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What is drug testing?

Drugs eventually show up in body fluids and hair in one form or another. There are five primary types of drug tests: urine, hair, nails, blood, and saliva.

The most commonly used specimens are urine, hair, and nail.

Urine analysis is less invasive than blood analysis, typically the least expensive, and can detect infrequent or recent single use.

Hair analysis is the least invasive, but may not reveal recent use. In hair, certain drugs can be detected for longer periods historically, but typically only for heavy-duty and continuous use.

Nail analysis is the most difficult to adulterate. Donors often have to wait to provide a sample, until their nails are long enough to test.

Why should I drug test?

Pre-employment drug test is by far the most common type of drug test used by businesses. It has the advantage of being inexpensive, since only one test per potential employee needs to be paid for by the company.

Random drug testing is the most effective drug deterrence method. The goal of random testing is to discourage drug use among employees.

Post-incident drug testing is not a commonly administered test compared to the other two, but the financial ramifications of not testing employees after an accident (or other on-the-job incident) makes this test worthwhile for most businesses.

When will I receive the results?

Immediate results from urine testing are possible, but not guaranteed. Hair, nail and blood testing must be sent to a lab. Lab results are typically available in 1-5 days for urine, and 7-10 days for Hair and Nail.

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