What is a drug test?

A drug test inspects for the presence of one or more illegal or prescription drugs in your urine, blood, saliva, or hair. Urine and saliva testing is the most common type of drug screening. The drugs that are most often tested for includes: 
  • Marijuana 
  • Opioids; Heroin, Codeine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Hydrocodone, and Fentanyl
  • Amphetamines; Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Steroids

The other terms for drug tests are Drug Screen, Drug of abuse Testing, Substance abuse testing, toxicology screen, tox screen, employment testing, point of care testing. 

What are drug test typically use for? 

Drug screening can be used for a lot of reasons from a concerned mom about his teenager son or daughter to an employer testing for an job application. 

  • Employment: Employers may test the candidate prior to hiring, and during the job process to assure the employee is not using drugs.
  • Sports Organizations: Professional and collegiate athletes need to take a test for performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or other substances to assure that they are not cheating. 
  • Legal or Forensic purposes: Drug screening can be part of many criminal or motor vehicle accident investigations. Moreover, it is also use as evidences in many court cases.

Why do I need a drug test? 

You may have to take a drug test as a condition of your employment, participate in a professional sport team or competition, or you can even be part of a investigation or court case.

Some symptoms of drug abuse is:

  • Slowed or slurred speech
  • Dilated or small pupils
  • Agitation
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Delirium
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Nausea 
  • Changes in blood pressure of heart rhythm

What happens during a drug test? 

A drug test generally requires that you give a urine sample in a lab.The method includes the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Start to urinate into the toilet.
  3. Move the collection container under your urine stream.
  4. Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container, which should have markings to indicate the amounts.
  5. Finish urinating into the toilet.
  6. Return the sample container to the lab technician or health care provider.

In certain instances, a medical technician or other staff member may need to be present while you provide your sample.

For a blood test for drugs, you will go to a lab to provide your sample. During the test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

To prepare for a drug test, is to make sure you are drinking a lot of fluid so when it comes to test, it is easier for you produce the urine that is needed. Be sure to also tell the testing provider or your health care provider if you are taking any prescription drug, over the counter medicines, or supplements because it can cause a cross reaction between other drugs and mistakenly identify it as another drug that you are not taking. 

Are there any risk to the test? 

There are not any physical risk to taking a drug test, however a positive results may affect other aspects of your life, such as your job, your eligibility to play sports, outcome of a court case, your status in the military. 

Prior to taking a drug test, it is best to obtain knowledge on what you are being tested for, why you are being tested. 

What do the results mean?

If your results are negative, it means that no drugs were found in your system, or the level of drugs in your system is below the establish test. If your results are positive, it means that one of more drugs were found within your system about the established level on your test. However, at times there may be false positive, due to cross reactions, or a faulty drug test.  


1 comment

Great article! Thank you for the information

Will May 26, 2022

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