Navigating Drug Testing in the Workplace: Lessons from High Profile Individuals Comprehensive Screening

22 Nov 2023 | Drugs, Workplace Drug Testing

K-pop star G-Dragon, underwent multiple drug tests following allegations of illegal drug use. He was questioned by police earlier in November, where his rapid urine test came back negative. Subsequently, his hair sample test, conducted around November 20, also tested negative. A day later, tests on his fingernails and toenails, analyzed by the National Forensic Service and reported by Yonhap News Agency, yielded negative results as well. These findings suggest that G-Dragon may not have used drugs in the past year, considering the hair and nail tests’ detection windows of up to 12 and 6 months, respectively. G-Dragon, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, has consistently maintained his innocence amid these allegations, which were initially raised by a 29-year-old female nightclub manager.

Read more about the case here.

What can we learn from this case?

  1. Case Study: Kwon Ji-yong’s Drug Testing
    • Kwon Ji-yong was subjected to urine, hair, and nail tests following allegations of drug use.
    • All tests returned negative results, suggesting no drug use in the previous year.
    • This case highlights the effectiveness of diverse testing methods in providing a clear picture of an individual’s drug use history.
  2. Urine Screening in the Workplace
    • Urine tests are quick and efficient, ideal for initial screening.
    • They detect recent drug use, making them suitable for regular checks in the workplace.
    • However, their limited detection window necessitates the use of complementary testing methods in cases of doubt.
  3. The Role of Hair and Nail Testing
    • Hair tests can detect drug use for up to 12 months, while nail tests cover up to 6 months (depending on the length of specimens).
    • These tests provide a longer historical perspective on drug use.
    • They are crucial for confirming initial urine test results and ensuring accuracy.
  4. Implementing Comprehensive Testing in Professional Environments
    • A combination of urine, hair, and nail testing can effectively deter and detect drug use among employees.
    • It ensures a safe and productive workplace, maintaining the integrity and reputation of the organization.
    • Employers should consider adopting these methods as part of their drug policy for comprehensive risk management.


Hair testing for drug use, while offering a longer detection window and a detailed history of substance use, is notably more expensive than other forms of drug testing like urine analysis. This higher cost often leads organizations to reserve hair testing for specific situations rather than for routine screening. Typically, hair testing is utilized in circumstances where there is a strong suspicion of drug use among employees or when it’s crucial to obtain a comprehensive drug use profile over an extended period.


The case of Kwon Ji-yong demonstrates the reliability of using multiple drug testing methods. In the workplace, such an approach not only ensures compliance with drug-free policies but also supports the health and safety of all employees. As organizations strive to maintain a productive and secure working environment, comprehensive drug testing becomes an invaluable tool.