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Drug testing has become so commonplace nowadays almost everyone who applies for a job is called upon to produce a sample for testing. The most common form of testing, of course, is the urine test. Urine tests are one of the best ways of detecting illicit drug use. In fact, urine tests are the preferred method for federally mandated drug tests. Applicants are usually asked to supply a sample and that sample is then sent off to a drug test lab for analysis.

Depending on the need, other biological samples can be used to detect the presence of drugs—legal or illicit—in your blood. Some of them notable are:

  1. Blood
  2. Sweat
  3. Saliva
  4. And even breath

Like with urine, samples are sent to a drug test lab for analysis.

Blood tests are the most accurate for pinpointing abuse

Blood tests are very accurate in determining whether or not a person has alcohol or drugs in their system at a certain time. If you have drugs or alcohol in your system and consent to a blood test, it is highly unlikely you will be successful contesting the results. However, blood testing is shunned by most employers because of the high costs and specialized equipment the tests require. Blood samples must be analyzed in a drug test lab.

With marijuana, however, the accuracy of blood testing diminishes greatly after six hours.

Your sweat can get you into trouble

This form of drug testing relies of a skin patch to determine if your blood contains illicit substances. The sweat test isn’t very popular as it can take up to two weeks to produce results. However, agencies like Child Protective Services and parole officers rely on for long-term monitoring.

The sweat test keeps agencies from having to perform so many urine tests and sending them off to a drug test lab just to get the same results.

Saliva can also keep a record of your activities

Saliva tests are usually used by employment agencies for onsite drug testing. If you have attended a job fair or applied for a job in a certain industry you may have had to consent to one. They are excellent for detecting recent drug or alcohol use, and do not have to be sent to a drug test lab for analysis. However, their accuracy extends only as far out as 2-3 days.

The only problem with saliva tests is that they are not recognized by any of the federal agencies overseeing drug testing guidelines.

Fresh breath does not an innocent person makes

Breath tests are probably the best known of the drug testing techniques. Most of you have probably seen the commercial showing the intoxicated driver with downcast eyes being pulled over by the police. Well, that’s because breath tests are the chosen method of detecting intoxicated drivers by police departments.

Breath tests work by having you take deep breaths and blow into a device called a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer then measures the alcohol content and produces a readout that tells the officer whether or not you are intoxicated.

The breathalyzer also eliminates the need to send samples to a drug test lab.

Most people are still concerned about privacy, so employment agencies and employers do everything they can to protect the confidentiality of their clients. However, most people are willing to consent to the inconvenience and risk of loss of privacy for the sake of a safe work environment.

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