Importance of Drug Test Detection Period

Use of illicit drugs and alcohol has become common today. Conducting drug tests to identify drug abusers has, therefore, become substantial. Drug testing is nothing but a test that is conducted to detect the presence of illicit drug or its metabolites in the given sample. Various methods such as urine, saliva and hair drug tests are conducted by simply designed test kits. Drug test detection period for a test kit is the amount of time after consuming a drug that a particular drug testing method can show a positive result. Drug detection period varies with frequency of drug usage, type of specimen, cutoff levels, test method, metabolism, and other factors.

Urine drug tests detect drugs and their metabolites in urine sample. The detection period for urine drug test kits is obviously higher when compared to blood tests that are conducted in laboratory. As said, drug detection period for urine drug testing varies for different drugs – 30 days for marijuana, 3 to 5 days for methamphetamine, 3 to 7 days for phencyclidine (PCP), 4 to 5 days for cocaine, and 2 to 4 days for opiates.

Hair drug tests can detect any of the metabolites of illicit drugs for up to 90 days. The metabolites of drugs pass through blood to various parts of the body. They get deposited at hair shaft and remain there for as long as three months. So, habitual drug use can be detected by hair drug test easily. Saliva drug tests, however, can only detect recent drug abuse. The detection periods for various drugs with this method is not known. It is found that it can detect illicit drug use for 2 days. So, based on the mode of testing, the drug detection period varies. Also, consider various factors that affect the detection period when conducting drug testing.

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Updated: December 19, 2013 — 12:28 am © 2009 - 2017