Drug Test Information
Did you know there are three main methods of drug testing procedures available to the public? The first is an oral fluid test. This is accomplished by taking a sample of saliva on a swab and dipping it into a solution that gives an accurate reading of the presence of drugs and their metabolites over the course of a 3 to 7-day period. The second is a urine based test, where a sample is collected and then a test strip or cup with the ability to read results is utilized. This detects drugs and their metabolites over the course of a 3 to 30-day period, depending on the substance. The third most common test is a blood test, which does require a sterile medical environment, so it is less frequently used in the scope of large scale testing operations. This test reads for drugs and their metabolites over the course of 3-30 days as well. There are also hair tests available; however, they are much more complex to analyze, so the results take much longer to receive. The hair test reads for drugs and their metabolites over the course of a 90-day period of usage. However, it does not detect drug usage for 5-7 days after use, so again, it is less practical.
Each of these drug tests are available when searching for evidence of drug use regarding panels 1-14 of illegal substances, with the 5-panel test being the most common. These tests look for all Schedule 1 narcotics, including Cocaine, Amphetamines, PCP, Opiates, and THC-9. A 5-panel urinalysis is the most frequently used test as of now; however, the oral fluid test is gaining popularity due to its ease of use and ability to remove the need to send a sample to a lab – which requires a waiting period of 3-10 business days for the results. A 10-panel urinalysis or blood test is often used as well, particularly in cases of prescription drug abuse, the most extreme cases of probation and parole testing, and in medical emergencies to determine levels of substances before administering any other substances to decreases the risks of counter-reactions. Oral fluid testing and urinalysis are the most available forms of drug tests, both through online and brick and mortar retailers.
Personal reasons for purchasing drug tests can vary, but usually include determining the use of an adolescent in the home, tracking cleansing processes, and assuring an upcoming test through an institution or potential employer will be passed successfully if there is a question in the mind of the test subject.
Medical use is often utilized to determine what substances have been ingested during an overdose or suicide attempt, as well as in order to better understand a patient’s medical history. All test results are considered confidential, and are protected under HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act.
Probation and parole terms are also other areas where drug testing is frequently utilized, often on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the severity of the punishable crime and relevance to drug use. This test is often a 6-panel group that also tests for alcohol use among test subjects. Many probationary periods also require drug and alcohol counseling in concurrence with drug testing, and if there is a potential violation, testing can occur at any time.
Employment is the largest sector in which drug testing is utilized, both as a condition during pre-employment screening, and then, depending on the industry, regular or random testing may occur through the workforce. There are several reasons for this, including creating a standard of excellence in the workplace and finding employees who are willing to follow the rules and comply with company policies.
Safety concerns are another important reason for drug testing, especially in the case of a workplace accident and in collusion with insurance awards. Insurance companies do not often like to pay out, and if a drug test can find fault with the employee(s) involved in the accident, the insurance company will not cover damages on the part of that employee. A positive drug test result can also (and usually does) mean termination of employment.
Brick and Mortar Stores
Smaller drug stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Longs, and other chains all sell basic drug testing kits at the 1-5 panel range. These are most frequently urine testing kits; however, oral fluid testing kits are increasing in market availability due to their ease of use and immediate result displaying capabilities. These do not require being sent to a lab for analysis, which takes several days to complete.
Larger retailers such as Walmart, Target, Costco, and other big corporate chain stores also sell these kinds of drug tests, and they are often cheaper because of bulk buying and selling and having a greater volume of inventory on hand. This means that they get a discount for bulk orders and can pass some of the savings on to their customers. For business purposes, a buying club like Costco is going to be the most economical way to purchase the tests in person.
This is the best way to purchase smaller scale tests, as many of them are available at individual retail prices and are intended for personal use. For larger scale and bulk amounts of drug testing kits, there are several online resources available, listed below.
Test Country is one of the most popular online retailers of drug testing kits, and they sell a wide range of test kits for both oral fluid and urine analysis. Many of these products are created to read the results at home or in a medical facility. This includes solutions, test strips, swabs, and a variety of panel options ranging from 1-14. The average cost of their tests range from $1.00 or less to $30.00 for one test, depending on the amount of tests purchased and number of panels needed.
USA Drug Screening is another one of the online retailers that sells drug testing kits over the internet. With similar offerings to Test Country, a range of panels and forms of testing kits are available, often with discounts for bulk orders. The average cost of their tests range similarly to Test Country. There are several companies that produce and sell drug test kits, and the wholesalers provide similar offerings.
Some individual online retailers also sell drug testing kits, such as Drug Confirm, Alere, @ Home Drug Test, and First Check. Their prices also depend on the number of panels and type of test. A number of them are also available in boxes of 25+, which, again, decreases the individual cost of each drug test kit. When deciding, make sure to check the authenticity of both the seller, as well as the company providing the physical test.
Medical Testing Facilities
There are also several medical group testing facilities in place around the country. Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics are two of the major physical sites where people go to take drug tests. This is generally utilized by larger scale companies that can afford the cost of sending a prospective employee for a test outside of the workplace. This creates a third party quality assurance of accuracy because these companies send their tests away to other facilities and labs to be analyzed.
Medical testing is also related to the field of health. If a doctor feels a need to test a patient, it can be for a variety of reasons. One example is a diagnosis of Cocaine induced Parkinson’s Disease. Many drugs can permanently damage a patient’s health in many ways with long- term use, and it is important to assure a correct diagnosis.
Precautions and Concerns with Drug Testing
Sometimes, a drug test that is administered creates a false positive/negative result. If there is a positive result to the test, even without direct substance use prior to the test, it can mean a few different things. Either a prescription medicine is responsible for the result, or some type of food, like poppy seeds, is showing up as an opiate in your system. It is very important to disclose all medications that are currently prescribed because this can be a determining factor of whether or not the test is accurate as well.
When a drug test displays a positive result, it is then sent for further testing to provide more complete results. This creates a longer turnaround time for test results. Generally, lab based results that are negative are available three days after a sample has been analyzed, but this increases with both a positive result, and in the case of a hair test which requires 5-10 business days to acquire the results.
Legal issues can also be affected by the outcome of the results, and that means the difference between receiving an insurance claim or proving fault in the case of an accident. This can extend from personal injury to professional injury, such as in the workplace or out in the field. Some professions are inherently more dangerous than others, and therefore, an increased risk of accident is present while on the job. Also, failing a drug test while on probation or parole can mean further sentencing, prolonged periods of probation and parole, and also potentially more jail time.