An Overview On Drug Testing

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There are several different types of drug testing options available nowadays, and the specific type selected will depend on certain factors, as will provide varying levels of detail regarding one’s drug use. Basic drug tests commonly offered by most companies test for drugs in the following five categories: cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines (excluding MDMA/MDA/MDE), opiates and phencyclidine. Drugs can be tested for using an individual’s urine, blood, hair, saliva, and/ or sweat. The most common method of testing is the urine test. This is due to its low cost and the fact that it is minimally invasive for the individual being tested.  

Urine Drug Testing 

Urine testing is the most common form of drug testing, as it is one of the least intrusive tests. It has the ability to show the presence of a drug in one’s system once its effects have worn off (though the length of time will differ depending on the drug). The cost for a home version of this test ranges from seven dollars to fifty dollars, depending on the brand. The home tests can often require lab verification for more accurate results. Most urine tests are successful in detecting drug use, from the five basic categories, within a week of use and occasionally longer depending on the frequency of one’s use.

Blood Drug Testing 

Blood testing is one of the more invasive types of drug tests available. It is the most accurate option for drug testing. It is also amongst the most expensive drug testing options available. Blood testing is the form of drug test most commonly required in accident investigations, when possible. Though, for example, cannabinoids can be seen for up to six hours after ingestion, blood testing is best when used to detect current intoxication. As after twenty-two hours cannabinoids are not detectable in one’s blood. Due to its cost, most likely, this method is the least commonly used drug test.  Additionally, there is very little possibility of a blood test being adulterated.

Hair Drug Testing

Hair follicle testing is used to determine long-term drug use. It has the ability to detect drug use as far back as ninety days, and in some cases longer. Hair testing is much more expensive than urine testing. It can cost between one hundred dollars to one hundred and fifty dollars. It is beneficial in that it is able to detect substance use over a longer period of time than that of a urine test. It is, however, unable to detect use within the past week of testing. Similar to urine testing, hair testing is also considered to be a relatively less invasive method.

Saliva Drug Testing

Saliva drug testing, also known as a mouth swab test, saliva drug tests show the presence of drugs in one’s system, but can only detect drug use from at most three days prior. Typically the cost of a saliva drug test runs from fifteen dollars to seventy-five dollars, depending on the testing site. Much like the urine test, this is considered to be a relatively less intrusive drug testing method. It is primarily used to test current intoxication and drug use within a couple of days of the test. Saliva tests are easy to administer, but require a lab to process the test in order to ensure accuracy. This method is most reliable for detection of methamphetamine and opiates, and is less reliable for THC or cannabinoids.

Perspiration Drug Testing (Sweat Patch Tests)

Though relatively uncommon, there are now sweat patch tests that can identify one’s drug use. This is considered to be a more intrusive drug test because it requires an individual to wear a patch for an extended period of time. The accuracy of sweat patch tests is controversial. The patch is meant to gather one’s perspiration over a specific time period and it is then tested for the presence of drugs. Due to the fact that the skin patch is worn over an extended period of time and is gathering sweat, it not uncommon for any drug use during the time when the patch is worn to produce a positive result.

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one.

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