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Drug Screening –
What You Need to Know

Our NowCare Urgent Care Centers offer a variety of services including, but not limited to occupational medicine, drug screening, and DOT physicals.

A drug screen is the testing of a biological sample, such as urine or hair, for the presence of a legal or an illegal drug. While there are several possible uses for drug testing, the most common use is for post-offer screening. Commonly tested drugs include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opioids, and PCP.

A drug screen, also called a drug test, is the collection and analysis of a biological sample, such as blood, urine, hair, or saliva, to evaluate for the presence of chemicals or contaminants left in the body after drug use. Drug screens can also be used to detect performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Drugs include legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco, and well as over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and illegal substances. Various drugs are metabolized by your body at different rates, making the timeframe for detecting certain drugs very specific and vary widely depending on the substance.

Urine drug testing (UDT) is the most common test for drug screens.

When Would I Need a Drug Screen?

Drug screens may be needed for several reasons, the most common being used to enforce workplace safety.

Employers may require a drug screening during these common scenarios:

● For an applicant’s post-offer clearance.
● During employment – an employer may randomly or periodically require drug screening after hiring an employee.
● When drug use is suspected based on signs and symptoms observed in the workplace.
● After an employee has an accident or incident while working.
● For diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder. Drug screens can help determine treatment adherence, monitor abstinence and detect early relapse for individuals with substance use disorders.

Other uses for drug screening include:

Medical testing and diagnostics: People may be tested for drug use to help determine the cause of their symptoms or in emergencies when healthcare providers suspect a potential drug overdose or poisoning.
Legal testing: Drug testing may be required for legal purposes, including collecting potential evidence of a crime, investigating cases of child abuse or endangerment and determining if a person is under the influence of alcohol or other substances while driving.
Monitoring for prescription drug misuse: Your provider may request a drug test to check the amount of the drug in your system if you take a prescription drug with high addiction potential and/or the potential for misuse, such as opioids for pain.
Athletic testing: Drug screens help to test professional athletes for substances considered performance-enhancing.

What Are the Types of Drug Screens?

Urine drug screen (UDS): This is the most common and most popular form of drug screening due to their low cost and simple collection process and requires a sample of your urine. Depending on the type of panel used – a 5-panel or 10-panel urine test, for example – the sample will be evaluated for a specific set of prescription drugs and/or illegal substances. The 5-panel drug screen is used most often by employers.

5-panel urine drug tests screen for:

● Amphetamines
● THC (cannabis, cannabinoids)
● Cocaine
● Opioids
● Phencyclidine (PCP)

The more comprehensive 10-panel urine drug test can detect:

● Amphetamines
● THC (cannabis, cannabinoids)
● Cocaine
● Opioids
● Phencyclidine (PCP)
● Barbiturates
● Benzodiazepines
● Methaqualone
● Methadone
● Propoxyphene

Saliva drug screen: Also known as an oral fluid drug screen, the saliva test uses a less invasive collection process involving a swab of the mouth, which can be self-performed under direct clinical supervision. The drug detection period for saliva is shorter than that associated with other specimen types. This offers an opportunity for employers to differentiate between recent (on-the-job) substance use and prior use.

Blood drug screen: This type of drug test is mainly used by healthcare providers in emergencies. It can also be used to detect alcohol (ethanol) levels and provide a precise level.

Hair follicle drug screen: Hair samples can provide information on substance use over time. Scalp hair has a detection window of three months, while slower-growing body hair has a detection window of up to 12 months. Results vary based on the characteristics of each person’s hair.

Breath drug screen: This test is mainly used to detect recent alcohol consumption, with the result being called a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). Officials use this to estimate a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

What Should I Expect During a Drug Screen?

For a urine sample, you will be directed to void into a clean container provided to you. In some instances, you may be required to provide your urine sample in the presence of a nurse or technician to confirm the sample is physically yours.

For the blood sample, a phlebotomist will draw a small amount of blood from a vein in your arm or hand.

For a hair sample, a technician will collect 90-100 strands of hair from the head close to the scalp. If head hair is limited, body hair may be collected from arms, legs, and chest.

For a breath alcohol test, a technician will instruct the employee to blow a deep lung breath through a tube into a breathalyzer to estimate blood alcohol content.

When Are My Results Available?

The time it takes to receive results of a drug screen varies based on the type of test. However, most results are reportable in 24 to 72 hours. Non-negative results may be longer due to required laboratory confirmation testing.

How Will I Receive My Drug Screen Results?

Typically, results from employer-ordered testing are reported to the employer and results from self-pay personal tests are reported to the patient.

Visit one of our six convenient NowCare Urgent Care Centers for Occupational Health Services
located in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk.

For more information, please contact our Occupational Health Program Manager, Gary Matthews.
Office (757) 424-4300
Cell (757) 944-1653

DOT Physicals –
What You Need to Know

Our NowCare Urgent Care Centers offer a variety of services including, but not limited to occupational medicine, drug screening, and DOT physicals in Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

A DOT physical exam is necessary for any individual planning to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination ensures all commercial drivers meet daily health requirements and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Exam guidelines are overseen by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). DOT exams are provided only by individuals who have been trained and certified by the FMCSA and are usually valid for 24 months.

