In order to help prevent any misunderstandings that may affect your merchant mariner credential, the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan Medical Department offers the following brief review of a few of the federal rules related to drug test collections.
- You have up to three hours to provide an acceptable urine specimen. Do not schedule a test for a day and time if you don’t have three hours available to stay at the clinic if needed.
- The collection process usually starts when you are taken into the back to provide a sample. You cannot leave until the collector says that the sample is acceptable.
- You must follow the collector’s directions. Leaving prior to providing an acceptable specimen, being unable to provide one within the three-hour timeframe without a medical explanation, or interfering with the collector constitutes a refusal to test. Refusal to test may result in action by the U.S. Coast Guard as if there had been a positive test.
In summary, pick your appointment time so you can stay as long as needed, do not interfere with the collector and, most importantly, follow the collector’s instructions.