Everything You Need to Know About Drug Testing in Atlanta, GA

Drug testing is a common practice in the modern workplace. Despite its widespread popularity and extensive practices, most people are still unaware of the way it works and the different panels for conducting the tests. If you don’t know and understand the basics of drug testing in Atlanta, GA, you are not alone! In this article we’ll cover the ins and outs of drug testing for businesses operating in Georgia including methods of collection, accuracy, and legality.

What is Drug Screening?

It is the process or method to detect illegal substances and alcohol in people’s systems. Drug screening or testing comes in multiple forms, and every technique works differently to identify the presence of drugs in the body. Most modern organizations and enterprises in Atlanta, GA, perform drug screening as a part of pre-employment background assessment. In addition, workplaces perform yearly, routine, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and post-rehabilitation drug screening to ensure a safe and harmonious workplace.

Drug screening identifies the presence of substances in the system. There is no other way to measure or identify whether one is high on drugs than implementing a comprehensive drug test. Whether individuals smoked weed a few days ago or before clocking into the shift, depending on the screening, positive results show up. Depending on Federal and state laws and regulations, employees with positive drug screening results are suspended, termination letters, or sent into remedial or recreational programs.

Drug Testing in Atlanta

Employers in Atlanta, GA, enjoy prominent control or dominance when it concerns drug screening or testing in the workplace. They can conduct random drug testing on testing along with annual routine screening and reasonable suspicion testing. According to the GA code regulations and policies, medical marijuana is allowed. However, nothing in the state law requires public and private employers to accommodate marijuana use in the workplace.

The law enables company owners or employers to prohibit the use of medical marijuana on-duty and off-duty for employees in safety-sensitive industries. The highlight of drug testing in Atlanta, GA, is the 7.5% discount on workers’ compensation premiums. Organizations and enterprises that want to leverage the advantages of the compensation discount should adhere to state laws and regulations.

Drug Screening Methods


Method of Collection

The diameter of the root end hair sample is around 2 to 5 mm. Collectors can take hair samples from any body part, but the head is the standard site.

Detection Window

From weeks to years, with repeated and regular substance abuse.

Substances Detected

Different types of substances are identified through heat or liquid extraction methods.

Hair screening is beneficial to acquire an extensive drug history or record assessment. It has the longest detection window. So, the tests acquire signs and traces of drug use as old as five years or even more.


Method of Collection

A minimum of 4 mL of urine

Detection Window

It includes from a few days to weeks

Substances Detected

Metabolites released by the body post-drug use.

Urine testing is the most common drug screening and the most extensively used for pre-employment background evaluation. The convenient collection method and the potential to detect the most recent substance use make urine tests popular. Most organizations in Atlanta, GA, conduct drug testing via urine samples.

Oral (Fluid)

Method of Collection

A minimum of 1mL of saliva

Detection Window

From minutes to a few days

Substances Detected

Metabolites in the saliva after consuming substances

Oral fluid screening is new but gaining immense significance. It is an excellent choice for urine testing. It is easier to collect samples and challenging to tamper with the collection. The highlight is the shortest window detection, which makes it great for workplace screening.

Rapid Point of Collection Testing (POCT)

Method of Collection

At least 4mL of urine

Detection Window

A few days to weeks

Substances Detected

Metabolites dissipate from the body after drug use.

It is an instant drug screening, identical to general urine drug testing. It has a similar collection method, window detection, and substance detection. The difference is that POCT detects positive or negative results within a few minutes rather than waiting for days like conventional urine tests.


With the legalization of medical marijuana and other substances, drug screening is challenging in several states. The highlight of drug testing in Atlanta, GA, is that employers have the discretion to conduct on employees randomly, routinely, under reasonable suspicion, post-rehabilitation, and post-accidents. The state drug policies and regulations take screening seriously and consider it as a critical element of workplace safety.