You need a DOT physical exam if you operate any of the following:

● A motor vehicle for interstate commerce with a gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
● A motor vehicle designed to carry more than 15 people
● You are paid to operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than eight people
● You transport hazardous materials that required your vehicle to be placarded

DOT exams are required for safety. In a DOT Physical, the driver’s vision, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history is evaluated. During a DOT physical, the driver’s vision, hearing, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history is evaluated. This helps ensure that the driver can safely operate a commercial vehicle and does not have certain health conditions which could potentially impact their ability drive safely. The DOT physical exam is made up of different parts:

Vision Test

In a DOT physical, you will be tested for at least 20/40 vision for both eyes. If you wear prescription glasses, bring them with you. You will also be tested on distinguishing various colors with and without your prescription lenses.

Hearing Test

With or without hearing aids, you must be able to hear a forced whisper from less than five feet away.


A urinalysis will be completed to help determine if you have any medical conditions or irregularities that require immediate attention.

Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate

Your blood pressure and pulse rate will be taken to help check for abnormalities and gauge whether you are healthy enough to sit for long periods of time.

Physical Examination

Your physical exam will require testing for:

● General Appearance
● Mouth & Throat
● Lungs & Chest
● Abdomen & Organs
● Vascular System
● Limbs
● Skeletal
● Neurological

The DOT exam is a general overview of your health, so you’ll want to bring anything that you use daily, like glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids. Be prepared to supply documents listing medications administered by doctors in the past month. If you experience a medical disability, you’ll need to supply a medical release form showing physician approval to work with this condition.

CMV drivers with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2) and/or monocular vision must meet specific standards in order to be certified. Diabetic drivers should bring their most recent HgA1C results, as well as blood sugar recording logs.

Visit one of our six convenient NowCare Urgent Care Centers for Occupational Health Services
located in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk.

For more information, please contact our Occupational Health Program Manager, Gary Matthews.
Office (757) 424-4300
Cell (757) 944-1653

Occupational Health Services

For more than thirty years, NowCare Occupational Health Services has proudly served hundreds of Hampton Roads businesses and local municipalities. Our mission is to provide quality, comprehensive, cost-effective, coordinated care to the communities we serve.

NowCare is an interdisciplinary occupational medicine practice with dedicated physicians and medical professionals with incomparable experience in performing post-offer, fit-for-duty, DOT, hazardous materials, and public safety examinations.  We are committed to effective communication and prompt reporting of employee work status to our partners. NowCare remains the region’s preferred workers’ compensation provider based on our expert management of work-related injuries. Our physicians and staff have an unrivaled ability to determine an employee’s capacity to meet the essential tasks of their job requirements and safely return to work. Our goal is to maintain an environment of care that instills trust, respect, confidentiality, and a positive working relationship with every employee of our client. We take pride in developing partnerships that continue to nurture a safe work environment while promoting wellness with our client’s workforce.

Our Services

  • • Injury treatment, follow-up and case management available 7 days per week
  • • NowCare is part of Bayview’s multi-specialty group, making any necessary referrals quick and convenient
  • • Urgent care treatment is a low-cost alternative to comparable emergency room services

Corporate Health & Wellness

  • • Wellness Programs
  • • Health Risk Screenings & Evaluations
  • • Immunizations and Vaccination Management*
  • • PPD Clinics & FLU Clinics
  • • Annual Bio-Metric Screenings*



  • • Medical Review Officer (MRO)
  • • Employee Assistance Program
  • • Medical Directorships
  • • Employee and Supervisor Education / Training
  • • Substance Abuse Program (SAP) recommendations
  • • Random Drug Testing program (Consortium)
  • • DNA testing (available by appointment)

Functional Testing

  • DOT and Non-DOT Physical Exams (DOT-certified provider available during facility operation hours)
  • DOT and Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Collection / Testing (by certified drug screen technicians)
  • • Pre-Placement Functional Testing (including but not limited to treadmill, weight handling functions, sit and reach)
  • • Fitness for Duty Exams
  • • Respirator Fit Testing (Qualitative and Quantitative testing available)
  • • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • • Customized Health and Wellness Programs
  • • Appointments welcome 7 days per week at all locations

Bloodborne Pathogens

  • • Infection Control (consultation)
  • • 24-hour Post Exposure Consultation (retainer fee pricing applies)
  • • Medical Surveillance
  • • Medical Risk Consultations

Substance Abuse Testing


  • DOT / Non-DOT (instant and lab-based available where applicable)
  • • Breath Alcohol Testing
  • • Saliva Swab Testing
  • • Hair Testing
  • • Reasonable Suspicion and For-Cause Testing Onsite
  • • Consortium Services (assisting with your RANDOM testing)
  • • Medical Review Officer Services (MRO)
  • • Substance Abuse Program Guidance

Visit our NowCare Urgent Care Centers for Occupational Health Services

For more information, please contact our Occupational Health Program Manager, Gary Matthews.
Office (757) 424-4300 or Cell (757) 944-1653