Types of On-site Drug Tests
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Types of Drug Tests

There are six different types of drug tests available to businesses and agencies seeking a drug testing service for their employees or other purpose.  These drug tests vary in popularity due to how much they cost to perform as well as the type of drug that is being tested for.  The typical drug tests that are utilized include:

  • Urine Drug Tests
  • Hair Follicle Drug Tests
  • Perspiration Drug Tests
  • Saliva Drug Tests
  • Blood Tests
  • Fingernail Analysis

Urine Drug Tests are the most common tests.  These drug tests are capable of identifying a variety of drug metabolites.  Typically, testing strips are utilized in a urine test to determine if there are metabolites in the urine.  These tests are best for recognizing if a drug has been used within the past week and often longer if the drug is used on a regular basis.  These tests are also temperature tested to ensure that the individual did not use a fraudulent urine sample.

Hair Drug Tests are much more expensive than a typical urine test.  A hair follicle test uses a small hair sample and allows the laboratory to test for substances that have been used long term by an individual.  However, these drug tests do not typically allow substances that have been used within the past week to be detected.   The unique aspect of hair follicle tests is that a lab can determine when the person began using and stopped using a particular drug.  Hair tests require a sample of hair that is 1 ½ inches long and they cannot be performed with only one hair.

Blood Drug Tests are the most expensive type of drug test.  However, these drug tests are the most conclusive drug tests as they not only determine recreational drug use, but medication use as well.  These can also be used to determine if someone is an alcoholic, as long-term alcohol use may be determined through a blood test.

Saliva Drug Tests are a little more expensive than a urine test, but are less than a hair follicle test.  These becoming popular because they are easy to administer.  They tend to mimic the results that one would receive from a blood test.  They are also harder to cheat on.

Sweat Drug Tests are relatively new tests involving a patch.  The individual must wear the patch for a specific period of time.  The test may give a false reading and the use of this test is often controversial.  These tests may be able to detect a variety of different substances that would not trigger other tests that are currently being used.  If a drug is used for longer than a week, the sweat test may be positive, while a urine test is negative.

Fingernail Analysis Drug Test. The final type of test is a fingernail analysis.  These tests utilize fingernail clippings that are analyzed similar to that of hair follicles.  This test is not commonly used as it is an expensive test.  It is even more expensive for people to cheat on as they must have their fingernails and cuticles tested and then order special detox kits that cost a few hundred dollars.


American Screening Corporation--Complete Drug Testing Solutions

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