Drug Testing Information

All the information you need for drug tests and drug testing.
Pros and Cons of Various Drug Testing Methods

Pros and Cons of Various Drug Testing Methods

Pros

  • Highest assurance of reliable results.
  • Least expensive.
  • Most flexibility in testing different drugs, including alcohol and nicotine.
  • Most likely of all drug-testing methods to withstand legal challenge.
  • Most common specimen collected.

Cons

  • Specimen can be adulterated, substituted, or diluted.
  • Must have facilities to accommodate proper collection protocols.
  • Test sometimes viewed as invasive or embarrassing.
  • Biological hazard for specimen handling and shipping to lab.
  • Must have same gender collector.

Detection Window

  • Typically 5 to 7 days.

Detailed information about urine drug detection window.

Pros

  • Longer window of detection.
  • Greater stability (does not deteriorate).
  • Can measure chronic drug use.
  • Convenient shipping and storage (no need to refrigerate).
  • Collection procedure not considered invasive or embarrassing.
  • More difficult to adulterate than urine.
  • Detects alcohol/cocaine combination use.
  • Very difficult to adulterate.

Cons

  • More expensive.
  • Test usually limited to basic 5-drug panel.
  • Will not detect very recent drug use (1 to 7 days prior to test).

Detection Window

  • Depends on the length of hair in the sample. Hair grows about a half-inch per month, so a 1-inch specimen would show a 3-month history.

Pros

  • Sample obtained under direct observation.
  • Minimal risk of tampering.
  • Non-invasive.
  • Can detect alcohol use.
  • Samples can be collected easily in virtually any environment.
  • Reflects recent drug use.

Cons

  • Drugs and drug metabolites do not remain in oral fluids as long as they do in urine.
  • Less efficient than other testing methods in detecting marijuana use.

Detection Window

  • Approximately 10 to 24 hours.

Detailed information about oral saliva drug detection window.

Pros

  • Non-invasive.
  • Variable removal date (generally 1 to 7 days).
  • Quick application and removal.
  • Longer window of detection than urine.
  • No sample substitution possible.

Cons

  • Limited number of labs able to process results.
  • People with skin eruptions, excessive hair, or cuts and abrasions cannot wear the patch.
  • Passive exposure to drugs may contaminate patch and affect results.

Detection Window

  • Patch retains evidence of drug use for at least 7 days, and can detect even low levels of drugs 2 to 5 hours after last use.

Pros

  • Very difficult to adulterate.
  • Each collection is done under direct observation.
  • Longer use/abuse history reflected.
  • Less frequent testing due to the detection time covered.
  • Facility accommodations for the specimen is easy.
  • Alternative specimen to body hair, in the event there is not enough hair available for collection.

Cons

  • More expensive than urine testing.
  • Ten (10) nails will be clipped and their surfaces filed.
  • Nails take 10 - 14 days to grow out from nail bed from time of ingestion.

Detection Window

  • 4 - 6 MONTHS.

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