Oral Fluid Testing
Oral Fluid Testing (saliva testing) is one of the best ways to determine if a substance has been used within the last 24-48 hours. This is most common method of determining recent alcohol use.
Oral fluid is not used to detect historical alcohol use, since alcohol evaporates anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. However, an oral fluid (saliva) test is used in emergency situations, where recent alcohol use must be detected immediately. This includes accidents where vehicles and equipment drivers are involved.
Sweat Patch Testing
Sweat patch drug testing is an effective method for administering 24/7 substance abuse monitoring. Sweat patch drug testing is often used in a judicial setting that requires 24/7 monitoring.
Sweat patches are unaffected by passive drug exposure. Being in the presence of someone using drugs will not lead to a positive test for the wearer.
Diluting bodily fluids with water is not an effective method for tampering with a sweat patch. Instead, drinking excessive water will trigger additional sweating, thereby increasing the concentration of drugs absorbed by the patch
As they age, sweat patches collect shedding skin cells. These absorbed skin cells will eventually causes the patch to lose its stickiness, but usually not before the patch has been worn for 7–10 days.
How does it work?
The sweat patch is worn 24/7 by the individual being tested for 7–14 days. ARCpoint Labs applies the sweat patch, which is associated with a certain number.
The patch must be left on at all times. The waterproof patch is tamper-evident: if it’s removed, it cannot be reapplied.
If drugs are used while the patch is on, the sweat collected in the patch will show traces of an abused substance(s). There is no way to “trick” this system or to prevent drugs or alcohol from entering the sweat glands. The patch may be used to test for:
When the patch needs to be changed, an ARCpoint Labs collector will remove the patch and match it up with the correct number to send to the lab for testing. A new patch will be reapplied, if necessary. Results can often be returned within a few business days.
A hair drug test can determine whether employees or contractors have engaged in long-term drug use. It is especially effective when extremely accurate results are required. We recommend hair testing for safety-critical positions where there is zero tolerance for drug use.
As individuals use drugs, traces of the drug travel through the blood and end up the hair shaft. Collecting a pencil-sized portion of hair will determine if drugs have been used. Oftentimes this is improperly called a hair follicle test (we do not test the follicle).
A few key features of hair testing:
- A hair test most accurately detects drug use within a 14- to 90-day detection window.
- Hair testing is ideal for chronic drug use.
- Results are returned within 3–5 business days.
- You can feel confident in the accuracy of results because there are no proven methods of falsifying a hair drug test.
How do we collect for a hair test?
A hair drug test is actually quite simple and requires only a small amount of hair, preferably taken from the crown of the head.
Before hair testing, the hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible and put into a chemical solution to rid the hair of all external contaminants. After that, it is liquefied and tested for the presence of drugs.
Window of Detection
In most cases, hair sample drug testing can detect drug use for up to 90 days after use. The detection window is much longer in hair drug testing because trace amounts of drug chemicals become trapped inside each hair.
Like fingernails, hair is composed of a hard protein called keratin. Drugs are incorporated into the hair from the bloodstream and remain locked in the hair strand as it grows. Hair is tested using the same process as that for fingernails.
Passive exposure, especially continued passive exposure, to smoke and illicit drugs can cause serious health problems for individuals of all ages. People are exposed to drugs by inhaling either the smoke of burning substances or the fumes that others have exhaled.
Passive exposure testing is a valuable methodology for social workers and the legal system. The health effects of passive exposure to illicit drugs are very damaging to children. A passive exposure drug test can help state and local officials learn more about the living situation of a particular child.
Implications of Positive Passive Exposure Results
Positive passive exposure testing results can mean people have had:
- Passive exposure to drug smoke
- Actual contact with drug smoke
- Actual contact with either a drug user’s sweat or their sebum (skin oil)
- Contact with physical drug-related substances, e.g., trash from a meth lab
- Accidental or intentional ingestion of an illegal drug
Which Drugs Can Passive Testing Identify?
- Cannabinoids (THC/marijuana)
- Cocaine (crack and cocaine HCI)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Comprehensive Testing Geared Toward Overall Safety
Professionals charged with public safety understand that everyone deserves a safe environment to live, play and grow in. An important aspect of ensuring that safety is making sure innocent people aren’t accidentally exposed to harmful substances that emanate from illegal drugs used in close proximity.
If your profession is associated with child custody matters, drug abuse treatment or other social service issues, ARCpoint Labs can partner with you and the judicial system to help maintain safe environments free from drug-related toxins strong enough to harm innocent bystanders.
Fingernail testing (or toenails) is similar to hair strand drug testing. Each person’s nails grow out of a nail bed that is connected to the body’s blood flow. Fingernails are composed of a hard protein called keratin and are tested with the same process as hair.
