The Essentials of Drug Testing
Drug testing is designed to look for illegal or prescription drugs in your urine. Similarly, it can pinpoint any drugs in your sweat, blood, saliva or even hair. Also known as drug screening, urine testing is considered the most common form of drug testing. While drugs in your system may differ — the most commonly screened drugs include:
• Cocaine and marijuana
• Amphetamines — methamphetamines
• Opioids — fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, and heroin.
• Secobarbital and/or Phenobarbital barbiturates.
• Phencyclidine, a.k.a PCP.
• Drug testing is also known as drug abuse testing, along with substance abuse testing, toxicology screening, and sports doping testing.
What is Drug Testing used for?
Drug testing is mainly used for employment opportunities. In fact, many employers –across a myriad of industries — institute these tests before and/or after hiring. This allows them to screen potential employees, along with existing employees for drug use on the job.
Similarly, sports organizations use drug screening to test professional and collegiate athletes. These tests mainly look for illegal or prescription drugs in the system, but definitely performance-enhancing substances. Here are some more applications for drug screening across the world:
• Drug screening/testing is also mandated by law enforcement officials. No truer is this than in the event of a criminal or vehicle accident investigation.
• Drug testing can also be ordered by a judge as part of an ongoing case or legal matter.
• Health care providers, life insurance companies and physicians — doctors may order drug testing to screen for opioid use. For example: if you have been prescribed opioids for chronic or recurring pain, these tests determine if you are taking — or abusing — the amount of medicine prescribed.
Why you may need a drug test
Drug testing may be required if you are showing symptoms of substance abuse. This allows your health care providers and/or primary care or specialist physicians to get to the root of the matter. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, drug testing can be ordered by your doctor:
• Dilated pupils
• Slurred or slow speech
• Excessive anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide.
• Agitation, bouts of anger or uncontrollable frustration.
• Panic attics, paranoia, and changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm.
• Nausea, digestive disorders or difficulty breathing.
Drug testing requires patients to go to a lab. This may be within your doctor’s office or in another facility close by. You will be asked to provide a urine sample, along with a blood sample that will be drawn from a vein in your arm. Blood will be collected in small vials or tubes for testing, while your urine sample will be in a cup — which you will close after the sample — for testing.