What You Need to Know About Drug Tests

healthy-marijuana-leafIf you have applied for a job recently, you may have been asked to submit to a drug test. You may find yourself wondering what drugs are being tested for, how the test is administered or how accurate a drug test may be. Luckily, the DNA experts from ChoiceDNA are here to explain the differences between several drug testing methods.

The SAMHSA 5

While drug tests can vary considerably, there is a relatively standard drug test known as the SAMHSA 5. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration requires that any company that requires employees to have a commercial driver’s license must also have a drug testing protocol. This drug testing protocol must test for five types of narcotics known as the SAMHSA 5. It is common for most drug tests to only test for the SAMHSA 5.

SAMHSA 5 Drugs:

  • Cannabinoids (marijuana)
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine

What DNA Is Tested?

Urine

Typically, drug tests using urine samples can detect drug use within the past week, or longer if the person taking the test is a regular drug user. Urine sample drug tests are often temperature tested to ensure that the sample has not been tampered with. While urine sample drug tests can be done at home, the sample must be sent to a lab for verification. These tests are usually the least expensive option.

Saliva

Testing saliva for drugs can usually determine drug use in the past few days. However, saliva tests are more reliable for detecting Methamphetamine and Opiate usage and less effective for detecting marijuana usage. Saliva tests can also detect recent drug use than other tests.

Hair

Testing hair allows the testing agency to detect drug usage over a much longer period prior to the test than other testing methods. Although, hair tests may have difficulty detecting drug usage in the last week. Certain drugs such as opiates will remain in hair longer than other substances, and it may be difficult to tell how long ago the drug use was as well as the duration of drug use when compared to other tests.