When you report for your drug test, you will be asked to supply identification and to complete some paperwork. You should provide a list of all of the prescription and over-the-counter medications that you are currently taking. You will then be asked to provide a urine, hair, blood, or saliva sample based on the type of test required. If a urine sample is used, you will be given specific instructions that you should follow to ensure the integrity of the sample. If a saliva sample is used, we will take a swab of your mouth and cheek. A blood sample does involve a needle stick and is performed by a medical professional. For hair testing, we will take a few hairs from your head or elsewhere on the body. The samples are then sent to the lab for processing. In most cases, the results are sent directly to the employer. Depending on the type of test requested, the results may either be pass/fail or outline the specific substances identified.
A drug urinalysis screens for a wide range of substances, both legal and illegal, that have the potential for misuse or abuse, which can include:
A 10-panel drug test checks for 10 different drugs that are either illegal or that have a high potential for abuse. The test screens for the following:
Saliva tests are extremely accurate and can detect substance use much quicker than standard urine tests. Since a saliva test is performed under supervised observation, it is virtually impossible to tamper with the sample. Collecting the sample is fast, simple, and noninvasive. There are also none of the privacy concerns associated with observing and collecting a urine sample.
With a hair drug test, it is the time frame of the use rather than the frequency that determines whether a substance can be detected. It normally takes about five to seven days for hair to grow far enough above the scalp for it to be included in a hair sample for a drug test. Since most hair follicles grow approximately half an inch a month, the standard 1.5-inch sample may detect drug use within the past 90 days. Of course, this can vary slightly based on your exact rate of hair growth. The results can go back months or even years if you test a longer piece of hair.
A number of variables may affect how long a drug can be detected, including:
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