Substance Abuse Testing

The Substance Abuse Test (SAT) program oversees the statewide substance abuse testing in the workplace. The purpose of the program is to ensure that appropriate and uniform substance abuse test procedures are employed throughout the State, to protect the privacy rights of persons tested, and achieve reliable and accurate results.

Services provided by the SAT program include:

  • Licensure of Medical Review Officers (MRO)
  • Certification of substance abuse testing laboratories in the State of Hawaii
  • Issuance of permit to out of state laboratories certified by SAMHSA to perform substance abuse testing in workplace from the State of Hawaii.
  • Drafting of Administrative Rules on substance abuse testing

Recent developments in substance abuse testing:

Frequently asked questions:

How can I become a MRO in the State of Hawaii?

To qualify for the license, you must present evidence of being a physician licensed to practice medicine in this or another state, and pose knowledge of substance abuse disorders. The term of the license is twenty-four months.

What is the requirement for out of state laboratory to perform workplace substance abuse testing for Hawaii?

  • Any laboratory that is certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) may apply for approval to perform substance abuse tests on samples from the State of Hawaii.
  • Laboratories shall submit to the program a completed application form. Forms are available upon request from the Substance Abuse Test Coordinator.
  • Approved laboratories must use SAMHSA approved methods for testing of samples from Hawaii.
  • Term of the permit for out of state testing laboratory is 12 months.

What does “cutoff level” mean?

“Cutoff level” means that concentration of a substance, established by the director of the Department of Health, in a specimen below which dictates a negative result for that test.

What does “confirmatory test” mean?

“Confirmatory test” means a controlled substance or alcohol test that uses a method of analysis determined by the director of health to be reliable in establishing the identity and quantity of alcohol, drugs, or metabolites of drugs in the specimen.

Can over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs cause positive results?

Yes. However, the MRO will decide, after reviewing the test results, whether the results should be considered positive or negative.