Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Types of Drug Tests

Many organizations these days do drug testing on their employees. These are also used regularly for people who may be on probation or parole. There are different types of drug tests today.

The first and most common type is perhaps the urine drug test. This type of tests uses the urine from the subject and drugs or metabolites are screened using different methods. For example, the cheapest type is called the EMIT or Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique is used. However, it is not that accurate, and if any drug is detected, then a second, more accurate test should be done, like Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. Other urine drug tests include RIA and FPI, which are more expensive, but also more sensitive.

A hair follicle drug test is another type of popular drug testing. It is non-invasive, and you can also verify the sample since it is taken directly from the subject in plain view of other people (unlike urine which can be difficult). Usually, when drug metabolites go into the blood, they can also go into the blood vessels in the scalp and filtered through the hair. The traces are then left in the hair follicles. Usually around 50 to 80 strands of hair are needed from the scalp and then placed into various solvents, which can be analyzed to check for drug use.

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