Most athletes and individuals who work in sensitive areas are required to take drug tests before any activity. These tests are used to determine chemical components and other details from a patient before undergoing a specialized treatment. The process involves taking a biological specimen, including blood, urine, sweat, hair, saliva, and others to determine if they have certain drugs or metabolites in their bodies.
Drug tests can be of multiple substances. These include barbiturates, methamphetamines, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, and other related components. Do drug tests work? How reliable are they? This article will answer these questions and provide you with more details concerning drug tests. Continue reading for the details.
Reasons for Drug Tests
There are many reasons which subject one to undergo drug testing. The people affected most by this test are the sportsmen and those working in sensitive careers. Some companies also require their employees to undergo drug tests during interviews and when reporting to work. At times, drug tests get done after an accident or through random check-ups.
The method used to conduct the drug tests largely depends on the drug getting tested and how important the test report. When performing the test, the testing companies usually look for five main components. These include amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine.
How Reliable Is Drug Testing?
Most drug testing methods are reliable. However, specific body excretions might make one method to be more accurate than the other. Also, its reliability depends if the sample is compromised. In urine drug testing, water dilute drug test results so anyone can adulterate their urine by drinking water twice the bladder capacity plus the amount of water their body is expelling. Other determinants of drug testing include the technology used to test, the drug’s chemical composition, and the procedures used to handle and store the sample. Also, the testing can differ from one testing organization to the other. Depending on the testing’s importance, some organizations will do the test more than once, using different samples or different medical companies for more reliable results.
Types of Drug Testing Methods
There are at least five types of drug testing methods. With technology coming into place, it is expected for the procedures to become more in the future. The existing methods differ in so many ways, including their accuracy, intrusiveness, cost of testing, and the company carrying out the testing. All the techniques are meant to find any metabolites left after the drug is excreted from the body. Here are the methods.
- Saliva: Saliva is a low-cost drug testing method that can get done anywhere, by anyone, as long as they have the required apparatus. The technique has lower intrusiveness and detects drugs used within 2 to 3 days.
- Urine: Urine is the most used drug testing method. The reason for this is that it’s less costly and generally intrusive. The testing can get done at home or in a specified lab and detects drugs used within a week.
- Hair: This is a moderately expensive drug testing method with lower intrusiveness. You can do the testing anywhere and get the results for drugs used over a week. It’s best used as a long-term drug testing method.
- Blood: Blood is the most expensive drug testing method, but with high intrusiveness. This method gets administered in a lab and gives short and long-term results of any drug type. It is the most convenient drug testing method where more details of the drug are required.
What is Expected During the Testing Day?
You only need to avail yourself or send a sample for drug testing. Some companies give short notice, probably two to three days, while others do it immediately, depending on what is needed. For instance, the traffic police will require an urgent drug test to determine a driver’s state at an accident scene.
The organization or company requiring a drug test will give you drug testing centers options to choose from, depending on what they need. It is essential to prepare yourself physically and psychologically for the test. For instance, if required for a urine drug test, do not empty your bladder minutes before testing. Next, you need to choose the right center and go with the recommended paperwork for the test.
How are Test Results Given?
Many testing companies do not give specified results to the person getting tested unless requested by the organization needing the results. They might give a positive or negative answer to the drug on the test. All this gets based on the detection limit.
Indeed, drug testing is daunting even when you don’t use any drugs. However, you will have to undergo it for the sport or job you are looking forward to. It is essential to get prepared for this to get over the process quickly.