Drug testing is often used for detecting the presence of drugs within the body. Whether pre-employment or post-employment, this laboratory procedure can help improve productivity at the workplace.

If you’re an employer, you need to know that there are different drug-testing techniques available to you. Each has its share of advantages and disadvantages. And, they all differ in technology, sample, drug tested, and federal requirements. That means choosing a testing program that does not have an effective policy may not give you the intended results.

To identify which drug test type fits your workplace needs, review the summaries below. Be sure to contact Soteria Screening Laboratories for help.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Hair drug testing refers to detecting the presence of drugs or drug metabolites diffused into the follicle from the bloodstream. It is one of the minimally invasive approaches. All this procedure takes is a small sample of hair.

Hair drug testing routinely checks for illegal drug abuse, such as opiates, PCP, marijuana, and cocaine. For that reason, it is an excellent approach for pre-employment and ongoing random drug screening programs.

The good thing about this method is, it can offer data like no other procedure. These include showing the presence and patterns of drug abuse as well as long-term exposure. Many employers, however, do not prefer this method because of the considerable cost and lengthy time it takes to process the samples.

Although hair follicle drug test is quite hard to beat, it can sometimes be the least accurate approach. Perhaps, this is because drug sensitivity varies depending on ethnicity as well as environmental factors that affect the hair.

Urine Drug Test

Urine testing, sometimes referred to urinalysis, is perhaps the most common drug-testing approach. It checks for the presence of drugs or drug metabolites within the urine. The urine drug test is often used to test individuals for using different illegal drugs. These include methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), benzodiazepines, and methadone, to mention but a few.

Much like a hair drug test, urinalysis is pretty straightforward and noninvasive. It, however, has its share of downsides. For instance, results from this technique do not indicate the levels of the drug present. Sometimes, the presence of drugs may not be detected a week after use.

Blood Drug Test

Blood testing is another common type of drug test approach. It is an invasive technique that is accurate and provides more information about drug use. Unlike the urine test, a blood drug test is routinely used to detect the presence of parent drugs, not their metabolites. Why? Because most substances, such as marijuana and nicotine, are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Since blood drug test is quite expensive, it is less common. Too often, it is used in medical settings to test the presence of illicit drugs or check medications levels of a patient. It is sometimes ideal when used as part of a legal investigation, such as testing for alcohol levels on arrested drunk drivers. In most cases, employees administer a blood test for law or money reasons.

Take the Next Step for Your Company

Now that you know about the various drug testing options available, – hair follicle drug test, urinalysis, and blood testing – it’s time to keep your workplace safe. Want to learn more about our employer and individual drug and alcohol test programs? Need help choosing a method that perfectly serves your purpose? Feel free to contact Soteria Screening Laboratories at (202) 679-6670. We will be more than happy to help.

Skip to content