Common Types of Drug Tests

Whether hiring an employee or looking for a job, there are common types of drug tests or the most common drug tests you will want to know about. These tests include Hair follicle and Urine analysis.

Hair follicle

Unlike other tests, hair follicle drug tests provide a detailed look at the pattern of your drug use. The results can help you understand whether your drug use is consistent or irregular. They can also help you determine whether your employer is using the right drug testing policies.

Hair follicle drug tests are used to detect a variety of prescription and illegal drugs. They can see drugs up to 90 days after they are used. This gives you a much longer window of detection than urine tests.

Hair follicle tests are a good option for people with a history of drug use. However, they are not perfect. They are not always easy to interpret and can be more expensive than other tests. They also can be contaminated, which can result in inconclusive results.

The test is non-invasive and involves cutting a small patch of hair near the scalp. This is then sent to a laboratory for testing. The hair is tested for drugs and metabolites. It takes several weeks for the hair to grow and for the metabolites to be detected.

Urine analysis

Detecting a substance in the urine can be done through several types of laboratory tests. Urine tests are available for legal and illegal substances and prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The urine test may be a part of a medical workup or may be part of a job screening process. Urine testing may also be part of a substance use treatment program or mental health evaluation. A negative urine test result can indicate the patient is not using a substance, but a positive impact may tell the patient is using a drug at a higher level than the cut-off level.

Urine test results are usually sent to the laboratory for analysis. The test results are usually available within a few days. The test can be performed in a hospital, a private restroom, or another location.

In most cases, the urine test is performed to detect recent drug use and the presence of metabolites and other biomarkers. Urine testing is commonly combined into broad screening panels, which test for several drugs simultaneously.

Urine drug screening by immunoassay is the most common type of urine test. The test uses antibodies to detect specific drugs, metabolites, and other substances. However, the test can produce false positive results. It is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-perform test.

Saliva based tests

Unlike urine or blood tests, saliva-based drug tests are non-invasive and easy to administer. They are also less expensive and are used in various testing situations. They are also used in pre-employment screening, post-accident citations, and drug treatment facilities.

A test can detect drugs within a short window by using saliva. This window depends on the drug’s concentration and the amount of time it is present in the body. Some medications, such as cocaine, have a detection window of only a few minutes. Others, such as methamphetamine, may be detectable for several days.

Unlike urine or blood tests, saliva – also called oral fluid – is not subject to the same impurity levels. This means it is difficult to cheat on the test.

Unlike urine or blood tests, oral fluids are not affected by mouthwash or chewing gum. This also means that it can be used alongside other types of testing, such as hair or sweat.

Saliva tests are generally used to detect recent drug use, while urine tests are often used for general substance use. While urine tests are more accurate for detecting general substance use, saliva tests are more cost-effective and easier to administer.

Blood testing

Often, people are tested for drug use for either medical or legal purposes. These tests can be used to monitor treatment adherence and detect substance abuse. They may also be used for safety issues in the workplace.

One of the most common types of drug tests is a urine test. This can detect substance use up to hours after consumption. Detection times can vary according to biological factors such as body mass and how quickly the substance is broken down.

Another common type of drug test is a saliva test. This test detects substance use within two to four hours.

The quickest and least expensive of the three is a urine test. This is a federally mandated testing method. It is also the least intrusive. However, the technology behind it has yet to prove itself very reliable.

Blood testing is more invasive and expensive. It requires the use of a phlebotomist. These individuals must be trained to draw a blood sample from a vein. Typically, blood tests are done in a medical setting, such as a doctor’s office. It is also more challenging to perform than other types of drug testing.

Pre-employment hiring process

Regardless of your profession, pre-employment drug tests are crucial to any safe and drug-free workplace. Employers can use a variety of tests to screen for drugs, including urine, hair, breathalyzer, and blood tests.

Urine drug testing is the most common type of pre-employment testing. This test is fast and easy to administer and gives an employer a deeper look into an applicant’s background. Pre-employment urine tests test for drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana.

Mouth swab tests are also used for random drug screening. This test detects recent drug use within hours.

Urine drug tests can also test for opiates, marijuana, and cocaine. However, the effects of these drugs wear off, so an employee can easily pass a drug test within a few days.

Blood and breath tests can detect drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and marijuana. Blood tests can also be used to screen for nicotine and other substances.

Employers also use hair testing to detect recent drug use. These tests can also provide a complete picture of an employee’s drug use history for up to 90 days.