The Best Type of Drug Test Method
There are many options available in forms of drug testing methodologies. How does one decide which method is best?
As with many things in life, the answer is “It depends.” There are many factors that can impact results and need to be considered when choosing the method of drug testing used.
Some pros and cons for three of the most common drug test methodologies are shared in this blog post.
Urine Drug Testing
Urine drug testing is probably the most traditional and familiar form of drug testing.
Pros of Urine Drug Testing
- Relies on mature technology with a broad scientific base
- Yields accurate and reliable results
- Often is the most affordable methodology
- Results almost instant and don’t require a lab or technician to administer the test
- Can detect for up to 12 different drugs in some test kits
Cons of Urine Drug Testing
- Usually up to a 3-day detection window, depending on the person and substance used
- Easier to adulterate than other methods
- Bathroom needed to administer tests
- Sometimes considered invasive and embarrassing to donors
Saliva (Oral) Drug Testing
Pros of Saliva Drug Testing
- Easy, non-invasive specimen collection; very donor-friendly
- Great for detecting very recent drug use
- Specimen collection can be done in virtually any environment
- Harder to adulterate because collection done under direct supervision
- Can detect for up to 8 different drugs (5 or 6 at a time)
- Good methodology for on-the-job random and reasonable suspicion testing
Cons of Saliva Drug Testing
- Very narrow detection window, from a few hours to at most 2-3 days
- Smoked drugs may contaminate saliva and yield inconclusive results
- Not approved for use in workplace drug testing programs and not FDA cleared
Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Hair follicle drug testing involves taking a small sample of hair from the scalp. It is the most effective and accurate method of finding users of drugs of abuse.
Pros of Hair Follicle Drug Testing
- Very long detection window, typically 90-days
- Easy, non-invasive specimen collection
- Body hair can be used in the absence of a long-enough hair sample from the scalp
- Strict chain of custody process allows results to be admissible in a court of law
- Most difficult method to adulterate
- Very dependable and accurate results
Cons of Hair Follicle Drug Testing
- Lab is needed to run the test and generate test results
- Results take longer to receive than other more instant methods
- May not detect very recent drug use
- Usually the most expensive testing method
Still confused about which option is best for you? Contact us for a no-obligation consultation and we can help you make a selection best for your individual situation.