Drugs are incorporated into nails from the bloodstream and remain locked in the nail as it grows.
If drugs are used and enter the bloodstream, the nail bed (and thus fingernail clippings) will carry traces of the abused substances.
Why choose fingernail testing over hair testing?
If you’re debating whether to do a fingernail or hair drug test, here are a few of the advantages to fingernail testing:
- Fingernail testing provides a wider window into possible drug use. Traces of drugs ingested or consumed within the past six to eight months can potentially be detected, depending on the length of the nail.
- Fingernail clippings can always be collected (even if someone shaved their head.)
- There is no reliable way to cheat this test (nail polish or other attempts cannot mask what lies within the nail beds).
For reliable, accurate and confidential fingernail drug testing, call your local ARCpoint Labs.
How We Collect for Fingernail Testing
Here is how we collect specimens for fingernail drug testing:
- The nail is clipped or shaved for testing.
- It is then cleaned thoroughly with a chemical substance.
- The cleaned specimen is then liquefied and tested.
- Almost nothing can alter the chemical composition of the nail’s hard keratin protein, which makes it very difficult to alter the test or artificially produce a negative test result.
Nail testing is just one of ARCpoint Labs’ accurate and professional testing options. Prior to your test we’re happy to answer any questions or concerns to ensure a nail test is the right option for you.
Urine Drug Testing
Urine Testing (Lab-Based and Instant)
Urinalysis is the most common form of drug testing. Businesses rely on urine testing to detect drug use due to the test’s relative speed and affordability.
ARCpoint Labs can have urine test results within minutes. Our lab is designed to meet the most stringent urine collection procedures.
We take every required step to ensure the individual being tested is unable to tamper with or adulterate the specimen they provide to ARCpoint Labs.
5-Panel Urine Test
The following substances are identified with a standard 5-panel urine test:
- THC (marijuana)
10-Panel Urine Test
The 10-panel urine test is broader in scope and typically used when prescription drug use detection is required. These panels are customizable depending on your needs. Typical 10-panel urine testing might also test for the following drugs:
- All substances from the 5-panel test
*Other drug tests are often substituted, such as MDMA, oxycodone and extended opiates.
NOTE: Testing for synthetic drugs (such as K2 or spice) is a separate procedure; such drugs are not detected with either a standard 5-panel or 10-panel drug test.
Urine Testing Procedures
When an employer requests a drug test from an employee, the employee is typically directed to a collection site in the area. The employee’s urine is collected in a specially designed secure cup then sealed with a tamper-resistant tape. It is sent via express delivery to a testing laboratory for drug screening (typically SAMHSA 5-panel).
Because the efficacy of urine testing can be compromised by adulterating and/or substituting specimens, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) now requires that specimens with temperature abnormalities or those that show signs of adulteration be admitted with a second specimen from the donor. The second specimen is collected under direct observation (DOT testing only), meaning that the donor must produce a specimen in the collector or observer’s presence. Furthermore, the new DOT regulations require that the donor raise and lower clothing and make a 360-degree turn in front of the collector or observer to show that they do not possess any device or substance they can use to falsify the test.
Pre-employment Background Screening Helps Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
ARCpoint Labs encourages every employer to run a background check on potential job hires. A good employee is a company’s greatest asset. Make sure you are hiring wisely. Regardless of your industry, you have information or people that must be kept safe, secure and protected. You need someone you trust when it comes to situations like:
- Working with children, adults or the elderly
- Handling money and financial information and assets (especially credit information)
- Working with confidential data (account numbers, social security numbers)
- Using passwords and codes (protecting you AND your client’s information)
- Working with expensive technology, supplies and equipment
Although the past does not equal the future, forewarned is forearmed. A background screen can provide insights into a person’s past and be an indicator of potential issues in the future. It can also be a great way to get to know your potential employees better by providing an opportunity to discuss sensitive situations and see how they respond.
Types of Information Available in Background Checks
Every item requested in a background check should be carefully tailored to ensure it is necessary for the position in question. Overreaching can put you in jeopardy of claims of discrimination. That said, the following types of information can be screened in a pre-employment background check:
- Criminal record
- Credit report (including bankruptcies)
- Driving record
- Past employment references
- Education, certifications & licenses
- Child abuse and neglect records
- Military records
- Physical capacity assessments
Again, you should tailor your checks very closely to the nature of the job. Don’t ask for information that isn’t directly relevant to the job the person is applying for. Don’t use “bad” information to automatically weed someone out; you may weed out the best possible candidate. If an otherwise favorable candidate gets a “negative hit,” use it as a way to go deeper with that employee and see how they deal with the information when presented to them.