Comparing the Different Types of Drug Tests
Today, advancements in lab testing technology have made accurate, rapid drug testing an option that is accessible to a wide range of individuals and employers. While drug testing used to be a fairly uncommon experience, even as recently as several years ago, it’s becoming increasingly more widespread – especially in the workplace.
Understanding the different types of drug tests can help you make a more informed decision about your testing options, regardless of whether you’re seeking drug testing for employers, individuals, or other situations.
What are the Different Kinds of Drug Tests?
Most professional lab services now offer a full selection of drug test types, each one offering its own unique benefits. Depending on the type of drug test you select, you will encounter a specific testing method, drug detection window, and more, which is why having a clear understanding of their similarities and differences is key.
According to information provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the most common type is the 5-panel drug test, which screens for the presence of cocaine, marijuana, opiates, PCP, and amphetamines. Some employers may opt for a 10-panel drug test, which also includes other commonly-abused substances, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines.
In addition to the types of drugs detected by each drug test, the method of testing can also vary. The testing method impacts not only the process, but also factors into the detection window, results, and more.
Urine Drug Testing
Since urine drug tests are fast, simple, and non-invasive, they are one of the most popular drug test types. The presence of drugs and their metabolites can be detected in a urine sample for about six hours after use, with a full detection window of approximately three days.
Saliva Drug Testing
A saliva drug test, or oral fluid test, is another non-invasive option, requiring a fast, painless cheek swab for the sample collection. Saliva testing is capable of pinpointing the presence of drugs almost immediately after use and up to two days later.
Hair Drug Testing
A hair follicle drug test requires a technician to remove about 100-120 strands of hair, which are then analyzed for the presence of drugs. This option provides an excellent picture of long-term drug abuse, with a detection window of up to 90 days.
Nail Drug Testing
A nail drug test analyzes the keratin in a sample of nail clippings, where the presence of drugs can be detected up to eight months after use. Like other non-invasive drug testing methods, nail drug tests are extremely effective for hassle-free workplace drug testing.
Other Kinds of Drug Tests
While the four testing methods above are the most common, there are also other options available. Depending on your specific situation, you may elect to customize a specialized drug test to measure prescription drug usage or one that focuses only on synthetic substances.
Trust ARCpoint Labs of Austin North for All Your Testing Needs
Whether you’re an individual, employer, or legal representative searching for lab testing solutions, accuracy, professionalism, and reliability are likely among your top priorities. At ARCpoint Labs of Austin North, we offer a diverse selection of drug testing for employers and individual patients, making it easy to choose an option that suits your specific needs. As one of the leading providers of nationwide lab testing services, ARCpoint Labs has the expertise and resources to provide all of the different types of drug tests required for a wide variety of situations.
For more information about the types of drug tests that can serve as a good fit for your needs, contact ARCpoint Labs of Austin North today.