Each Drug Test is Unique
Drug testing is an effective screening procedure that can detect the presence of drugs in our bodies. With different methods and detection windows, drug tests can have varying levels of accuracy and effectiveness.
The time it takes for results to be returned and sent off for analysis at laboratories after collecting specimens can vary quite widely. It is therefore helpful to know what testing method aligns with your timeline and needs. Learning this information before requesting a drug test will ensure you receive accurate and relevant results within acceptable timeframes.
At ARCpoint Labs of Marysville - Arlington, we can help you choose the perfect drug-testing solution for your situation. Our team will discuss your needs, timeline, and concerns and offer clear, honest advice. Today, we hope to offer a concise yet detailed overview of the pros and cons of the different types of drug tests available. Knowing what you each test offers and why some options take longer than others can make a significant decision in what testing method you pursue.
An oral test is one of the most convenient forms of drug screening because it doesn't require any physical specimens. This method uses a saliva swab, which is thoroughly analyzed in a laboratory for evidence of drugs. Oral tests are typically used for pre-employment screenings as they have a short detection window (usually up to 24-48 hours) and are relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of testing.
A urine test is one of the most common and trusted drug testing methods. It offers a detection window of up to 30 days. Urine tests are often used in workplace environments as they provide accurate results that can be easily replicated if necessary.
A urine test analyzes the body’s metabolites, which emerge as the body breaks down drug chemicals, and antigen-antibody complexes, which result from the immune system sending antibodies in response to the presence of certain drugs.
A urine sample can detect:
The cost associated with performing this type of test is relatively low. Its affordability makes it an attractive option for employers who need to conduct regular drug screenings.
A blood test is a scientifically sound and error-free option. It can detect drug compounds for pre-employment tests. This method has a higher-level accuracy than other forms of testing due to its ability to detect even trace amounts of drugs present in the bloodstream.
However, there are three primary downsides to blood tests:
- A blood test screening takes much longer than other methods since it requires laboratory analysis before results can be obtained.
- Blood tests can only detect recent substance use—often within a 2-to-12-hour window of drug usage prior to the test.
- Blood tests are marginally invasive – insofar as they require drawing blood from a vein.
A hair test usually takes around 10 days for results to come back from the lab. The hair follicle can be plucked from multiple body areas, including the scalp, face, or armpit. Head and facial hair offers a detection window of up to 3 months; body hair offers an even longer window of up to 12 months.
Hair tests can detect compounds like THC or cocaine metabolites. As a result, it is commonly used to screen recurring addicts and drug abusers.
Other substances this method can detect include:
- 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
This form of testing offers extended detection windows due to its unique properties, which makes it ideal for long-term monitoring purposes such as child custody cases or probation orders. The long detection window is because drug metabolites can remain in the hair follicles for a long time. That said, it takes about one week after drug use for substances to show during a drug screening.
A sweat test usually entails placing an absorbent pad or an electronic patch on one’s skin (usually the arm). This pad or patch will then collect any perspiration over an extended period (usually between 2 weeks and 30 days, depending on what substances need detecting) before being sent off for analysis at a laboratory facility where they will check it for specific drugs like alcohol or marijuana metabolites among many others depending on what needs screening out from the sample taken from you.
Need a Drug Test? Trust a Professional!
As you can see there are many different types of drug tests available. Each option comes with its unique set of own advantages and disadvantages – particularly regarding the test’s accuracy, detection window, and speediness.
No matter what type of test you choose, it is essential to ensure you hire trusted professionals who follow proven techniques. It is also imperative for employers and institutions to receive full consent from all parties before administering a test. You need to ensure your employees, patients, or onboarding applicants know exactly what they’ve signed up for.
Fortunately, ARCpoint Labs of Marysville - Arlington is here to help! We can assess your circumstances, answer your inquiries, and offer a professional recommendation on how to proceed.
Want to book a drug test? Call our friendly team anytime at (360) 873-5586!