, the employer selects one or more individuals from all of the employees included in the employer’s workplace drug testing program. Federally mandated safety-sensitive workers- which include pilots, bus drivers, train operators, truck drivers and workers in nuclear power plants are required to undergo random drug testing as mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

PERIODIC – Periodic testing is usually scheduled in advance and is uniformly administered to all employees. Employees are generally informed ahead of time so that they know the date that their specimen will be collected.

REASONABLE SUSPICION – Reasonable suspicion drug tests, sometimes called “probable cause tests” are conducted when supervisors have concerns or evidence of drug abuse in the workplace. These types of tests are requested when an employer has witnessed the possession or use of drugs while at work, or if the employee is suspected to be under the influence while on the job. Typically, an employee would need to prove that they were drug-free to maintain their employment.

How Long Will Drugs Show Up on a Drug Test?

The amount of time that drugs stay in your system can depend on how much you are using the drug. If you are taking a urine or saliva test, the drug will appear in your sample for a longer period of time if you are a daily drug user. If you are an infrequent drug user, the drug will likely not stay in your system as long. The chart below shows the duration of time that various drug tests can reveal your drug use. In some cases a range of time is provided. If you are a heavy drug user, the drugs will likely stay in your system for the longest period of time. If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should always allow yourself the maximum amount of time to ensure that the drug is no longer present in your body.  (These are generalized and are not guidelines- they do not take into account the persons demographics/ frequency of usage)


Urine Test

Saliva Test

Hair Test

Blood Test


12 Hours

1-5 Days

90 Days

12 Hours


30-90 Days

10 Days

90 Days

2 Days



2-5 Days

2-5 Days

90 Days

24 Hours


3-4 Days

1-4 Days

90 Days

24 Hours


10-30 Days

1-10 Days

90 Days

24 Hours


24 Hours

1-2 Days

90 Days

12 Hours

Myths vs. Truths About Passing a Drug Test

You can drink or eat something that will “cleanse” your body, resulting in a negative drug test...

MYTH: While there are many commercial products available that claim to do this, and many urban myths about household products that will cleanse your system, the truth is that none of them works.  A person being tested may be able to dilute their specimen, but there is nothing that can be consumed that will “fool” a drug test or “cleanse” the urine.

Antibiotics will cause a false positive drug test...

TRUE(ish): There is a class of antibiotics that may cross react with the opiate screen and may alter the result. If you are taking any antibiotics, you may want to list them on your drug testing paperwork, or ask the test administrator.

Eating poppy seeds can cause you to have a positive test result for opiates...

MYTH: You would have to eat an exorbitant amount of poppy seeds for it to impact the results of your drug test. In addition, the poppy seeds would need to be un-washed, and most commercial bakeries only use washed poppy seeds. It is extremely unlikely that eating baked goods with poppy seeds would cause any sort of change in your drug test.

Exposure to second hand marijuana smoke can yield a positive test result...

MYTH: Passive exposure to a drug can make it appear in your urine, but actual consumption of the drug makes it appear at a much higher concentration. To avoid the argument that a positive result is due to passive contact, cut-off levels have been established. These cut-off levels are set to make it virtually impossible for a specimen to screen positive from passive contact.


National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence  - provides education, information, help, and hope to the public. It advocates prevention, intervention, and treatment through a nationwide network.

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education - Find a treatment center, learn how to get help and information for family and friends.

Drug Screening - Wondering if you have a drug problem?  This screening will provide feedback about your use.

e-TOKE - Curious about your marijuana use? Get feedback from this quick assessment.