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Your Guide to the Different Types of Drug Tests

Different types of drug tests

Studies show nearly seven out of 10 Americans have used drugs at some point in the workplace. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this issue before it happens.

Many employers utilize pre-employment drug testing to ensure candidates aren’t a part of this statistic. This isn’t limited to the workplace either, as drug tests can be used at school or home.

There isn’t just one method to detect recent drug usage. Not all drugs stay in the body for the same amount of time, either. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of drug tests available.

Urine Test

A urinalysis is the most frequently used type of drug test. The simple, painless task of providing a urine sample makes it easy and tests can even be purchased over the counter.

Urine can detect drug usage from several days up to a month, long after a person may have stopped using. The test measures for any trace of drugs or metabolites, but uses cut off levels. This is in case someone’s indirectly exposed to a drug from secondhand consumption.

Hair Test

Our body produces natural fluids like urine every day, but hair remains with us for months to years at a time. This helps paint a picture of a longer history of drug use.

This doesn’t involve plucking a hair out of the root. Only a small sample is needed and can detect usage dating back to several months. Hair tests are also difficult to evade like how someone may dilute urine.

Cost is the only biggest drawback as it tends to be more expensive compared to other available drug testing methods. It’s not the priciest though.

Blood Test

There’s no question of accuracy when it comes to a blood drug test. This is the most assuring type of testing and can even detect the presence of drugs in real-time.

Yet, it’s not as commonly used. Drawing blood isn’t something you can do at home and it’s usually the most expensive type of drug test. It’s most commonly used in professional settings like a hospital and in some cases in lieu of a breathalyzer.

Saliva Test

Similar to urine testing, using saliva is a quick, easy process that requires minimal effort. Many drugs are consumed through the mouth, which allows present traces to be collected even after a person has used.

Be mindful, however, saliva tests have a short detection window and aren’t practical for detecting usage several weeks prior. In some cases a test may produce a negative result even a day after drug usage.

Understanding Different Types of Drug Tests

There’s no rule for which type of drug test is best. You may decide based on time, urgency, and costs. As noted, different types of drug tests are more effective than others for pinpointing the time of detection.

Never make rapid assumptions about a positive result, as there could be harmless causes. A test subject may being take prescribed medication by a licensed doctor. In rare cases, everyday foods like poppy seeds have produced false-positive results due to opium extract.

Did you know? Drug testing isn’t time-consuming and can be done at your convenience. We offer tests for individuals or groups. Simply register, find a local clinic, and results can be available within two days.

Contact us to learn more about receiving a Relialab Test for your home or workplace today.

Order a Test

Whether you are an individual looking to get a drug test done today or an employer looking to get a pre-employment drug test done today, ordering a test online is easier than ever! Just submit your order online, receive your test authorization by email, go to your local clinic to be tested, and receive your test results in 24 to 48 hours.

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our lab.