Drug testing, despite its limitations, is a crucial component in clinical settings. This is because traditional methods of evaluation, such as clinical examination, self-reported information from patients, and reports from other sources, often fail to reflect the frequency of substance use accurately. It is important to note, however, that drug testing should always be complemented by a comprehensive history and physical examination, as well as a thorough psychosocial assessment .
Our Beverly Hills medical practice offers on site drug testing utilizing urine, blood, saliva, and hair in our office as well via house calls throughout the Los Angeles area. We offer walk-in testing but urge patients to call and make an appointment prior to coming in. Results usually take several days to return but at times depending on the tests needed, we can obtain same day results.
What’s a drug test?
The process of drug testing involves utilizing a biological specimen to determine the existence or non-existence of a drug or its by-products . It uses a biological sample, such as urine, blood, saliva, hair, or sweat, to determine the presence or absence of certain drugs or their metabolites in an individual’s system.
This can help identify if someone has recently used drugs or if they have a chronic substance abuse problem. Drug tests are commonly used in the workplace, by law enforcement agencies, in healthcare settings, and in sports organizations, among other contexts.
The test results can have various implications, such as informing treatment decisions, guiding legal actions, or determining eligibility for certain programs or employment opportunities.
Types of drug tests
There are several different types of drug tests, including:
Urine testing: Urine drug testing is the most commonly used type of drug test. It can detect the presence of drugs or their metabolites in the urine for a period of time after the drug has been used.
Blood testing: Blood drug testing can provide a more accurate and immediate reading of drug use, but it is more invasive and not as commonly used as urine testing.
Saliva testing: Saliva drug testing is a non-invasive alternative to blood testing. It is quick and easy to perform and can detect drugs that have been used recently. The saliva is collected with cotton swabs.
Hair follicle testing: Hair drug testing can detect drug use over a longer period of time, typically up to 90 days. However, it is more expensive and less widely used than urine testing.
Sweat testing: Sweat drug testing involves collecting a sample of sweat from an individual’s skin and testing it for drugs. It is a less commonly used type of drug test.
Breath alcohol test: The breath alcohol test measures the amount of alcohol in the blood by testing exhaled air. The test determines how much alcohol it takes to raise the blood-alcohol level to a dangerous level.
Each type of drug test has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which test to use will depend on the specific needs and circumstances of the situation. All the specimens are then sent to Medical Review Officers (MRO) for evaluation.