There are several different tests that can be used to determine whether you have drugs in your system, and they include both non-invasive and invasive methods. Some methods, like blood tests, can be more expensive than others, but may be better suited to the situation and more precise as well.
On the other hand some tests are only useful in a very limited time frame after consumption and only for certain types of drugs, like the saliva test. In order to understand the good and bad sides of the various types of drug tests – how they are administered and how accurate they are – we need to take a look at each of them separately.
These are the most widely used tests, a ten panel urine screen being the most efficient way of screening for the most widely used drugs ranging from marijuana to PCP, cocaine and opiates. Detection times are between one to four days after use for most drugs, although some drugs can be detected up to 30 days after use, especially steroids and methadone. Chronic users will have longer detection times as the drugs accumulate in the body during regular use. Urine tests are non-invasive, but they require some privacy in the bathroom when obtaining the sample, which gives people some opportunity to try to cheat the test.
This is an invasive method, which is very precise, particularly for determining current intoxication as drugs often don’t show in urine for several hours after consumption, but will show in blood tests only minutes after use. Detection periods are usually 12 hours to a few days, similar to urine tests, however in instances of chronic marijuana use the THC can be detected in blood up to 2 weeks later. This method is also more expensive.
The sample consists of 50 strands of hair that are subjected to various tests, which means that their samples are very easy to collect and that the results are very precise. Another good thing is that detection times are fairly long – up to three months after use. However, the scope is somewhat limited as you can detect only six different drugs this way, as opposed to about a dozen that can be detected in urine. This is a relatively expensive method and isn’t suited for testing very recent drug use.
With this type of testing it is very easy to obtain samples, although there is a higher risk of environmental contamination. Detection periods are fairly long and the results are pretty accurate, but the number of drugs you can test for are limited.
These are also very easy to administer, and they have somewhat shorter detection times – about 10-12 hours for marijuana – so they are better suited for testing current intoxication levels. Another concern is that some people produce more saliva than others, which might lead to inconclusive results.
These are the various drug testing methods, and as you can see each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Saliva and sweat can be easily obtained, but the variation of sweat production and salivation in different people can produce inconclusive results, and while most drugs require some time before they show in urine this test can be used to test for the greatest range of drugs. Choosing the right test to administer will depend on all these factors.
Damian Wolf has been a writer an inbound marketer since 2009. He mostly writes about business, finance and lifestyle. During the last 4 years, Damian helped many established businesses to reach better online visibility and improve web presence. His latest project was improving online visibility for drug lawyers Sydney website.