Does UPS Drug Test?

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

March 24, 2022

UPS drug test

It’s your right to chill out and relax with certain recreational drugs when you aren’t at work. However, not all employers see it that way. But what is the drug testing situation if you are an employee at the shipping company UPS?

There are mixed comments online about whether employees at UPS get drug-tested. Given that many employees’ jobs involve driving, random drug testing strikes as a logical company policy. Arriving at work under the influence of alcohol or drugs could cause problems. Employees involved in accidents will get screened for drug use.

In this post, I’ll take a deep dive into drug testing at UPS. We’ll look at what people have said about UPS and drug tests, who is most likely to get tested, and how different tests work. I also know a few sneaky tricks that help with passing a test.

Who is UPS?

United Parcel Service (UPS) is one of the world’s best-known shipping and logistics companies. I’m sure you have had parcels delivered by UPS couriers! 

Founded in 1907 by James E. Casey, UPS enjoys a multinational presence and has an annual revenue of nearly $85 billion – more than FedEx and DHL! The company has an astonishing 534,000 employees worldwide, working in various departments. 

Drug Testing at UPS

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Like most employers, UPS keeps quiet on how it utilizes drug testing. They don’t want to give the game away with a defined policy, as that makes it easier for prospective employees to cheat the system.

I’ve heard conflicting reports about the drug testing set-up at UPS, but I am in no doubt that they have one. As a company with thousands of couriers, UPS needs a mechanism in place to ensure those drivers are sober!

Your likelihood of getting drug tested probably depends on your position within the organization. If you are a part-time package handler working at a warehouse, I doubt you’ll be required to take a test. But if you are a driver, then you likely will be.

Package handlers

Indeed, this post on the UPS subreddit suggests as much. Some users joked about how most part-time package handlers would get fired if UPS had a stringent drug testing policy. One person claimed that the company only tests new employees.

Another Redditor, /u/HowlingWolven, bluntly assessed that if you don’t show up to work hungover or high, “you’ll be fine.” Surprisingly, some said that drug tests don’t necessarily take place even if you are involved in an accident.

Interestingly, the UPS Indeed webpage hints at an uptick in drug tests for package handlers in recent years. But again, with so many conflicting views, it’s tricky to draw decisive conclusions. 

UPS may even be pushing the idea of increased testing as a psychological ploy to create a cleaner workforce. Also, there may not be a standardized policy across warehouses – each facility could have a different approach to drug testing.

If you are applying for a job as a UPS package handler, don’t dismiss the possibility of a drug test. It may be worth staying clean in the run-up to starting at UPS, as it seems you’re most likely to get tested when you start working there.

Drivers

Unsurprisingly, UPS is more rigorous in ensuring its drivers are clean. Employees need a specific type of license before they can begin driving for UPS – you need more skills to drive a truck than your average road car!

When out on the road, other people’s lives are in your hands. The last thing UPS wants is one of their drivers getting involved in an accident and causing a fatality.

But from scouring several Reddit posts, even several UPS drivers claim they have never had to take a drug test. Like with package handlers, perhaps each UPS facility handles drug testing differently.

However, any driver that has a road accident working for UPS will be tested. Your sobriety at the time of the incident influences whether you are entitled to worker’s compensation. It won’t be a good look if you have a car crash and are then found to have THC or alcohol in your system.

Furthermore, many UPS drivers say the pay is good enough to cut out the drugs. And if you want to keep partaking during your downtime, at least make sure you don’t arrive at work stoned or drunk – that’s asking for trouble.

Managers

Anybody working in a managerial position at UPS should prepare for random drug testing. If you are managing people, you are much more essential to UPS’ profits than a courier or a package handler. They will want to make sure you are fit for work.

As with other roles, drug testing is most likely to occur when you first start in the position. That’s not to say you won’t get tested in the future if you provide a clean sample, but the chances probably go down somewhat.

However, that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels and turn up for your shift hungover or spaced out. If you intend on using drugs out of work, keep things discreet. 

And have a plan you can put into action if slapped with a dreaded random drug test. I’ll be talking more later about how detoxing products and synthetic urine can tip the odds of a clean test in your favor.

Types of Drug Tests Used by UPS

Many drivers working at UPS speak of a DOT physical and a 5-panel urine test. The DOT check-up ensures you are up to the physical demands of driving for UPS (i.e., that you can sit for long periods and that you have quick reaction times).

The 5-panel urine test is the standard drug screening choice for most employers – these can detect marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, and PCP. It’s less than a 9-panel test, but it’s reliable and cost-effective.

Saliva samples (aka mouth swabs) have become more widespread. They are efficient, less invasive than urine samples, and employers can sometimes conduct the tests on-site. I can’t confirm if UPS uses them, but they are a viable option.

