Does a Background Check Include a Drug Test?

WorkDoes a Background Check Include a Drug Test?

A background check is a standard procedure for many employers. It helps employers verify the information submitted by candidates.

Background checks also allow employers to learn more about candidates, which is extremely helpful for hiring the right individual for the position.

Background checks include various details about a candidate, ranging from work history and education to credit history and criminal records. One thing about background checks is that many wonder if they include past drug tests.

Our article will answer whether a background check includes a drug test. We’ll also cover what other information background checks show.

What Do Background Checks Include?

Background checks display various information. Here’s an overview of what a typical background check includes.

However, do note that what employers request usually depends on industry standards and the position. Your background check may not include every component listed below.

  • Criminal History: The criminal record is one of the staples of background checks. It shows past criminal convictions, along with pending charges on federal, state, and local levels.
  • Education: Since many jobs require a degree, most background checks include education verification. It verifies the educational credentials the candidate claims on their resume, including when they graduated.
  • Employment History: Employment history is also a standard component of background checks. Including this in the background check enables employers to verify the candidate’s work history and experience, which is crucial for most positions.
  • Driving Records: For positions that require using a company vehicle, employers may request background checks with the applicant’s driving records. This helps employers find out if the person has had their license suspended in the past, as well as accident records and convictions related to driving.
  • Drug Tests: Depending on the job and the position, the background check may include drug tests. Although this information isn’t always available, as former employers can’t disclose drug test results, you may still find it in a background check.

How Prevalent Are Drug Tests in Background Checks?

The last point above vaguely answers the question whether background checks include a drug test. However, there’s more to discuss about it as this is sensitive information.

The prevalence of a drug test in a background check mostly depends on the industry. For example, industries that prioritize safety, such as operating heavy machinery, almost always include drug tests in the background check.

Additionally, it is common for employers in such industries to perform pre-employment drug tests. These are also common with government jobs of any level to maintain public trust, from law enforcement to postal services.

How to Know if Your Background Check Will Include a Drug Test?

An easy way to tell if your background check will include a past drug test is searching yourself on a reputable people’s search site.

However, you’re likely to come across many that give inaccurate or outdated information. Let’s save you time and point to one of the best.

We recommend using It’s a site where you can search people free of charge, including yourself.

Simply enter your full name and state and let the website scan public databases to find your drug tests. If anything comes up on the results, it will likely appear on your background check.

Since tools like this pull data from public databases, using them is completely legal. However, you can request that your information be removed from the site.

Go to the footer of the website and click ‘Do Not Share My Personal Information.’ Following the instructions on the site, choose what information you want to remove.

Although this won’t delete your drug test result from public databases, it will no longer appear on when another user searches for you.

Don’t Forget Pre-Employment Drug Tests

There isn’t a definitive answer if you’re asking if a background check includes a drug test – it may or may not. It depends on what your employer requests from the background check company.

Even if it is included in your background check, the results of a past drug test don’t always appear on background checks.

However, you’ll need to note that if an employer checks drug test results in their employees’ background checks, they likely will request a pre-employment drug test.

That said, those concerned about drug tests in a background check might have other things to worry about.

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