It is a known fact that Urine Drug Testing is the most commonly chosen drug testing method by many laboratories and organizations. A urine drug test can screen for various illicit substances and prescription drugs and defy most legal disputes.
Numerous urine test combinations can detect any substance with sensitivity and meet any drug testing program requirements.
Urinalysis is one of the effective drug testing methods employed to identify the drug traces in the body. The consumed substance gets into the body while some get stored in the fat cells and others mix with the blood. It gets filtered out as solid and liquid wastes and eliminated from the body through urine and feces. The drug metabolites get traced in the urine sample for a period until they get flushed out completely.
Table of Contents
- What is Urine Drug Testing?
- Seven Things That You Should Know About Urine Drug Testing
- How To Take A Urine Drug Test?
What is Urine Drug Testing?
A urine drug test is the analysis of the urine specimen to look for the presence of any illegal substances. The urine drug test helps in identifying individuals who consume illicit drugs. Urine drug screening (UDS) is the most common drug testing method administered by most public and private organizations during the hiring process and randomly tests their current employees. It is accurate, non-invasive, and cost-efficient.
Though different firms administer other drug testing methods, the UDS is most preferably used for substance detection, even at the most stringent cutoff levels.
Several myths revolve around urinalysis and its testing method. Let us explore to get a clear view of the urine drug screening and face the drug test with confidence.
Seven Things That You Should Know About Urine Drug Testing
1. Most Frequently Used Biological Specimen For Drug Testing
Urine is the most common and the regular specimen type used for preliminary testing compared to other specimens like hair, blood, and oral fluids. They are painless and produce quicker results.
Most employers utilize urine drug tests during the hiring process and check employees working in safety-sensitive positions randomly and post workplace accidents. Employers can customize the urine drug test to detect recent drug use.
2. UDS to Identify Recent Drug Use
A urine drug screen is preferred by many institutions primarily because of its proven methodology in detecting recent drug consumption (within 3 to 4 days). The detection period may differ based on the drug, their concentration level, and the response of the individual’s body to the drug.
3. Detects Wide Range of Drugs
A urine drug test detects a wide variety of substances with more precision. They can detect illegal drugs like AMP, MAMP, OPI, COC, THC, MMJ, PCP, MDMA, BZO, BUP, etc. Synthetic cannabinoids (K2/spice) and synthetic stimulants like bath salts may also get detected through the urine drug test.
To be short, the standard 5-panel and 10-panel drug tests use urine specimens for screening drugs due to the efficacy and accuracy. Preliminary positive results are confirmed through a confirmatory test. Sometimes, alcohol is also included as part of urine drug screening instead of the breath test.
4. Detection Time
Even though the urine drug test can detect a wide variety of drugs, there may be a probability that the detection time may vary based on the type and intensity of the drugs. For instance, AMP can stay in the system for nearly 48 hours, whereas COC can remain for about 2 to 4 days.
Certain substances may linger in the system even after the effects of the drugs have worn off or stay in the system longer than others. A urine drug test may detect such substances.
5. Sample From The Collection Site
Collection and storage of urine samples are easy. Urine samples for drug testing can be collected at the collection site, drug testing center, clinic, or doctor’s office. The necessary amount of urine required for drug testing is 30 mL (45 mL for DOT test). Once the donor submits the collection cup with adequate urine, the temperature is checked, and the collection cup is sealed with tamper-evident tape. The samples are sent to the labs for testing along with completed Custody and Control Forms.
6. Urine Drug Testing Types
Immunoassay and GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) are two types of urine drug tests. Immunoassay test is cost-effective and provides quicker results but has certain drawbacks; it cannot pick all the opioids during detection and may produce false-positive results. The GC/MS is more sensitive and used to confirm positive results. Even though GC/MS is very expensive, they rarely make false positives and provide accurate results.
7. Approved by Federal Drug Testing
Safety-sensitive workplaces fall under HHS or NRC authority that considers urine drug tests as their primary source of drug detection. They have authorized UDS as “safety-sensitive” because of their job’s probable influence on public safety.
How To Take A Urine Drug Test?
As previously discussed, employers may perform urine drug tests in any collection site in a private restroom.
- You will be supplied with a specimen cup by the tester for the collection of the urine sample.
- You will be required to leave all your belongings like a purse, briefcase, and others. You will have to empty your pockets before entering the collection room.
- If it is a supervised drug testing, the tester will accompany you to the restroom to ensure that it is conducted as per procedures.
- You will have to clean the genital area with a moist cloth that the tester provides.
- Urinate into the cup and submit the cup to the tester.
- The tester would test for the quality of the sample after submission. The temperature would be checked and then sealed by a tamper-proof tape for testing.
A urine drug test is the most preferred and practical drug test employed by most organizations as their primary source of drug trace identification. As most of the tampering methods may not work and UDS accuracy lies at 99%, it is better to keep yourself clean during your urine drug test to avoid any unpredictable circumstances that might threaten your career.