Types of Drug Tests: Different Procedures & Kits
What Are The Different Types of Drug Tests?
Detecting substance abuse is the first step in curbing the use of illegal drugs, and this is done using drug testing.
Drug testing is a standard procedure used in a wide variety of situations. It’s most commonly used by companies who wish to screen potential candidates or existing employees. It’s also mandatory after an accident to rule out drug use or intoxication as the primary cause.
Sports-based drug testing is also commonly administered to athletes, both professional and collegiate. Aside from prohibited drugs, they also look for performance-enhancing drugs, like anabolic steroids and diuretics.
Different types of drug tests are administered by the testing companies. Each drug testing procedure has its advantages, disadvantages, and best uses.
We’ll look at what kind of drug tests are there, as well as how to pass a drug test.
Urine Drug Tests
Testing for urine is one of the most common types of drug tests most companies do. And for those asking “is a urine test invasive?”, the answer is no. It’s also one of the easiest drug testing methods available, and one that’s most widely accepted.
Urine tests can detect traces of substances like marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, and more. It looks for drug metabolites, which can linger in a person’s urine even after the effects of the drug have worn off, anywhere from one to three days.
The saliva or oral fluid test collects saliva from a person’s mouth using a cotton swab, commonly on the inner cheek. Of all the different drug tests, it’s one of the most cost-effective, and also one of the quickest to administer. It can be done on-site and with the supervision of staff. This reduces the difficulty and tampering with the collection of samples, which is a common problem with urine testing.
Saliva tests are used when trying to detect drug use that’s recent. This could be within a few minutes, or up to 48 hours.
A blood test is an invasive type of drug test that collects a blood sample directly from the candidate. It's one of the safest and "tamper-proof" forms of drug testing since it's next to impossible to fake blood.
Blood testing is used if law enforcers want to detect drugs that are currently in a person's system. The downside to this is that if the drug wears off (which is often a tiny time window), then it cannot be detected with blood testing.
Hair Follicle Drug Tests
Hair follicle tests involve the collection of samples of a person’s hair. That hair is then used to detect traces of drug use. The main advantage of hair testing is its large window of opportunity; it can detect substances successfully for up to 90 days since use.
A hair follicle test is the best way to detect repeat users. It prevents people from abstaining days before a test to avoid a positive result. The test is surprisingly accurate and can tell when and for how long a drug has been used.
However, it’s an expensive test that takes longer to give out results, which limits its use.
A perspiration test uses a small patch that attaches to the person’s skin. This patch collects sweat and detects any traces of substances released through perspiration.
This method is one of the newer types of drug tests that are commonly used to monitor people already suspected to be drug users. It's not as useful as a screening tool.
Breath Alcohol Testing
Anyone driving would be quite familiar with this type of test. It's a method that's designed specifically to look for only one substance—alcohol. Also known as breathalyzers, it can detect present levels of intoxication from a person's breath.
Breathalyzers measure blood alcohol levels using BrAC, or Breath Alcohol Concentration. Anything above 0.02 means there is alcohol in a person’s system. The higher it goes, the more intoxicated the person is.
The Department of Transportation mandates critical roles in aviation, trucking, and maritime roles should undergo regular breath alcohol tests.
Panel Drug Tests
Panel drug tests are popular for testing a variety of drugs at once. For example, a 10 panel drug test checks for the ten most commonly abused drugs in a person’s body, which include:
10 panel drug tests are performed using test kits, which can be easily purchased via the Countrywide Testing online shop or through pharmaceutical stores. They can involve any type of collection method, but the one most commonly used is through urine.
If you’re worried about passing a drug test, you can test yourself personally. Countrywide Testing has a wide variety of test kits you can do at home. Visit us today and avail of free shipping for orders above $75.