Photo - At the ribbon cutting ceremony for IDTS, owner Diana Hall, right, explains to chamber Vice Chair Membership Services Marcela Coe the benefits that the mobile breathalyzer offers Hall’s clients.
Identifying a need, personal passion inspire new business
Drug testing services available through local company
By Emily Rice, Chamber Intern
According to Quest Diagnostics, studies suggest that substance abuse, which includes drug and alcohol, cost the United States an estimated $276 billion a year, with much of the cost resulting from lost work productivity and increased healthcare expense.
Diana Hall spent six years in the healthcare industry as a medical assistant. She saw a need for independent drug testing in this area, and in January, she and her husband Alan opened Independent Drug Testing Services of East Texas.
She researched this endeavor and made important connections for one year before she “took the dive” she said. Leaving a full-time job and opening her own business was scary but after realizing how she could really help people, Hall’s passion only increased. This passion has helped her market and expands her business, and she expects, will shape her into a pillar of the community.
“After working for a doctor’s office here in town, I noticed that you had to do a search for drug testing, and no one was willing to do it anytime,” said Hall. “People get hurt on the job at all times of the day, and they need to be drug tested.”
Unlike some drug testing facilities, IDTS will test anytime of day or night. And IDTS will do on-site testing. This is particularly important for 24-hour businesses or if an accident should happen outside regular business hours. It is important to get those involved in the incident tested as soon as possible to rule out drug or alcohol impairment, and IDTS is always ready to be there.
Diana and Alan keep important testing supplies with them at home, so they are ready to go at a moment’s notice.
“Knowing the laws and rules and making sure certifications are up to date, we feel we can do an honest and accurate job,” said Hall.
IDTS is up-to-date on the latest drug trends and testing procedures. All IDTS employees are DOT Certified for Urine Collection, Hair Follicle Certified and Breath-Alcohol Technician Certified. Hall is a registered medical assistant and a notary public.
IDTS recently acquired a state-of-the-art breathalyzer that employees can request to test an employee after an accident. Diana and Alan expect to use this more in the future when working with law enforcement.
Nacogdoches Medical Center, Child Protective Services, Nacogdoches I.S.D. bus barn and many more local businesses call IDTS when drug testing is needed. Hall said that “once my business takes off, I want to work with other organizations that benefit our community. I am already working with the Governor’s office with the push to test individuals on food stamps.”
Future plans looks very bright for IDTS. They are hoping to offer background checks, fingerprinting, blood and DNA testing in the future.
Diana and Alan intend to employ up to seven people in the Nacogdoches/Lufkin area. There is potential beyond Nacogdoches and Angelina Counties, but “I want to be sure everyone is taken care of here, first, before I expand,” said Hall.
Nationally, some high school students are subject to drug testing. While some may consider that to be extreme, Hall sees how it can be truly beneficial for our youth.
“I want to be there for the parents. We are trying to keep these kids out of so much trouble and on the right path,” Hall said. “I want to help their mentors that are staying drug free.”
Hall believes that drug testing is essential in the fight to keep our young people safe. As a grandmother of three, Hall’s passion for this industry is rooted in her love of children and young people. She wants to create a stronger community and a better future for her kids. The old saying ‘kids will be kids,’ simply does not apply when dealing with drugs and alcohol.
“Drug testing keeps these kids from experimenting with drugs and making costly life decisions,” she said. “It encourages teens, as well as adults, to stay clean and safe. If they are dealing with addiction, testing will identify them so that they can take the first steps towards recovery.”
Hall feels like a great success after only seven months of business. She has seen incredible growth in her clientele and already has more promised business in the near future.
“I want my clients to feel cared for and I will meet or beat anybody’s prices,” she said. “I want people to know that we are honest, we run an honest business, and that is something you need in this field,” said Hall.
“Independent Testing Services is very personable with the community. They listened to what we needed and provided a service that was above and beyond,” said Gay Thomas, owner of Hopkins Towing and Recovery. “It is important that we have our employees tested in the event of an accident. There wasn’t anyone nearby that would test at any time needed and Diana is ready to test on the spot.”
Independent Drug Testing Services of East Texas is located at 5021 Justin St., Ste. C, Nacogdoches, TX 75965. Contact phone number is (936) 205-9846.