Drug tests are pivotal in many ways. Their main aim is to ascertain that a person is not a user of any form of recreational drugs. This is common at the workplaces where an employer checks the medical reports for such crucial information. At the learning facilities, learners are sometimes needed to undergo the tests as a way of determining whether they are abusing drugs in some way.
There are specific excretions from the body which are used as samples for the tests. These are namely the urine, blood, saliva, and breath. Hair follicles are at times tested. The choice of the samples to be taken depends on the type of drug being tested. The drugs are usually absorbed in the body and taken up in the bloodstream this makes their traces be found in such matrices. Are drug tests accurate? This is a commonly asked question by people. Let us find out.
Mainly aims at detecting recent use of drugs which is normally less than 24 hours. This is typically done by the use of a sweat wipe. A sweat patch can sometimes be used in allowing cumulative testing. Here one wears the patch for a period of one to two weeks. The main advantage is that it is a non-invasive way to do the collection of the samples.
As compared to urine, it may be a much economical option. The possibility of adulteration is somewhat difficult and the collection of specimens requires minimal training. The procedure normally results in one visiting the testing facility twice that is during the placement and removal of the patch. The accuracy of the test depends on the technology being employed. It is a reliable method when testing for opiates.
This drug testing method is mostly employed in emergency cases. This is because the accuracy of the results is normally high. The blood matrices most of the time exhibit an even distribution of the drug elements hence more reliable. However, since it is invasive, it needs to be conducted by specialized phlebotomists. The main limitation is that it requires venipuncture and identification of venous access. Doing this on a drug user can pose some challenges.
There is a need for much accuracy in the tests for the right results to be obtained. Otherwise, a false positive will be experienced. In most cases, such results are arrived at when another substance is imitating the targeted metabolite. Foods, drugs, supplements are among such substances which bring about this result.
Poor quality drugs such as low-grade marijuana smoke are one major cause as well. Studies indicate that substances such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines bring about false results. Whenever such undesired results are attained, what is necessary is a thorough check on the patient’s prescription records. The focus should also be made on herbal and over-the-counter drugs.
Hair Follicle Drug Tests
It is another good example of a noninvasive test. Its main downside is that it does not offer assistance in determining the possibilities of a person abusing drugs lately. This is why it is only useful when taking forensic evidence such as in the case of an accident. If the court rules for a test on the condition of the fault driver, the follicle tests will provide substantial information.
It is mainly used for the testing of marijuana, opiates, cocaine, PCPs, and methamphetamine. As compared to the other drug testing methods, this approach consumes a lot of time. This is mostly the case when the hair being dealt with is long hence the optimal size used is one and a half inches. Every half an inch size of a hair strand provides information on the drug used for one month. One advantage is that it is not easy to adulterate it.
Urine Drug Screening
This is a type of drug testing which is common due to the convenience it brings. Besides, it is cost-efficient. For the urinalysis, the main method opted is the enzyme-multiplied immune test. In most cases, it does not offer comprehensive information on the duration or amount of the drug substance consumed by a person. The results are, however, significant in giving the certainty of people abusing certain drugs.
Due to the convenience of giving quick results, it is preferred at the workplace. This is normally done on-site and the tests are carried out in a company’s lab. The detox facilities also go for it in ascertaining whether a patient is abstaining from certain drugs.
Drug tests are normally carried out to know if there are possibilities of drug consumption by a person. This is vital for workplaces, rehabilitation centers, and learning facilities. Several types of tests can be carried out. However, some tests are better for specific drug types. The accuracy also varies depending on the level of technology and the drug’s chemical nature.