Drug testing is the most common method used to detect if a person has taken medication recently.
Many businesses, government agencies, and healthcare facilities require prospective employees to be screened for drugs. In addition, employees might be required to undergo random drug testing or drug testing under special circumstances (such as medication unaccounted for in their work area).
Testing for drug overdose or poisoning is best done with blood. The immediate levels found can determine what treatment should occur. Screening to deter-mine if someone is using drugs inappropriately is commonly done with urine
Drug Testing. Urine testing can detect drugs used days or even a week before the test is performed. As false positive and false negative results can occur, caution should be used when interpreting the results. When asked if they are taking any kind of medication, individuals should include prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal remedies. For example, traces of diphenhydramine (Benadryl)—a commonly used antihistamine medication—will be found in urine and will cause the person to test positive for methadone.
Drug Testing Cheat Sheet
Days Detectable in Urine
Less than 1 day
Up to 1–3 days
Up to 1 day short acting
2–3 weeks long acting
to 2–4 days
to 3–5 days
to 3–5 days
to 29 days
to 3–4 days
After Result Found Positive:
Whenever the result of a urine test is found to be positive for drugs, the person should undergo another test for that specific medication to confirm the results. The second test is used to identify a false positive that might be generated by the first test. Again, urine testing is done but the request is to screen only for the specific drug identified in the first test. Blood levels may also be obtained to determine immediate use of drugs.
Drug testing only gives evidence that the individual has used or been exposed to a drug but does not indicate any pattern of drug use or the degree of dependency. above Table shows the length of time that traces of popular drugs remain in the body. The most commonly misused and abused drugs are listed in Table 4-2.