One can call probation a gift. It means the offender does not go to jail, although they’re still penalized or punished for their wrongdoing. Someone who’s on probation has to strictly follow certain rules or conditions like probation drug testing so they can continue to stay out of jail. These conditions may include sticking to a curfew, getting and keeping employment, and not taking alcohol or drugs.
If there is any violation of these conditions, the offender can lose their freedom, go to jail, or pay a hefty fine.
Substance abuse is often linked to criminal activities, and this is why a person on probation is often required to undergo probation drug testing. Testing takes place several times during probation, and they’re all done at random. Not knowing when they’ll be tested can motivate a person on probation to avoid taking drugs and alcohol altogether.
Probation drug testing methods
Urine testing is the most commonly used probation drug testing method. It has the lowest cost among other drug tests, and urine sample collection is fast and non-intrusive. Urine is also highly concentrated and retains traces of substances and their metabolites anywhere from one to seven days.
Probation drug testing may also include hair follicle testing. As urine has a short substance retention period, it cannot show if a person is a habitual user of certain drugs. On the other hand, hair follicles can retain traces of drugs for up to nine months and are therefore good indicators of prolonged and habitual drug use. In most cases, hair follicle testing is done only when a person does not pass a urine test.
In contrast to urine, however, hair follicles cannot detect recent drug use. It takes around 5 to 7 days before drug substances can be accurately tested.
Probation drug testing can include anywhere from 5 to 12 substances. As the most abused drugs, the following substances are also the most tested:
Urine drug testing cups typically include five panels that test for these drugs in a single sample. One can use an additional panel or more, as needed, to test for more substances, such as barbiturates, methadone, and benzodiazepines.
Step-by-step probation drug testing procedure
In most cases today, probation drug testing uses urine drug testing cups that can display the results in just around five minutes.
Here’s how a probation drug testing is typically conducted:
- The person being tested is asked to remove their outer garments to ensure they’re not carrying anything that could be used to tamper with the results.
- They will then be asked to turn their pockets out to show they’re empty.
- The subject washes their hands to remove any adulterant that can affect the results.
- The drug test administrator provides the person with a drug testing cup.
- As much as possible, a person of the same sex should stay in the vicinity of the person being tested to ensure no violation is being committed.
- The person being tested fills the cup with 30 mL of urine.
- The drug administrator must tell the person not to flush the toilet.
- The drug test administrator inspects the bathroom to search for materials that may have been used to tamper with the results.
- The drug test administrator checks the color of the urine, which must be light yellow. If the color is a very light yellow or if the sample is clear, that could indicate the sample is diluted or has been substituted.
- The drug test administrator puts the lid back on the urine drug testing cup and checks the urine temperature. It should be within 93 degrees to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If the temperature does not fall within this range, a new sample must be collected.
- When everything is in order, the cup will reveal the results in about five minutes.
In giving the test, the drug test administrator must ensure the instructions that come with the urine drug testing cup are strictly followed. These instructions may vary from one manufacturer to another, so they must be closely reviewed before the test is given.
The results of probation drug testing can greatly affect a person’s life, so it has to be done accurately and within legal guidelines. For reliable results, only CLIA-waived FDA approved drug testing cups must be used. Call us today or get in touch here to learn more.
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