Pre-employment drug screening is the biggest reason in the USA why you would have to ever face a drug test. For many industries, and especially for any type of federal employment (including contract work), you will face a drug test. In this guide, you’re going to learn everything you need to know to pass a Quest Diagnostics drug test.
Although Quest Diagnostics undertakes all types of drug testing, it’s the pre-employment urine drug testing, followed by mouth swab testing, that are the most popular services used by employers across the USA.
So we’re going to cover everything you need to know. Cut-off levels, what happens with a pre-employment drug test and what to expect, how you get your results, and, vitally, how you can pass any type of Quest Diagnostics drug test even when you have drug metabolites in your body.
Who Are Quest Diagnostics?
Quest Diagnostics is the second biggest testing company in the USA behind LabCorp. They are used by thousands of employers and government agencies across the nation.
They undertake all types of testing for drugs, alongside other types of medical testing. So whether you are going for a pre-employment drug test, or it’s a drug test for something like insurance purposes or law enforcement, then Quest Diagnostics is a company you could come into contact with.
All Quest Diagnostics locations are SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) certified. This means that they meet all the criteria for conducting drug testing, especially for federal employees. This means that they are fully qualified to administer the Department of Transport (the DoT) five-panel drug tests that are required in those positions.
Here’s What Happens When You Take A Quest Diagnostics Drug Test
Let’s say you going for a job interview and at the end of it they say that subject to background checks and a drug screening, you’ve got the position.
At that point, you will usually be given 24 hours to report to a Quest Diagnostics test center to submit a urine sample. Now occasionally, mouth swab testing is done right there on the spot. But it’s very rare, so unless you are going to an employment day where lots of people are being interviewed and hired at once (like if a company is recruiting for a new store opening), then you shouldn’t face this situation.
You’ll then report to the Quest Diagnostics testing center where you will go through some variation of this basic process:
- On arrival, you will have to register your arrival and show someone your driving license. In some locations, particularly in big cities, you may be able to scan your driving license on arrival and not even talk to anyone. If the test has been commissioned by a healthcare professional then you will have to pay for the test. So you’ll need to bring a means to pay, or health insurance details as well. You won’t need to pay if it’s a pre-employment drug test.
- The phlebotomist (the person who will be conducting the test with you) will come and get you and fill in a basic questionnaire. They may also search for you. But they are not allowed to touch you intimately or do a full search. Just don’t arouse suspicion by wearing ridiculous clothes, and be aware that they will make you remove hats, and place clothes and bags away from where the testing will take place.
- The next stage of your average Quest Diagnostics pre-employment drug test is to then go behind a screen, but more usually into a separate room, where you will submit the sample. It’s important to note that you will not be observed. Unless it’s for insurance purposes, law enforcement purposes, or for certain federal jobs, then it’s actually illegal to be observed in most states. But please check the laws for your own state before you go along (just Google them).
- Assuming it’s a standard urine test, you will usually pee into a cup that contains a fill level marker and the temperature strip. Your hand it over to the phlebotomist who will record the temperature.
- Your sample is then taken away for a preliminary confirmation screening which will happen quite quickly. Usually, if it’s negative, they will know within four hours, which means the person commissioning the test will know later that day if it’s completed early enough. If drug metabolites are detected, even if they are well below the cut-off level, then it will go through a full gas chromatography – Mass spectrometry test to establish exactly what metabolites and levels are in the sample.
- Whoever has commissioned the test will usually be told within 48 hours that the person undertaking the test has either no drug metabolites, or metabolites that don’t exceed the cut-off levels, or whether they have failed.
Quest Diagnostics Drug Test Results
So if you go for a Quest Diagnostics drug test you will usually know if you have tested negative within 24 hours, or at least the person commissioning the test will. Within 48 hours (although they state up to 72 hours at busy times) you will know if you have failed the drug test, or at least the person commissioning the test will.
Failure is determined by whether you have exceeded the Quest Diagnostics drug test cut-off levels.
All drug testing companies tend to use the same levels of nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). For hair drug testing it’s picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
These are the industry standard cut-off levels that Quest Diagnostics and others use for standard 5-panel drug test:
- Amphetamines 1000 ng/mL
- Cocaine metabolites 300 ng/mL
- Marijuana metabolites 50 ng/mL
- Opiates 2000 ng/mL
- Phencyclidine (PCP) 25 ng/mL
So what happens is that when you hand the sample over an initial screening is done. Any sample that has metabolites detected at any level is sent off for a full assessment. The above cut-off levels will be used to determine whether you have passed or failed. Basically, if the concentration of metabolites exceeds the Quest Diagnostics drug test cut-off levels, then your test results will be reported as positive (a failure).
These confirmation levels and cut-off levels are in line with official federal government requirements for federal employees and those of contractors working for the federal government.
How To Pass Any Type Of Quest Diagnostics Drug Test
So now you know the process for a Quest Diagnostics pre-employment drug test. That process stands for any type of urine sample drug test.
Although less common, mouth swab testing also takes place. In that case you won’t go behind a screen because somebody will administer the test. Quest and other companies now advertise mouth swab testing is less easy to cheat because they are administering the test rather than you going behind a screen or into a separate room.
However, that’s not the whole story. So I quickly want to talk to you about Quest Diagnostics drug test using oral swabs.
Because you know it’s coming, you can prepare. Use high-quality saliva neutralizing mouthwash or gum products, and you will be able to neutralize your saliva for up to 30 minutes. If you combine this with brushing your teeth and using mouthwash in 24 hours leading up to your test, alongside drinking plenty of water and eating a fatty meal a couple of hours before you have your test, then you shouldn’t have any problems passing a Quest Diagnostics oral swab test.
When it comes to Quest Diagnostics urine sample drug testing, your options are to smuggle in a fake sample or to mask the toxins in advance using a detox drink.
Though it’s easier to mask the toxins with a high-quality detox drink, you’ll only get a handful of hours at most during which are clean, and if you are a really heavy drug user, then there could be so many metabolites in your body that they are leaking into your urine stream before you’ve had time to submit the sample.
Cheating Quest Diagnostics drug test results using fake urine is by far the easiest way to do things. They will remove your bag and coat, make you remove a hat, and they will potentially run their hands around the outside of your body and down your legs to check for smuggled-in samples.
As long as you use high-quality synthetic urine that comes with a slender sample container, and that doesn’t have a bulky heatpad strapped to it, then you can tuck it into your crotch area and they won’t detect it. Then you can go into the submission room, and pour the fake urine into the sample container.
In terms of getting your Quest Diagnostics drug test results, those results will either go straight to the healthcare professional, or to you if you paid for the drug test yourself.
If it’s a pre-employment drug test then the results will go to the company themselves. You will then be told whether you have passed or failed. However, in some instances, I’ve heard about people who have had Quest Diagnostics drug tests and not actually been told if they passed or failed. They are just told they haven’t got the job, but they are not told that it’s because they failed the drug test.
But if you are a drug user, and you are told you haven’t got the job, you can pretty much guess it’s because of the drug test result.