With the various drug testing methods available today, you might be wondering which one to expect or use during a drug test. The thing is that while the different methods serve the same purpose, which is to test for drugs, they vary in the form of sample needed, the speed of the test, and the result you are looking for. One method may tell you whether or not a patient has a drug in his or her system at the moment, and another can detect whether or not the patient has used drugs in the past.
It all depends on what the tester is looking for. Here is a clearer view on the different drug testing methods.
Blood testing is able to detect the presence of drugs or their metabolites and provides the most accurate evidence of drug use. The sample for the test must be drawn by a professional health worker for a lab test, and it’s typically leveraged for drug testing during medicals for life or health insurance policies or during accident investigations.
Blood testing has a few disadvantages. It is not only intrusive but expensive also. And it neither provides immediate results nor is able to detect cannabinoids in the blood 22 hours after intake.
Not only is urine testing simple; it is not always necessary to be conducted by a lab technician. It’s considered the cheapest laboratory technique for drug testing, and the results are almost instant (ideal if you are an employer looking to test your employees for drugs).
Urine testing is somewhat intrusive, and, due to the fact that when providing a sample, the person being tested has a right to privacy, the result can be rigged, and a genuine positive one doesn’t always suggest current intoxication.
This is suited for in-house company testing and roadside testing as used by the UK police. Oral testing only provides evidence of current intoxication (up to 4 to 10 hours after drug or alcohol consumption) that may be influencing the performance of the person tested whether at work, while driving, or during any other activity.
The result is almost instant (produced in minutes) and difficult to rig since the sample is taken in front of the tester. Among the top equipment used for oral testing is the Drug Test 5000, which is able to distinguish among six or eight drug types.
During the circulation of drug metabolites in the blood, the blood vessels in the scalp also receive their share of the metabolites, which are then flittered through the hair. Since the metabolites reside permanently in the hair, the hair testing method can provide evidence of drug use dating years into the past. The caveat is that the method is intrusive and can require around fifty strands of hair. Plus, it can’t discern whether a person has used drugs within the past seven days.
Considering the cost and lengthy process involved, this method is rarely used, except in child custody cases and the likes.
This is typically used to monitor individuals on probation. Also, this testing method makes use of a patch worn on the skin for a designated period. The patch’s mechanism allows it to detect drugs or their metabolites while they leave the body through perspiration.
As shown above, each drug testing method has the ideal situation where its use is favourable. It now depends on you to consider why you need to conduct a drug test, how immediate the need is, whether you are checking for current intoxication or previous drug use, and your budget for the test before selecting a drug testing method.