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3 Different Types of Drug Tests and Why They Are Important


Drug Testing is the process of taking a biological sample to evaluate drug use in individuals. There are three different types of drug testing and the tests are prevalent for a number of reasons; however, they are most prevalent at specific times.  The most popular reason for a drug test is to screen for drugs that are popularly abused.

Why Are Drug Tests Important in the Workplace?

Drug tests are popular for the workplace. Tests are conducted before hiring a potential candidate and random drug tests are conducted during the time of employment. Testing is commonly used for those who work closely with others in the community. Those who work with children and those who work in transportation are drug screened on a regular basis to provide safety.

Aside from those who work closely with the community, workplace drug testing holds other benefits. Those who are involved in drug use and binge alcohol drinking tend to change jobs frequently. They are often late to work and are less productive than other employees are. They have an increased risk of being involved in workplace accidents injuring themselves or others and filing workers’ comp claims.

Why Are Drug Tests for Adolescents Important?

Drug tests among school athletes are popular, but schools have also adopted the workplace model. Some schools are now randomly testing students who are suspected of drug use. This process helps detect drug use by students in the school, but it also help identify students who exhibit a problem. This allows intervention to happen before the problem gets out of hand.

Drug testing in schools benefits the school facility, students, families and communities. Drug use has been connected to late arrivals and missed school days. This causes poor grades, test scores, and provides a risk of the student being held back. Athletes who use drugs are harming their body and putting the entire team at risk. Random drug tests pinpoint problem situations so that the issue can be addressed and dealt with before the student falls so far behind that they drop out of school.

What Types of Drug Tests Are Available?

Urine Testing:
One of the most common types of drug testing is a urine test. This test is best suited for those suspected of using illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, meth, phencyclidine, etc. This test is the most non-invasive for of drug testing making it one of the simplest. However, it does have drawbacks. This test indicates the presence of drugs in the urine, but not the amount. It also may not detect drug use that was longer than a week ago. Since this test cannot differentiate between naturally occurring opioids and opiate drug use there could be some false positive results.

Hair Testing:
This test is another type of test, which is minimally invasive and routinely used. This test can detect all the same drugs as a urine test can. Drug use leaves the body through the blood system and the hair follicles have a rich blood supply. Since hair never stops growing, a hair test can detect drug use longer after exposure compared to urine tests.

Blood Test:
This test is more invasive but provides the most information about drug use. These tests are most commonly used in the medical setting. These tests can detect drugs in the system, and levels of toxicity from these drugs.
While some tests can determine the amount of drug use and others cannot the main thing is that they can all detect the presence of drugs. Drug abuse is illegal no matter how you look at it. Drug tests help to keep this abuse to a minimum.

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