When it comes to drug screening, the most important factors are accuracy and efficiency.  Companies who have their employees take a drug test want to know if anyone is on drugs, and they want to know it fast.  This is especially important when the drug test is part of a hiring decision that needs to be made soon.  There are several different types of screenings, including saliva, urine, and hair tests.  How quickly can you expect drug test results?  Which method is best for your business?  Here are the most common drug screenings and how long it takes to receive results.

Urine Test

The most common type of drug screening is a urine test.  This drug test can detect use within three to five days, depending on the substance that was taken and other factors like the person’s metabolism.  Most if not all drugs can be spotted in a urine test.  This includes alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, and more.

If a test is positive, the results will typically come back within 24 hours.  Negative results can take up to 72 hours, as the lab will want to run further tests to make sure they are accurate.

Hair Test

A hair follicle test is a less common form of drug screening.  It is not something a lot of people even know about.  For this drug test, the examiner collects the sample directly, so there is no chance of cheating the test.  Drugs can be detected in a hair test for up to 90 days after use.  Because of this long look back period, this type of screening is becoming more popular with businesses.

The drug test results will come back positive within a day.  Negative results will arrive an additional one to three days later.

Saliva Test

A saliva or oral fluid test involves collecting spit in order to screen for drugs or alcohol.  This drug test can only detect substances hours after use.  Marijuana can only be detected in a saliva test within 24 hours of use.  Alcohol can only be found within six to 12 hours.  Oral fluid tests are also not approved as accurate by the FDA.

Like many other drug tests, any sample without any drugs detected comes back within 24 hours.  Positive drug test results may take up to three days as the lab runs additional screenings.

Blood Test

Testing blood for drugs or alcohol is not a common practice in the workplace.  However, this service is available to those who deem it necessary.  Generally, blood tests only detect drugs within about six to eight hours of use.  However, they can detect the parent drug that the person took, which other drug screenings like urine tests cannot do. 

For the most part, blood drug test results come back within two to four days.  Depending on the lab and the type of test, results may not be available for up to seven to ten days.

Breath Alcohol Test

This screening is most commonly used by cops when they are determining if a person was drunk driving. The test measures blood alcohol content.  Therefore, it is only accurate within a short amount of time of consuming alcohol.  The main benefit of a breath alcohol test is that results are available immediately.

Need drug test results fast?

Soteria Screening Laboratories takes pride in providing accurate, quick drug tests to employers of all kinds. We offer urine, hair, saliva, and breath alcohol tests, as well as random testing for businesses. Our services are up to Department of Transportation standards.  Call (202) 679-6670 or visit them online to order a drug test or request more information. 

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