Dear Just Ask Judy:

“My client would like to improve its drug screening process. What can I do to help them make this necessary step more efficient and cost-effective?” … Open-Minded in Oregon


Dear Open-Minded in Oregon:

Because illegal drugs and substance abuse can do such harm to your business, drug screening is critically important. The drug screening process, however, can be very disruptive to an organization, can cause delays and loss of productivity, and can be unnecessarily costly. With new hires wanting to get started and work needing to get done, the traditional method of sending the applicant to a drug screening clinic stands in the way of making progress! Does the applicant actually go to the clinic? Do they get this done promptly? Is the job suffering while you wait for the results? All these issues accompany the traditional drug screening process.


To explore how this process can be improved, I called Tracie Butterfield, owner, and CEO of Butterfield Onsite Drug Testing. Tracie’s firm offers 24/7 drug testing: at the workplace, post-accident, randomized, and pre-employment. Tracie was kind enough to share with me the advantages of using an onsite drug testing firm rather than a traditional clinic.


Tracie noted that mobile drug testing which performs the tests onsite, eliminates the uncertainties of the traditional method. The new hire does not have to travel on their own time to a clinic, is tested on the job site, and is able to become productive sooner. The employer has the added assurance that the appropriate tests are carried out and that the results truly represent the applicant. Onsite testing is more convenient for both the employer and the employee. The nominal cost of onsite testing is easily offset by the disruptive effects and productivity losses due to conventional clinic-based testing.


I quizzed Tracie on the impact of recent laws legalizing recreational marijuana. She explained that THC, the substance that’s primarily responsible for the effects of marijuana on a person’s mental state, is very important to be tested for regardless of legal status and there are various methods which provide time-specific indicators of when the exposure occurred. Tracie recommended that an appropriate testing method be used and that under no circumstances that testing be eliminated altogether.


I appreciate very much Tracie describing to us the benefits of using onsite testing and suggest that you contact her directly to find out how she can help you with your drug screening needs! She can be reached at or at 503-925-8428.


Don’t let drug screening impact your business!


NAPS Harold B. Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award Winner