Drug testing technology has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Today, drug testing is an extremely common phenomenon in hospitals, schools, and other public places of employment. While various tests for each known reservoir format are performed differently, generally the tests are designed to detect certain biomarkers or metabolisms that are produced when a person processes and digests a specific drug. A popular drug testing method used these days is the drug screen for a DNA sequence called the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCRs). This test can be performed on blood, urine, or semen samples in order to determine if the subject’s drug use is indeed indicative of substance abuse.
The initial use of these drug tests was done mainly to determine if a patient taking cocaine was indeed addicted. Because cocaine can cause a rapid onset of physiological changes, coupled with a heightened sense of sensations, it presents an extremely difficult diagnostic test to administer. Drug testing kits for cocaine were developed to aid in determining the abuse of the drug. These kits are available to public safety authorities, such as law enforcement and security services, as well as to private individuals who might be curious about whether or not they have been using controlled substances.
Recently, researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse have begun to study how drug tests are able to discriminate between various drugs. For example, did you know that even some legal prescription medications are being tested for their ability to cause the abuse of illegal drugs?
Another type of drug testing technology is the saliva drug test. In saliva tests, doctors collect a sample of a person’s blood and then analyze the saliva for drug residue. This process can take up to 30 days to complete. However, most insurance companies cover the cost of these tests, so it won’t break your budget.
Hair drug testing kits are now available to enable doctors to make a determination of whether or not a person has used drugs without the need for a blood sample. Typically, hair drug testing kits for saliva and blood samples can detect drug use on a routine basis. To collect a hair sample, doctors will use a special device that looks like a small glass vial.
Currently, there is no recommended blood test for possible substance abuse in the workplace. However, there are currently a few drugs that may be used as a blood control specimen. Two of these include the beta blockers and benzodiazepines. These two drugs do not collect any urine or saliva samples. If you work in an environment where you need to work with prescription medications on a regular basis, it is recommended that you report any new symptoms to your supervisor. By talking to your supervisor, you may be able to save your job and avoid having to undergo drug testing.
Some people may think that hair drug testing will be impossible to do in the workplace. But, you can still do this test at home. Typically, the only difference between a home hair test and a workplace drug testing kit is the collection of the hair sample. Both samples must be sent to the lab for analysis. Either way, the results from your hair test can help determine whether or not you have been exposed to a substance in the workplace that may have caused you to have symptoms such as insomnia, depression, memory loss, nausea, dizziness or even an allergic reaction.
Although there are many different types of drug testing programs currently available, your doctor can usually give you some good information on which type would be the most effective for you. Talking to your doctor can also help you determine how much of a risk you may be putting yourself under if you continue to use drugs. In addition to getting tested for any legal substances, you may also want to be tested for any prescription medications that you may be taking on a daily basis.