As part of a standard urinalysis, a urine test strip or dipstick test can be used to identify pathological changes in a patient’s urine, diagnose a patient’s health status, and screen them using a urine testing strip. It provides valuable information on hydration, the kidneys, urinary tract diseases, liver disease, diabetes mellitus, and urinary tract infections. It’s also commonly used in pregnancy testing. 

Urinalysis to test for illegal substances is also a standard method used by health professionals to test employees in workplace settings to ensure a drug-free work environment.

The urine test is currently the most common method for drug testing. Rapid urine drug tests, which are relatively inexpensive, highly accurate, and reliable, can detect the most abused drugs and narcotics in a few minutes.

Purpose of the urine drug test

A urine drug test is required in several situations.

You may be ordered this test if your primary care doctor suspects you have a drug or alcohol problem. During an emergency room visit, your doctor may request this test if you seem confused or if your behavior seems strange or dangerous.

Employers often require potential employees to submit to a urine drug test before they hire them. 

This test can prevent people with drug problems from being hired for jobs that require them to be alert and focused. For instance, a drug-using air traffic controller or truck driver could endanger the lives of many people. Performing tests may also lower the risks of workplace accidents.

Patients at drug and alcohol rehab centers undergo regular testing. It helps people who are in the process of receiving treatment for drug or alcohol abuse to remain sober. In addition, rehab personnel may randomly test you for sobriety if you’re on probation or parole for a drug- or alcohol-related offense.

You can also use these tests at home. An individual’s family may want them to do this test to prove they’re not using drugs or alcohol. Discuss a home test with your doctor or another healthcare provider before performing the test. If the test is positive, they can advise you on how to proceed.

Medical uses of urine test strips

These test strips are helpful in a variety of sectors of the medical chain, including:

  • screening for routine examinations
  • monitoring the effectiveness of treatment
  • self-monitoring by patients, and;
  • general preventive medicine

What substances do urine test for drugs of abuse detect?

Urine test strips can test for the following substances:

  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  •  Barbiturates
  •  Marijuana
  •  Cocaine
  •  Opiates
  •  PCP
  •  Methadone
  •  Nicotine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  •  Ecstasy

How to take the test

The technician will ask you to take the test in a restroom. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how the test works.

  1. The person administering the test will give you a specimen cup.
  2. Next, he will require you to store your purse and other belongings in another room while taking the test. You also need to empty your pockets.
  3. In some cases, a same-gender technician or nurse will accompany you into the bathroom to ensure your adherence to the test procedure. However, the technician should explain the purpose of this type of testing.
  4. The technician will provide you with a moist cloth to clean your genital area or wash the area around the urinary opening.
  5. Fill the cup with urine. Samples should be at least 45 milliliters.
  6. Place a lid on the cup after you urinate, then bring it to the technician.
  7. The technician will take the temperature of your sample to ensure its validity.
  8. He will then wait for the results, which usually takes less than 10 minutes.

What Do the Urinalysis Results Mean?

When it’s an instant drug test, the people who administer it usually give the results in terms of positives or negatives rather than numerical values. Instant immunoassay tests don’t show ng/mL measurements. Instead, a test strip shows the results by turning different colors depending on the substance.

If you get a positive result for illegal drugs that you haven’t taken, be sure to let the medical review officer know and ask for a follow-up on how to proceed with retesting. 

Check out Ovus Medical’s Drug Test Strips if you need urine test strips for your drug testing needs.