Author: John Carter

Drug Test: What It Is, Purpose, Procedure & Types

how to drug test

Additionally, your test results will take longer when you consider the added shipping and travel time. If you visit a pharmacy aisle or shop online for an at-home drug test, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options that are available. Here are some key features to look for to ensure you get the most effective test for you or a loved one. When buying an at-home test, read the labels carefully to ensure you’re buying the correct one for your testing needs.

Today, you can find CBD in everything from massage oil extracts, to skin lotions, to gummy bears, and it is easily accessible online or at stores. It is also the primary ingredient in the prescription medication Epidiolex, used to treat seizures in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. If your test is coming up sooner, certain detoxification drinks are known to flush your system the same day you drink them keeping you clean for a period of four to six hours.

how to drug test

Any credible drug screening program will involve a two-step process. The time it takes to get the results of a drug test varies based on the reason for the test (for example, if it’s for an emergency or employment screening) and the type of drug test. At-home drug tests can detect the presence of certain drugs in your urine or saliva, but they aren’t specific about the level of those drugs in your system. If a company or organization requires a person to take a 10-panel drug test, they will generally give them notice of about 24 hours. Some professions may require the person to agree to random drug testing where they have little to no knowledge of the test beforehand. 10-panel drug tests will also test for cocaine and other drugs containing cocaine, such as freebase or crack cocaine.

Knowing Common Drug Testing Circumstances

The FDA also maintains a searchable list of FDA-cleared at-home tests. If you wish to have these features included in your test, the cost will likely be higher than a traditional test kit. If the test’s steps seem too difficult to follow or you’re concerned that you won’t be able to accurately collect the sample, you may wish to choose another test or test type. But with the benefits and convenience of these tests also come some drawbacks.

  1. For this reason, using more than one test at different times of the day or week can usually help if you’re getting a positive test result for you or a loved one.
  2. If benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine is detected, the person cannot claim that the result is a false positive due to Novocaine or any other “-caine” type of drug.
  3. Regardless, you’ll likely have more time to detoxify before a retest, although that retest may be stricter and more closely monitored.
  4. Some at-home drug tests will identify a single substance, and some tests can even detect around 14 or more substances at one time.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be asked to identify medications or supplements you’re taking. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. By Jaime R. Herndon, MS, MPHJaime Herndon is a freelance health/medical writer with over a decade of experience writing for the public. Drug testing may be scheduled ahead of time or done randomly without notice.

Blood drug testing

It does not indicate that the person has never used the drugs or that they will not use the drugs in the future. Another important fact to note is that a 10-panel drug test will not tell if the person is currently on the drug. The tests measure byproducts in the body that come from breaking down the drug, so they cannot detect how much of the drug is circulating in the body. Legal rules vary from state to state where marijuana is now legal for recreational or medical use. Also, as marijuana stays in the system over a prolonged period of time, the employee may use marijuana legally, but be drug tested at a later time and test positive. During the laboratory evaluation, strict chain-of-custody practices and standards are followed to prevent adulteration of the sample.

As you probably already know, everyone’s body reacts differently to marijuana use. Main factors include when you last partook, how often, potency, body fat, weight, and metabolism. Drug testing can be an emergency test, a scheduled test or it may be conducted randomly (for example, to meet ongoing employment requirements). When purchasing at-home drug test kits, you should look for tests that are authorized for use in the United States and have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This consideration will often depend on the purpose for the drug test.

In some instances, you may need to provide your urine sample in the presence of a nurse or technician to make sure that the sample did indeed come from you. For example, marijuana will typically cause you to test positive within 1 to 3 hours after use and then for up to 7 days afterward. How long a drug will or won’t show in a urine test depends on the drug type you’re testing for. You will be told to wash your hands and clean the genital area with the given cleansing cloth. Begin urinating, and then place the collection cup under the urine stream, collecting at least 1 or 2 ounces. Remove the cup, finish urinating, and give the sample to the lab technician.

Who are the companies that perform drug testing?

Many administrators prefer to use urine tests because of the accuracy and simplicity of the process. The collector usually takes a 100 gram sample of hair (100 to 120 strands) cut close to the scalp. This method lessens the risk for hair adulteration or substitution, as the sample is collected in full view of the lab personnel. You may need this testing for court-ordered treatment programs, as a term of probation or while participating in a substance use disorder treatment program. The shelf life will depend on the manufacturer’s guidelines and can vary from test to test.

If you are a regular user, marijuana can stay in your blood and urine as long as 90 days after usage. On average, most people in good health can usually get clean in days. If you smoked once over the weekend with a friend, for example, pot can be out of your system in as little as two days, although on average it can take up to 10 days. Most other drugs can stay in your system for a few days up to a month in extreme cases. Drugs include legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco, as well as over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and illegal substances. A single drug test can’t determine the frequency and intensity of substance use and, thus, can’t distinguish casual substance use from substance use disorders.

However, blood analysis often has a short period of detection, as many illicit drugs are metabolized quickly and eliminated from the body. Drugs in urine can usually be detected in a one to three day time period. However, workplace drug testing is now common in general for many U.S. employers to lessen the impact from drug abuse, safety concerns, and low productivity in the workplace. In the end, if we had to take a drug test (which we don’t) and were habitual drug abusers (which we swear we’re not), we’d stop using for the time being and try our best to flush our systems. You’re not physically altering your urine with an additive, and you’re not passing in a sample you made with a chemistry set or that you got from a drug-free friend.

Frequently asked questions about at-home drug tests

If you’re considering testing for a wide variety of drugs, you may wish to opt for a urine test. While reading or reaction times for each test type can vary, most tests will show results within 5 minutes of coming in contact with urine or saliva. Hair follicle tests work because there are blood vessels in hair that drugs can pass through. Any drug use is “recorded” in the hair for up to 90 days, although it can take about seven to 10 days for drug use to show up in the hair. Some of these may lead to a false positive, so the staff should know about them ahead of time. Follow the specific instructions given to you, and don’t overhydrate.

A saliva test can detect marijuana for up to 24 hours after using it. Substances like cocaine, morphine, or heroin can be present up to 36 hours after taking them. One of the longest windows of time where these drugs can be detectable is in hair for up to 90 days. The test is often used for employment screening, but it also is useful in other scenarios.

As the name suggests, a 10-panel drug tests will test the person for 10 different types of drugs. These are most of the drugs people commonly abuse, including both street and prescription drugs. One advantage to rapid tests is that they provide a screening result within 4 hours on average.