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Drug Screening Explained

...understanding drug screening basics!

…from your Partners in Patient Care.

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Drug screening can be seen as quite a complex topic, so we have explained a few of the common points to assist our visitors, such as cut-off levels, drug retention times, etc.  If you find that there are any other areas relating to drug screening that you require assistance with, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Other areas of the site which may be of relevance may be:


Drug Screening Cut-off Levels

When screened for drugs, patients are tested to see if they exceed a particular cut-off level. i.e If the sample is Positive (+ve) or Negative (-ve). This is the same principle as screening against the roadside legal drink drive limit.

Cut-off levels are generally different from drug to drug but are based upon the research and guidance of SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the USA).

Standard cut-off levels mean that all laboratories and rapid drug tests should screen at the same level, so wherever a test is conducted, the patient will be assessed by the same criteria and results from one region are easily comparable with those of another.

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The cut-off levels are set at a point that is sufficiently high to rule out environmental contamination such as passive smoking of Cannabis, etc, and yet low enough to be sure that a patient must have abstained from the drug to test negative.


Drug Screening Retention Times

Different drugs are detectable in urine for different lengths of time. Factors including age, height, sex, weight, purity of drug, dose, how often the drug is used, etc, will all play a role in how long drugs remain detectable in a patient’s urine sample. Please use the following figures purely as a guide, as the upper limit can represent extremes:

Alcohol (Breath / Saliva)  -  1 hour per unit consumed

Amphetamines - 2 to 6 days

Barbiturates - 3 to 8 days

Benzodiazepines - 2 to 14 days

Cannabis (THC) - Typically 14 to 28 days but one-off use can be as little as 3 to 5 days

Cocaine - 2 to 5 days

Methadone - 2 to 7 days

Methamphetamines - 2 to 6 days

Opiates - 2 to 5 days

PCP - 2 to 6 days


For some free advice from a friendly expert on drug retention times, cross reacting medication, or any other drug screening issues, please contact us.

Free samples of drug tests and alcohol test kits are also available for healthcare professionals or businesses. Home drug screening test kits are also available to be purchased online or by telephone.


So why choose Drug-Aware for your Drug Screening requirements?

At Drug-Aware, we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive solution when it comes to drug screening kits.

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    Please contact us today for assistance from a friendly expert on Drug Screening or Buy your home drug testing kits online.

    For technical information on various drugs and more information relevant to drug testing, please visit our technical drug information section.

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