Do You Need to Know About Urine Drug Testing ? According to a 2017 report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million adults in America struggled with a substance. Use disorder during the year while 38% of adults suffering from a disorder related to the use of illegal drugs.
Moreover, drug abuse and addiction cost American society $740 billion. Every year owing to healthcare expenses, loss of workplace productivity, and crime-related cost.
Therefore, drug addiction and its consequences have become a major concern in the US. From government agencies to public health organizations, everyone’s playing their part to curb drug addiction and abuse.
Know About Urine Drug Testing? That also known as urine drug screening, has, therefore, become increase common in workplaces, educational institutes, sports events, and more. They offer a convenient, painless, and non-invasive way to detect drug abuse. presence of illegal drugs in a person’s system. Keep reading to find out Everything You Need to Know About Urine Drug Testing.
Urine Drug Testing – The Basics
It’s fast. It’s accurate and it’s cost-effective!
The person undergoing the test required to give a urine sample. which analyzed by a doctor or lab technician.
The results determine whether a person has used specific drugs in the past few days or weeks. This is because the test doesn’t detect the presence of the drug itself. Instead, it identifies specific metabolites that produced as the drug goes through elimination and excretion.
The analysis can determine whether a person has used specific drugs in the past few days or weeks, even after the effects of the drugs have worn off.
Usually, a minimum of 30 ml of the urine sample is required for urine drug monitoring. The sample volume may vary according to the type of the kit. The candidate or patient uses a private restroom to collect the sample. Easy-to-use urine drug test cup kits have made sample collection even more convenient.
Validity Testing of the Urine Specimen
Often seen that candidates who involved in drug abuse try to use various techniques to alter their results in an attempt to avoid any legal consequences.
Visual inspection and laboratory validity testing can detect if any attempts are made to dilute, adulterate or replace urine specimen. These procedures include testing for temperature, pH, specific gravity, and presence of adulterants.
Urine temperature should be in the range of 90°F to 100°F (32°C to 38°C) within 4 minutes of voiding in a healthy individual. Therefore, if the temperature of the specimen is outside the physiological range, it may indicate substitution or dilution and should be considered invalid for testing.
The pH of urine usually stays in the range of 4.5-8 and its specific gravity is either less than 1.002 or greater than 1.020.
Dilution can occur both pre-collection and post-collection. Consuming excessive water or fluids, use of diuretic drugs or directly adding water to the specimen are common ways for diluting the specimen.
Testing for specific gravity and creatinine content can detect the presence of common household and commercial adulterants.
Types of Urine Drug Testing
Do you Know About Urine Drug Testing? It can be done using two analytical procedures – Immunoassay (IA) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).
This is the most common type of urine drug test. It’s both quick and cost-effective. The IA drug test makes use of antibodies to spot the presence of specific drug metabolites on the basis of predetermined cut-off limits.
Immunoassay urine drug testing is subject to varying detection time windows for specific drugs as different drugs metabolize at different rates in the body.
The ease and convenience of this technique have made it possible to perform urine drug testing in the workplace or at home using urine drug test cups or strips.
IA generally tests for the “Federal Five” drugs that include cocaine, marijuana, opiates, phencyclidine, and amphetamines. However, multi-panel urine drug test cups and drug test strips can test for as many as 13 drugs.
Immunoassays are mostly accurate but because of lower specificity, they can show false positives. For example, Advil can give a positive result of phencyclidine.
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
Chromatography techniques are mostly reserved for confirming the results of IA, especially when the results of IA come out to be unexpected or seem doubtful. GC-MS is a much more expensive procedure; therefore, it’s not used routinely. The results are highly accurate and reliable as it never yields any false positives or false negatives. Moreover, GC-MS can detect a wider range of drugs in the urine.
Urine Drug Testing Procedure
It’s important to inform the test provider if you’re currently on any medication. Whether it’s your employer, a medical review officer or your healthcare provider, they should be aware of the medicines that you may be taking. These include all prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, nutritional supplements or herbal remedies.
This is because certain medicines and substances can yield a false-positive putting you at the risk of any legal consequences.
Once you’re ready for the test, you should follow these steps.
- Empty your pockets.
- Put aside any excess clothing or items such as coats or handbags.
- Wash your hands with water and antibacterial soap.
- Clean your genital area using a cleansing wipe that you have been provided with.
- Start urinating and take the urine drug test cup under your urine stream until the volume reaches a certain point (markings will be present on the cup).
- Finish urinating and put the lid on the urine drug test cup.
- Wash your hands again and return the sample container to the test provider or lab technician.
General Guideline for Urine Drug Testing
Here are some useful guidelines to follow when conducting a urine drug test.
- The test providers (healthcare providers, employers, legal authorities, etc.) must discuss with candidates or patients that urine drug testing is a routine procedure that is conducted for their own safety in the workplace and other public places.
- They should also obtain a detailed and complete history of medication including herbal and nutritional supplement because of their potential of cross-reactivity. This is to ensure that in case of any false-positives, necessary steps can be taken to confirm the results.
- Take note of special cases such as patients on medical marijuana. Do not change any treatment plans without proper medical consultation.
- Take care of the confidentiality of results while discussing the test results with candidates or patients. Take appropriate actions if anyone tests positive.
Applications of Urine Drug Testing
Because of its ease of use, urine drug testing has found applications in various settings in addition to hospitals. Doctors, employers, and sports officials may require urine drug screens for various reasons.
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and programs conduct regular urine drug monitoring to check whether patients are adhering to the guidelines and staying sober.
Workplace Drug Testing
Because drug abuse and addiction pose a serious threat to employee safety, productivity and health, more and more organizations want to maintain a drug-free workplace. For this reason, they develop and implement comprehensive drug testing programs for employees.
Urine drug screening is, therefore, very common in the workplace. These tests are performed both at the pre-employment stage and later as part of the random drug testing policy for the assurance of safety in the workplace. This is especially true for workers who are required to operate heavy machinery.
Consumption of drugs by athletes is a major issue in the field of sports. Drug testing techniques therefore widely used to promote fair play and maintain the integrity of the game. Urine drug screens are common in major sports events like the Olympics to detect the presence of any performance enhancing drugs.
Legal cases, in which people have to complete addiction treatment as per orders received from the court, have to go through random drug tests as and when the judge requires. Urine drug-monitoring serves as a convenient method for drug or alcohol abuse detection. This ensures that the person remains sober throughout the probation period.
Urine drug testing has played an important role in implementing drug testing programs, maintaining drug free environments in the workplace and health care settings. Because it’s quick and easy to perform, it has become an effective tool for drug abuse prevention and control.
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You can get our multi panel urine drug test cups and drug test strips in bulk for effectively conducting your drug control programs. We also offer 13-panel drug test cups that can detect the presence of up to 13 drugs. We guarantee you perfect results every time and at the lowest possible price. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our products.