Social Workers

Programs for Social Workers

The programs we have developed for social workers are also a valuable monitoring and intervention tool for probation officers and others involved in law enforcement.

The programs include both urine and hair follicle testing. With urine, we can test for Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Methadone, Codeine, Morphine, Heroin, Phencyclidine, Propoxyphene and Alcohol. There are other less-common drugs that we can test for upon special request. With hair, we can test for Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Morphine, Heroin, and Phencyclidine. Upon special request, we can also test the hair for Alcohol and Oxycodone.

We can conduct hair tests that cover the time periods 0-3 months prior to the date of collection; 4-6 months prior to the date of collection; 7-9 months prior to the date of collection; and 10-12 months prior to the date of collection. We cannot test for a time period that is less than three months in length and the hair must be at least 1.5 inches long at the back of the head near the crown in order for us to conduct the standard three month test. We require longer hair in order to go back further than three months.

All urine and hair samples are tested at an accredited forensic laboratory. All urine samples that screen positive are confirmed through Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). All hair samples that screen positive are confirmed through Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS/MS).

When Urine Testing is Recommended

Urine testing is recommended if you want to know if your client used a particular drug within the past couple of days. Urine testing is also recommended as part of a monitoring or maintenance program to see if your client is keeping clean on a week-by-week basis, or to ensure that your client is actually taking their methadone.

When Hair Testing is Recommended

Hair testing is recommended if your client has successfully evaded a requested urine test and the suspected drug would now be gone from the urine. Hair testing is also recommended if your client has been on urine testing but you have reasons to believe the client may have cheated on their tests. Hair testing is also a cost-effective option for maintenance testing to ensure that a client is staying clean.

One Time Testing Versus Random Testing

A one time test means that your client has been referred for one single test. Hair test referrals are always one time tests. Urine test referrals may be one time tests.   Social workers who refer their client for a one time test will receive written notification if the client does not attend their test.

A random referral means that the client is being referred for a series of surprise random urine tests. The social worker can choose how many tests to schedule over a certain period of time (the custom program) or the worker can choose from one of three programs that include a pre-set number of tests over a specified time period. Social workers who refer their client for random testing will receive a weekly progress report regarding the client’s compliance with the program.

The Role of the Medical Review Officer

We strongly recommend that social workers utilize the services of a Certified Medical Review Officer to assist them with interpretation of drug screen results. Our Medical Review Officers provide phone-based consultations, written reports, and in-court testimony. For further details and prices, please email Traci Weaver at tweaver@denninghealth.ca.

How to Get Started

If you are a social worker, probation officer or other professional involved in law enforcement, and if you would like to receive a referral package and information sheets that include a complete list of collection sites in British Columbia, please email drugtestinfo@denninghealth.ca or call Marnie Johnson at 604-572-4558.