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UPS does not use hair follicle tests, which is good news. Nobody wants to lo se more than 100 hairs from their head, and these tests can spot drug use from several months ago. 

Hair tests aren’t that useful for many employers – a former weed smoker could be clean for several weeks but still test positive. Businesses are practical. They know some folks use drugs, and they can’t afford to set the employment bar too high.

Blood tests aren’t part of UPS’ standard drug testing policy, but expect one if you are in an accident. Unlike other tests, blood samples identify whether you were on drugs at the time, which would affect your entitlement to compensation.

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How Long do Different Drugs Stay in Your System?

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Since we know UPS screens employees with 5-panel urine tests, I will concentrate on the specific drugs they cover. I’ll also talk about mouth swabs.

Marijuana

Urine tests can pick up cannabis use for around 30 days. Heavy users may have detectable levels of THC metabolites for even longer. More encouragingly, saliva samples can only detect marijuana use for 48 hours or so.

Opiates

Different opiates stay in your system for various lengths of time. Heroin remains detectable in urine for seven days, but codeine and fentanyl metabolites disappear within 48 hours.

Saliva tests can detect heroin and codeine for five hours and four days respectively. Mouth swabs do not produce reliable results for fentanyl use.

Cocaine

Cocaine has a reputation for clearing your system rapidly. Your urine will be clean within 72 hours and mouth swabs can no longer detect cocaine after two days. The detection window may be slightly longer for heavy users.

Amphetamines

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Adderall, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, and other amphetamine stimulants remain detectable in urine and saliva for roughly five days. Methamphetamines such as crystal meth can linger in urine for more than a week and saliva for about four days.

PCP

PCP drugs like Angel Dust stay detectable in urine for up to 14 days. However, the detection time with mouth swabs reduces to a swift 48 hours.

But I have a prescription…

There’s no reason to fret if you have a medical prescription for opiates, amphetamines, or any other drugs that may cause a positive test. 

Companies use these tests to detect illicit drug use. Have your prescription handy in case you need to verify your circumstances. I recommend being open with your employer before taking the test so that a positive result won’t come as a shock.

CBD Products and Drug Tests

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Hemp-derived CBD products don’t get you high, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fail a drug test from them. That might go against what you have heard about CBD products, which have boomed in recent years. Allow me to explain.

The CBD cannabinoid will not trigger a positive drug test. It’s a significantly different substance to THC. While both are cannabinoids, THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol – it’s the latter that standard drug tests look for.

However, manufacturers make CBD products with various types of hemp extract. Indeed, full-spectrum or whole-plant CBD tincture oils, e-liquids, concentrates, and other products can legally have up to 0.3% THC. That won’t get you high, but it could show up on a test.

I’m not saying all full-spectrum CBD usage makes a failed test inevitable. Your product could have minimal amounts of THC, or the drug test may have a high THC metabolite threshold. However, the potential for a failed test is there.

The only research I could find on the issue suggests that regular use of a product with as little as 0.02% THC could make you fail. If that bears out in future studies, products that barely meet legal requirements might be risky.

Instead of dicing with drug tests by taking full-spectrum CBD, I suggest purchasing CBD-isolate products. Sure, you miss out on the minor cannabinoids and the entourage effect, but these products will relieve you of any drug test anxiety.

While we are talking hemp, I better mention that delta-8, delta-10, HHC, and THC-O products can also cause positive drug tests. Unfortunately, all these substances bear too close a resemblance to THC, hence why drug tests can pick them up.

How to Pass a Drug Test

You can pass a drug test by not taking illicit substances – but I know you didn’t come here for that answer! If you are in a jam and need a reliable drug test solution, help is at hand. You could detox naturally, dabble with a detox product, or use fake urine.

Natural methods

Urine tests have drug thresholds, meaning you won’t test positive if you only have trace amounts of a substance in your system. You can use this to your advantage by upping your water intake before providing a urine sample.

Diluting your urine with water will lower the concentration of drug metabolites in your system. While that won’t guarantee a clean test, it’s an easy and legal trick that will make a positive difference.

Detoxing

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Detox products are big business nowadays, with drinks and mouthwashes highly sought-after among those faced with urine or saliva tests. Sadly, not all these products work, and they only remain effective for a limited period.

Synthetic urine

detoxify instant cleanse

With the right synthetic urine product, you can make a mockery of drug tests. Fake urine doesn’t have any drug metabolites in it, but the sample still needs to pass as genuine urine. Some work, others don’t.

Laboratories have cottoned onto the emergence of synthetic urine and have upped their game to sniff them out. But the best fake pee manufacturers have also improved the quality of their products to stay ahead of the testers.

Synthetic urine products are high risk and high reward. If you decide to give one a whirl, read the instructions closely!

Providing a fake urine sample is more difficult with a supervisor present, but it’s not impossible. With a prosthetic penis device, you can make your big moment look completely authentic! 

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