Types of Drug Testing Methods

Drug testing has been a controversial development marred with many issues. For one, many employers are pursuing this method in their companies, and not everyone is happy. It is no lie that most people abuse or use drugs in one way or another, and constant drug-testing ends up exposing people who could have otherwise wished to keep it low.

Usually, if not all the time, people will only pursue drug tests in completion cases, but not willingly. That is why it is hard to find someone walking into or looking for ‘’drug testing near me’’ at his or her pleasure. Unless otherwise, where someone may experience severe health complications and want to know if drugs have a hand in the case. 

Over time, scientists have come up with various means to pursue drug testing. Some of them include the following:

Urine drug testing

Of all the available drug testing methods out there, the most common is urine drug testing. It is logical for urine drug testing to be common because metabolites—the structures produced by the metabolism of all substances ingested by the body—use urine as its main excretory route. Analytical methods used to detect traces of any drug in the urine include immunoassays, thin layer chromatography, gas spectrometry, and mass spectrometry.

Saliva Testing

Urine drug testing may be the most common form of drug testing, but saliva testing is becoming more popular simply because it is less invasive. However, it seems that saliva drug tests should only detect very recent drug use to ensure accurate results. For instance, one study reports that saliva testing can only see cannabinoids when the subjects have smoked cannabis only 4-10 hours beforehand.

Blood Testing

Blood testing is the most expensive and invasive of all drug-testing methods and also happens to be the most accurate. It detects right at the time of testing the substance’s presence and its metabolites in the blood. The actual amount of drugs in the blood at the test time can also be measured by a blood drug test. However, its cost and invasiveness make blood drug testing used less frequently.

Hair Testing

The idea of hair drug testing is based on the premise that drug metabolites enter the scalp’s blood vessels, and the hair will filter them and keep them as a permanent record of a person’s drug use. Many people, however, object to hair testing because it does not measure current drug use. A person could have last used, say, cannabis a few months before, and still be found positive today because residues of the substance will remain in the hair for months afterward, and no amount of shampooing can take them away.

 Much of today’s workplace drug testing is dependent on whether an employee is impaired while on duty, making hair drug testing quite irrelevant. The considerable cost and the lengthy processing of the hair samples are also reasons why few employers use them for workplace drug testing.

Perspiration Testing

Perspiration drug testing is perhaps one of the newer drug testing methods available today. It works through a sweat patch affixed to the skin for 14 days. The patch is worn to detect the presence of drugs that a person excretes through perspiration. However, this method is largely applicable to monitor people on probation or those involved in child custody cases.