Drug tests are used to detect the presence of prescription or illegal drugs in the body. They are used for various reasons: pre-employment, post-accident, sports, legal or forensic purposes, to monitor opioid use, and in treatment.
What is a Standardized Drug Test?
The National Library of Medicine says:
You may have to take a drug test as a condition of your employment, to participate in organized sports, or as part of a police investigation or court case. Your health care provider may order drug screening if you have symptoms of drug abuse. These symptoms include: Slowed or slurred speech, Dilated or small pupils, Agitation, Panic, Paranoia, Delirium, Difficulty breathing, Nausea, Changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm. (NLM)
Different drugs are tested for when a drug screen is warranted. The most common drugs tested for include marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, methamphetamine, steroids, barbiturates, and PCP (phencyclidine).
The Types of Drug Tests Available on the Market
There are several types of drug tests available. The most common type of drug screen used is urine testing. It is cheap, convenient, and some tests provide near-instant results. Urine tests will detect drug metabolites in the urine if a person has used any drugs. If there are any discrepancies when an instant-read test has been done, the sample can be sent off to the lab for confirmation. Detection times with urine tests vary depending on what substance was used, how much was used, and for what length of time.
How Does a Salvia Drug Test Work?
Oral fluid or saliva testing is another test sometimes used. A mouth swab is used to collect a saliva sample from the individual. Saliva tests are cheap, easy to administer, and can be observed, making it hard to cheat. Unlike urine drug screens, saliva tests are hard to tamper with. These samples do have to be sent to a lab for screening and confirmation. With oral testing, extremely recent drug use can be detected. Any use ranging from a few minutes anywhere up to 48 hours so that these tests can be very beneficial.
How Easy is it to Obtain Hair Follicle Tests?
Hair follicle testing is another method of drug testing. This type of testing is non-invasive and easy to obtain. For a hair follicle test, a 1.5-inch piece of hair is extracted from the person. The piece of hair is then sent off to a lab for screening. Hair follicle tests are not good for detecting recent drug use. However, they are good if the tester is looking for a history of drug use. Hair tests can detect substance use between four to five days before 90 days after use. Breathalyzers are used to detect the presence of alcohol in the bloodstream. Breathalyzer testing is yet another type of test. An individual blows into a sterile tube and the results are shown immediately. Breathalyzers are used by law enforcement officials daily for DUI detection.
Are Blood Tests the Most Accurate?
Blood testing, the most invasive yet most accurate form of drug testing. These tests have to be done at a lab by a licensed phlebotomist. Blood tests can detect alcohol use for up to 24 hours after a person has drunk, and they can also detect: marijuana (THC), opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamines, and even nicotine. Drug tests must be done properly to avoid contaminating any specimen that is collected. Some tests, especially urine tests, can produce false-positive results. Anytime a false-positive result is suspected, further testing should be done. It’s also important to know that if you test positive for any legal drug you have a valid prescription for, an employer cannot penalize you unless the drug affects your ability to do your job safely and correctly.
Treatment for Drug Addiction At Evoke Wellness at Miramar
If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction issue, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers cutting-edge addiction treatment. We are committed to helping you build a foundation for long-term recovery. You don’t have to continue to suffer. Your story isn’t over! We are available around the clock and all calls are free and confidential. Call one of our addiction specialists today and let us help you start your road to recovery.