A drug test is used to detect traces of one or more illegal or prescription drugs in your urine, sweat, saliva, hair or blood. Other names for drug tests include a drug screen, toxicology screen, and substance abuse testing among others.
What are Drug Tests Used for?
Drug screens are designed to identify the presence of certain drugs in the body and may be used for a number of reasons including;
Employment – Employers may demand to screen before and after they hire people.
Sports – Athletes may also be tested for performance-enhancing drugs before they are allowed to participate in certain professional or collegiate sports.
Forensic or Legal Purposes – Testing may also be required as part of a criminal or accident investigation.
At-home Testing – A parent who suspects their child of drug abuse can invest in a home drugs testing kit to help get to the root of the problem.
What Drugs are Tested in a Drugs Test
There are all kinds of illegal and prescription drugs on the market. Unlike alcohol which has notable symptoms, drug users can go undetected for months or even years. With a drug test, you’ll be able to detect the presence of drugs such as marijuana, amphetamine, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP) and opioids such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
Such tests can either be in-house tests where the screening is done at home or workplace or lab tests where samples are taken to a lab for screening.
The most accurate test to help detect alcohol and drugs in the body is the blood test. This type of test is considered a little invasive and might not be ideal in certain situations.
Urine tests are less invasive and will equally detect drugs and alcohol in the body. However, this test won’t be as accurate as of the blood test and is easy to cheat. People have been known to switch urine samples with synthetic ones or with those of friends. To avoid this, a supervisor would have to be present when the sample is being collected, which might be an invasion of privacy in some cases.
Saliva tests are easy and fast to perform. All one needs is a sample of saliva from the cheeks, collected using a swab. The test is less invasive compared to blood and urine tests. It can be used to test for drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and amphetamines.
Hair follicle tests are administered to detect the presence of drugs used up to the last three months. This complex test requires a hair sample which is then taken to a special lab for testing. Finally, it takes 1 to 5 business days to get the test results back which might be longer than necessary in some cases.