Urinalysis is one of the most popular forms of drug testing, especially among employers. It is certified based on federal regulations as the most relevant form of drug screening.
The process is painless and noninvasive since it requires you to take a urine specimen by yourself or under supervision so that lab technicians can check its contents for traces of illegal drugs and prescription meds that affect productivity.
Apart from the idea that you will get the relevant results based on the history of drug abuse, the doctor can order from you to conduct a screening to determine abuse issues. As soon as they notice that you are misusing drugs, a doctor can help you with recovery and rehab.
At the same time, after the rehabilitation, you will have to bring urine specimens to prove that you are not using anymore. According to regulations, employers can easily terminate your contract or decline your application in case you fail the test.
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The most common scenarios that include taking this particular type of screening are:
- We have mentioned above that the doctor can order a selection in case he/she notices that you have alcohol and drug issues. An ER doctor can conduct the test if your behavior seems dangerous and strange.
- Some employers have to conduct mandatory screenings as part of pre-employment process. That way, employer can determine whether you consume anything or have history of abuse so that he/she can see whether you will become liability after they hire you. The main idea is to keep your working area drug free so that you can prevent accidents and issues that happen when employees are intoxicated during the work. Since safety is one of the most critical considerations that employers have to make, screening is the way of preventing accidents and potential problems.
- Rehab centers will test you regularly to see whether you are clean or not, and if the process is functioning. This will help them ensure that you are getting the right treatment and staying sober along the way. That is highly important if you are on parole or probation due to alcohol or drug-related offense. The law enforcement will request random screenings to check for your sobriety.
- In some cases, family members decide to conduct home drug testing kits so that they can check teens or other members for abuse or misuse. If you wish to do at-home test, we recommend you talk with some health professionals to know how to act in case the test is positive.
Urine Drug Test
We can differentiate two types of urinalysis:
- Immunoassay – This is the most affordable solution that will present your results in matter of hours after taking the specimen. However, it comes with certain disadvantages because it will not check for all opioids. At the same time, it features a more exceptional ability to reach false positives. Remember that false positives happen if you fail the drug test even if you have not consumed anything beforehand that will compromise you.
- Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) – If the first test is positive, most labs will conduct a follow-up test that will confirm the results. This particular type of drug screening is an excellent procedure, but it is more expensive, and you have to wait for some time to get it. However, it cannot produce false positives.
The procedure involves going to a lab and taking specimen directly in bathroom, which is specially designed for screening purposes. The method includes these steps:
- As soon as you reach the lab, they will give you a specimen cup, and lab personnel will explain to you everything you need to know beforehand.
- It is mandatory to leave your belongings such as briefcase, purse, and other things you have in a room before you reach the bathroom. Most labs will require you to empty your pockets as well, because that way, they will reduce the possibility of tampering.
- In some specific situations that happen rarely, same-gendered technician or nurse will supervise you while taking the specimen so that you can follow the procedure and avoid cheating the test. However, you should ask them for clear reasons for supervision because having someone by your side while peeing is breach of privacy and can be considered illegal.
- Clean the genital area by using the specific tools and cloths that the technician will provide you.
- Urinate in the cup, and remember that you have to produce at least 45 milliliters so that the sample could be valid. Also, we recommend you to avoid using the first stream, but fill the cup with the middle one, since the first stream tends to have the most significant number of metabolites.
- The lab technician will measure the temperature of your sample so that they can ensure that everything is per regulations. This tends to happen because people started using fake urine to substitute the sample for passing the test. The main problem with fake pee is the idea that you have to maintain the temperature and create an illusion that you urinated inside. Since fresh urine tends to be warm as body temperature, over or under heating, the fake pee will be transparent to technicians, and they will fail you, or make you take another sample.
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According to some regulations, you and the technician must keep visual contact with the specimen at all times until it is packaged for testing. Some sites feature instant results, while others are entirely different.
Everything depends on the reason for screening, but in most cases, labs will create formal report afterward.
Remember that immunoassays, or the most common type of urinalysis, cannot measure the drugs themselves, but it detects how the drugs interact with the immune system’s ability to produce antibodies.
The results are measured in nanograms and cutoff points, in which results below will be negative, while results above the cutoff point are positive.
After they notice the positive result, they will take an additional test that will differentiate drugs you consumed within the specimen you provided.