What Is Drug Testing?

Drug Testing is the procedural examination of urine, blood, sweat, hair and oral fluids for traces of drugs ingested by the human body. These tests can screen for one or several drugs simultaneously.

Drug testing is common for cannabinoids (marijuana, hashish), cocaine, amphetamines, opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine), phencyclidine, methadone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy). These commonly tested drugs are the most abused and most accessible to drug users, as well as being very dangerous. After extensive use they have side effects of long term mental and physical illnesses.

The person being tested should know that there are different detection periods of these drugs. Oral fluid or saliva drug testing can detect drugs for a maximum period of 24 to 36 hours. It can take up to 6 to 8 hours to detect drugs after they have been used when analyzing a urine sample, therefore, urine tests are not commonly performed while a person is found to be in a drug-induced state. Drugs can be detected in the hair from 5 days to twelve weeks after ingesting or using the drug.

People undergo drug testing for various reasons. These reasons may be personal or not. They may suspect that a loved one is engaging in drug use or it may be their employers who require it of them. It should be noted that no one can obtain any samples from them without their explicit agreement or without being aware of the policies of the school they attend or the company they work for. A person has the right to refuse if they think that it is not a requirement of their job or current position.

In order to have the drug testing done, the person provides a specimen, usually urine, either on-site or at a hospital or drug screening clinic. Sometimes it is necessary to pay for the service if it is a requirement of the company's or school drug testing policy.

In the laboratory, two types of detection methods are used when drug testing. A preliminary screen drug test is done on all samples received in the laboratory. If the screening test is negative no further test is done. The second test if needed is known as the confirmation test.

In the screening test, EMIT, ELISA and RIA are the most common methods used. EMIT, Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique, screens for drugs found in urine and blood. ELISA, Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay, used in the field of immunology detects the presence of an antibody or antigen in a specimen. RIA, Radioimmunoassay, is extremely sensitive and detects minute amounts of a substance. Both ELISA and RIA are used on blood specimens.

The confirmation test is used to confirm the presumptive positive results of the preliminary screen. This test will use use either GC/MS (Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry) or LC/MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography / Tandem Mass Spectrometry) to validated the results with a quantitative amount for each of the substances.

Drug testing is not a mandatory law. It is the choice of the person whether to subject themselves to a drug test, however if it is required of them, it is better to comply than to attempt to avoid it as this will only bring the person under closer scrutiny.

Using Home Drug Testing Kits

Using home kits has never been easier or more convenient. You can test yourself without the nuisance of going to a hospital or drug clinic and in the privacy of your own home..

Home drug testing kits just take a few minutes and you can get your test results instantly. You can be assured that the home test kits are safe, accurate and easy to understand.

After buying the drug testing kit of your choice, make sure that it states what drugs it detects and what kind of sample you need. There are kits that only detect for one drug and others that detect several drugs. Test kits that can detect multiple drugs are the ones used most often.

Different drug kits for home drug testing use are made for specific sample types. For urine samples, drug kits use the dip stick or cup method. This is effective for short-term drug use only. Saliva tests are used for short-term illegal drug use detection. The saliva test is one of the methods that parents can use in determining whether their children are using drugs or not. Hair samples are used to give an in-depth and detailed drug history since hair follicles can retain traces of drugs used for up to 90 days. Here are some frequently asked questions about hair drug testing.

Samples used for Drug testing

After obtaining the drug testing kit, you are ready to give a sample that comes from you for the test. If the kit you bought requires you to give a urine sample, then the best way to collect urine is catching it midstream. This is considered the most clean and least contaminated part of urine. For saliva samples, you have to do a swab between your lower cheek and gum or collect a saliva specimen in a cup.

Hair follicle test samples are collected by cutting a section of hair from the head of the donor and placing it in the collection kit. Detection of drugs by using a hair follicle sample is done in a laboratory because there are no kits that can analyze the hair follicles for drugs at home. We provide hair follicle sample collection kits that include all lab fees and return postage to the lab.

Drug testing using hair samples is the most accurate of all methods because laboratory grade equipment is used not only to screen the sample for positive results but to also provide you with a 90 day drug history with the quantitative amounts of the drugs that were used.

Urine tests are the least expensive of the three and is the most commonly used sample for analysis. The urine is collected in a specimen cup or in a specimen cup and is normally sealed and then screened for the different drug metabolites.

Saliva tests are generally more expensive than urine testing. This is a less intrusive method of specimen collection compared to urinalysis. It is also easy to collect and analyze the drugs by using the oral fluid sample. The saliva test can detect more recent uses of drugs unlike other testing methods. This is more reliable when detecting for methamphetamine and opiates but it is not a good detector of marijuana.

Hair tests are much more expensive than urine and saliva tests and not invasive at all. Hair tests are not affected by a brief abstinence from drug usage.

Urine, saliva and hair specimens are the preferred samples for drug testing but there are alternatives. Other methods that are used less frequently for detecting drugs are obtaining blood and sweat samples.

These drug tests can be used as an employment hiring practice or for current employees as well as for a family member if a confirmation of drug use is necessary.