What Are the Most Common Drugs Used in Pre-Employment Drug Tests?

Editor in Chief

doctor in a white coat and tie stands and holds a plastic container for urine specimen

Pre-employment drug screenings play an important role in protecting your workplace. By implementing a drug screening program, your company can create a safe and productive environment for employees. Drug screenings can help to identify potential drug users and can help to prevent drug-related accidents and injuries. Drug screenings help to create a safe and healthy work environment for employees.

Pre-employment drug tests can screen for a variety of drugs, depending on the employer. These drug screens can rely on a urine test, hair test, oral swab, or blood test. Some of the most common drugs screened for are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and opioids. However, employers can choose to screen for any drug, depending on their workplace policies. By requiring all employees to be screened for drugs before they are hired, you can help to ensure that your workplace is free from the dangers of drug abuse. Keep reading to explore the most common drugs tested for in a pre employment drug test.



Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, and it is also the drug that is most commonly screened for in pre-employment drug tests. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 22 million people in the U.S. have reported marijuana use. Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that can cause memory, learning, and focus problems. It can also lead to addiction. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can stay in the system for days or even weeks after use. This means that someone who has smoked marijuana could still test positive on a drug test for some time.


Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is widely used in the United States. The drug is made from the leaves of the coca plant and can be smoked, injected, or snorted. When it is used, it produces short-term effects such as increased alertness, energy, and feelings of euphoria. It can also cause increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Cocaine use can also lead to feelings of paranoia and anxiety. Cocaine is a schedule II drug, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to dependence. Cocaine can be detected in the urine for up to 72 hours after use. It can also be detected in the saliva for up to 24 hours after use.


Amphetamines are a group of drugs that have a stimulant effect on the central nervous system. This group includes methamphetamine and ecstasy. Amphetamines are often used to increase energy, concentration, and productivity. They are also used as recreational drugs because of the euphoric effect they can produce. Abuse of amphetamines can lead to addiction and a number of negative health effects. They can also lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure. Amphetamines can stay in the system for up to three days after use.



Opioids are a group of powerful drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers like oxycodone and fentanyl. Prescription opioids are generally used to treat pain, but they can also be used for other conditions as well. Opioids can be very addictive, and they can cause a number of serious side effects, including addiction, overdose, and death. Opioids can stay in the system for up to 72 hours after use.

By drug screening potential employees, employers can identify individuals who may be using drugs and make informed decisions about whether to hire them. Drug use can negatively affect employees’ work performance, safety, and ability to interact with others. Pre-employment drug screening is a valuable tool for employers, and it is important to ensure that the process is conducted in a fair and lawful manner.