What drugs do these tests look for?
Drug tests screen for a variety of substances – both legal and illegal. The purpose of screening for illegal substances as well as legal substances is to ensure that there is no abuse of illicit drugs OR prescription medications happening. The abuse of either of these types of substances has a profoundly negative impact on not just the body, but also the mind. The most common illegal drug tests look for traces of many different drugs. In addition to these substances, companies can elect to use an eight-panel or ten-panel drug test that probes for additional, more specific substances. These additional screens can test for inhalants, steroids, ecstasy, extra hormones, and even barbiturates.
Since drug tests can also be used to pick up and screen for legal substances, any type of medication that is currently being taken may also show up in the test results. If you are on regular medication of any kind, it is best to disclose that information to the employer or drug tester up front. Especially medications for anxiety and depression, as these have been known to cause “false positives” on drug tests in the past. With that background knowledge of your medication, the company/tester can choose the most effective and accurate method of testing for you. Many people can be reluctant to share personal medication information immediately upon hire or during the application process, but the alternative of failing a drug test and having to explain yourself could end up reflecting poorly on your integrity as an employee.
Are there different types of drug test methods?
Yes, there are many different types of drug tests that can be conducted. A few of the most common and popular methods of drug testing are hair drug tests and urine drug tests. These are both painless and non-intrusive ways to test for drug residue or illicit substances in the body.
The reason that there are so many types of drugs tests lies within the simple fact that there is not currently one, a singular method that will effectively test for EVERY drug or substance that needs to be tested for with total accuracy. By testing for substances in multiple ways, results are also considered to be more accurate. One type of drug test can be conducted to confirm the results of another type of drug test, or another type of drug test can be used to probe deeper into what substances may be being abused. There are many other, less commonly used methods of drug testing – these are typically used to confirm findings from a previous drug test. These alternative methods of drug testing include saliva drug tests, blood sample drug tests, and sweat patch drug tests. These methods of drug testing are more intrusive, and require more skilled personnel to administer and evaluate the tests.