Different Types Of Drug Tests And What They Are Used For – Credihealth Blog


A drug test is a technical exam performed on your blood, hair, saliva, perspiration, or urine to assess the presence of one or more prescription or illegal substances in your system. Pre-employment drug testing, DOT physics, legal or forensics, and sports screening are all common uses for drug testing.

Drug testing can be done in a variety of ways, including oral, urine, blood, hair, and sweat tests. During these procedures, samples are usually obtained and submitted to laboratories for analysis. Let’s take a look at each of the many varieties drug testing options and their uses to get a better understanding:

urine test

A urine drug test, commonly known as a urine drug screening or a UDS, is a simple and painless procedure. It looks for the presence of certain illegal narcotics and prescription drugs in your urine. Usually, a urine drug test looks for:

  • amphetamines
  • methamphetamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • barbiturates
  • marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol


A blood test is usually done in an accident, but it can also be used to detect drugs for pre-employment screenings. Annual physical examination often includes blood tests.

Taking the sample is more invasive than other testing procedures because a small amount of blood must be drawn from a vein.

hair test

A hair or follicle test requires a strand of hair from your face, head, or armpit. It helps determine a person’s cumulative substance use. It is able to detect cocaine, marijuana, phencyclidine (PCP) amphetamines, opioids and others.

Since traces of the substance remain in the hair months after use, no shampooing can remove them, a person may have last used cannabis a few months ago and still test positive today. Hair drug testing is mostly pointless in today’s workplace because so much of it is based on whether an employee has a disability while on duty. Hair samples are also expensive and take a long time to process. That’s why few companies use them for workplace drug testing.

Testing saliva

Although drug testing in urine is the most common, drug testing with saliva is gaining popularity simply because it is less invasive. Saliva drug testing, on the other hand, seems to be best used to detect very recent drug use to ensure accurate results. According to one study, saliva tests can only detect cannabinoids if patients have used cannabis in the past 4-10 hours.

sweat test

During this test, you may need to wear a sweat patch or absorbent pad placed on your skin for less than 24 hours for seven to 14 days. A sweat test, like a hair test, provides information about a person’s cumulative substance use.

Oral Fluid Test

An oral fluid test involves swiping your mouth to collect saliva, which is then examined to determine the concentration of drugs taken orally. In some circumstances, same-day use can catch up on any remaining medicine in the mouth.

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