There are some subtle differences between men and women when it comes to taking drug tests. We all know that drug tests are a consistent part of daily life for athletes, but is there a difference between men and women when it comes to drug testing? Well, for starters, most drug tests are done by using a urine sample. This includes drug tests for both jobs and sports events. Most routine urine testing does not go to the measures required to tell the sex of the patient. Rather, the urine is only used to test for traces of known illegal drugs or performance enhancing steroids.
There are four types of basic drug testing done on a regular basis. These include test strips and what is called an immunoassay analysis. None of these can determine the sex of the patient based on the urine sample. The only real way to determine the sex of a patient based on urine, aside from foreign materials being found in the urine, is through the level of trace hormones found in the urine. These hormones are not commonly tested for, and thus, most drug tests do not reveal the sex of the patient. Women have higher percentages of blood alcohol with smaller amounts ingested, so a DUI check using a breathalyzer or similar device will reveal higher concentrations of blood alcohol in their bodies. Men and women also process alcohol differently. Men have a higher concentration of dehydrogenaze. This is an enzyme that renders alcohol down so that the bloodstream can process it.
What does all of this mean to someone who is concerned about the differences between male and female urine when it comes to drug testing? For the most part, very little. Drug effects on males and females is for the most part the same across the board. Trace amounts of drugs in females can be higher, due to females being generally smaller in size and body weight. High levels of opiates in the system due to ingesting poppy seeds, for example, can skew the results in female drug testing more than males. The most commonly abused illegal drug in the Western world is marijuana. Elements of THC can be found in blood and urine samples. It only fits, then, that the most common illegal drug found in most drug tests is marijuana.
Most drug tests are performed with the intention of ensuring an employee isn’t abusing illegal drugs. Many drug testers will replace their urine with one of the opposite sex to pass a drug test, and it usually works because typical tests cannot tell the difference. A more thorough drug test done by a larger lab of scientists such as a forensics specialist could make much broader determinations about the tester’s sample.