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Types of Drug Tests

What's on this page

    Substance abuse surfaces in an individual’s life through a number of mediums. Personal experience and relationships are often marked with some form of drug abuse. The efficiency of modern drug testing methods have increased awareness of the health and safety concerns regarding substance abuse.

    Several drugs are commonly abused resulting in a multitude of drug testing options. Invasiveness, cost and availability are all distinctive characteristics of tests available on the market.

    Urinary Analysis (UA)

    Urinary analysis is of the most common drug testing methods due to instantaneous results and flexibility of administration. UAs tend to be an initial choice drug testing as they may be administered by anyone. UA tests are reported as easy to read and user friendly.

    Many employers and education facilities require testing at collection facilities for privacy and improved accuracy. Each substance has unique time periods in which detection is possible through urinary analysis.

    Panels, cassettes and cups are all varieties of urine testing. The drugs that can be tested depend on the type of test used.

    Single Panel Test: Single panel tests are used to identify one drug specifically. Common single panels tests includ marijuana, cocaine and opiates.

    Multi-Panel Test: When testing for a combination of drugs, a multi-panel can test up to 12 different drugs on one card.

    Oral Drug Tests: Oral fluids can immediately be tested for the presence of substances. Depending on the substance, detection is usually unavailable after 3 days.

    Hair Testing:

    Testing hair follicles can detect drug use dating as late as 90 days for some substances. Roughly 20 strands of hair cut as close to the scalp as possible are tested in a laboratory. Samples can also be extracted from any other growth areas such as underarms, arms and legs.

    Blood Testing:

    Blood tests are specifically designed for investigating whether or not the person is under the influence during testing. Blood testing is noted as a highly accurate test and is typical for detecting the presence of alcohol. Blood tests usually require a trained professional and tampering is improbable.

    Sweat Drug Screen:

    Sweat drug testing, or spray testing, is easily contaminated and limited in terms of number of substances available for testing. A patch is applied to the skin that absorbs sweat which is later collected for testing.