Drug Testing Limits

A common question employers have when developing a workplace testing program is how long drugs can be detected in a person’s system. For example, how far back does a hair follicle test detect drugs? What are drug testing limits for commonly abused substances? This guide can help you find the information you need and decide what type of testing is best for your business.

How Long Does It Take for Drugs to Break Down in the Body?

The amount of time it takes for drugs to be absorbed, broken down, and expelled from the body is called the drug’s half-life. This period of time is different for every drug, usually ranging from 1 to 7 days. To be effective, your workplace testing program has to consider the type of drugs you’re looking for.

A drug’s half-life determines the window you have available for a positive test. Coordinating your workplace drug testing program with qualified testing professionals is essential for success.

What Testing Methods Are Available?

These days, employers have countless options for drug testing. Each method has advantages:

  • Urine drug tests
  • Saliva drug tests
  • Hair follicle drug tests
  • Fingernail drug tests

Urine drug tests are the most common drug test for employment in Sugar Land, TX, and surrounding areas. They’re often used for random drug tests. However, other options sometimes provide better results when long-term testing is needed, such as hiring truckers. Trucking businesses need testing that complies with DOT guidelines.

What Is the Maximum Time for a Positive Result With Drug Testing?

Every person’s body responds differently as far as drug absorption is concerned. Some people have traces of the drug longer than others, especially habitual users. Age, weight, sex, ethnicity, and overall health can also affect testing. The type of test administered makes a difference as well.

How Long Drugs Can Be Detected in Saliva

Generally speaking, saliva tests detect most drugs a maximum of 72 hours after last use:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Benzodiazepines (up to 10 days)
  • MDMA
  • Marijuana

Saliva drug tests can detect drug use more quickly than other tests. On the other hand, they have a shorter window available with many drugs.

How Long Drugs Appear in Urine Tests

How long does a urine test take? Approximately 1 to 5 days. Most drugs are detectable in urine tests for at least 48 hours. Many are detectable for 72 hours, such as cocaine, meth, heroin, and other opioids.

How Long Drugs Show Up in Hair Follicle Tests

Hair follicle tests can show drug abuse for up to 90 days after the last use. This type of test is often used when hiring employees for positions where intoxication is life-threatening, such as for truck drivers or forklift operators. It can detect cocaine, PCP, opioids, and amphetamines.

How Long Drugs Can Be Detected With Fingernail Tests

Like hair follicles, fingernails can reveal drug abuse for a long time, up to 180 days after the last use. This test is highly accurate. Nail drug testing can help rule out a history of drug use before hiring or after a workplace accident.

Safer Work Environments With ARCpoint Labs of Sugar Land

Whether your business involves manufacturing, construction, transportation, or customer service, you need a high-quality workplace drug testing program. At ARCpoint Labs of Sugar Land, we provide professional testing services for businesses of every size. Contact us for information about drug testing.

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