Basics Of Drug Testing
Drug testing is used in many different fields to detect the presence of both illegal and prescription drugs. It is not just for the company’s protection but also for employees. It may be for pre-employment drug testing purposes, random workplace screenings, post-accident testing, reasonable suspicion in the workplace or for legal purposes.
Drug testing is usually performed on one or more substances – while a urine test is the most common, it can also be performed on blood, saliva, hair, and even sweat.
The most common drugs that we screen for are:
- Opioids (heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, etc.)
- Amphetamines such as methamphetamine
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Steroids and other performance enhancers
Depending on the reason for the testing, the list of substances included in the screening may vary.
Why Is Drug Testing Performed?
Drug screening is regularly used for a number of different reasons, including:
- For employment purposes, either before or after hiring
- By sports organizations to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs
- For legal purposes – various court cases may require drug testing, including accident investigations, criminal cases, and custody battles
- Monitoring prescription opioids for chronic pain
Your doctor can also order a drug test if you present with symptoms of drug abuse such as slurred speech, abnormal pupil dilation, agitation, paranoia, or physical changes in your blood pressure or heart rhythm.
How Should I Prepare For A Drug Test?
If you’ve been ordered to take a blood test, make sure that you inform the test provider about any prescription medications/OTC medications or supplements that you’re currently taking as those substances could interfere with your results. For example, avoid foods that contain poppy seeds in the days before your test as they may cause a false positive for opioids even with trace amounts.