Drug Screening FAQS

Drug Screening FAQS


1.        What does the multi-drug of abuse urine cup test do?

The multi-drug of abuse urine cup test is a drug screen test.  It provides preliminary results for the detection of one or more of the drugs at the cut-off level: 

Abbreviation

Test

AMP

 Amphetamine

BAR

 Barbiturates

BZD

 Benzodiazepine

COC

 Cocaine

MET

 Methamphetamine

MOR

 Morphine

MTD

 Methadone

PCP

 Phencyclidine

TCA

 Tricyclics

THC

 Marijuana/Hashish

XTC

 MDMA or Ecstasy

2.        What is cut-off level?

The cut-off level is the specified concentration of a drug in a urine sample.  Above that concentration the test is called positive, and below that concentration it is called negative.

3.        What are drugs of abuse?

Examples of drugs of abuse include marijuana, cocaine, opiates, heroin, amphetamines, Ecstasy or MDMA, and phencyclidine. Prescription drugs, such as morphine, codeine or other painkillers, also may be abused.

4.        Common Street Names for Drugs

 

Drug

Street Name

Amphetamines

Speed, Amp, Bennie, Chalk, Black beauties

Cocaine

Big C, Coke, Snow, Flake, Candy, Crack, Blow, Rock

Methamphetamines

Crystal, Meth, Ice, Glass

MDMA

Ecstasy, E, Adam, XTC, X

Opiates

Heroin, H, Hairy hombre, horse, Jones, Scag

Marijuana (THC)

Pot, Weed, Herb, Bud, MJ, Doobie, Reefer, Grass joint, Homegrown, Spliff

Phencyclidine

Angel dust, hog, Killer weed,

 

5.        How long can the drugs be detected in urine?

The following are guidelines only.  The times can vary significantly from these estimates depending on how long the person has been taking the drug, amount of drug they use, or the person's metabolism.

Drug

Detection Times

Minimum

Maximum

Amphetamines/ Methamphetamines (Speed/Uppers)

4-6 hours

2-3 days

Cocaine (Crack)

2-6 hours

2-3 days

Heroin (Opiates)

2-6 hours

1-3 days

Marijuana (Pot)

1-3 hours

1-7 days

Phencyclidine (Angel Dust/PCP)

4-6 hours

7-14 days

 

6.        How accurate is the test?

The test is fairly sensitive to the presence of drugs in the urine.  This means that if drugs are present, you will usually get a preliminary positive result.  If you get a preliminary positive result, you should send the urine sample to the laboratory for a second, more accurate test.

It is very important to send the urine sample to the lab, because the drug of abuse urine screening may give positive results when no drugs are actually present. Certain foods, food supplements, beverages, diet pills, or over-the-counter medicines can cause a reaction with the tests.  Laboratories use a very reliable test, with very few errors, to determine whether or not your sample contains drugs.

Many things can affect the accuracy of this test, including but not limited to:

·          The way you did the test

·          The way you stored the test or urine

·          What the person ate or drank before taking the test

·          Any prescription or over-the-counter drugs the person may have taken before the test

55 consumers participated in a field study.  The results of the study are summarized below.  All 14 incorrect results are at drug concentrations at 50% ~ 150% of the cutoffs.

Drug

Cutoff Conc. (ng/ml)

# Test

Result Interpretation

Correct

Incorrect

AMP

1000

220

217

3

BAR

200

220

219

1

BZD

300

220

217

3

COC

300

220

219

1

MET

1000

220

219

1

MOR

2000

220

217

3

MTD

300

220

220

0

PCP

25

220

220

0

THC

50

220

219

1

TCA

1000

220

219

1

XTC

500

220

220

0

 

7.        If the test results are negative, can you be sure that the person did not take drugs?

No. There are several factors that can make the test results negative even though the person is using drugs.   Because

·          You may have tested for the wrong drugs.

·          You may not have tested the urine when it contained drugs.  It takes time for drugs to appear in the urine after a person takes them, and they do not stay in the urine indefinitely; you may have gotten the urine too soon or too late.

·          The person knowingly added something to the urine to prevent it from reacting with the test chemicals.

·          The chemicals in the test went bad because they were stored incorrectly or they passed their expiration date.

If you get a negative result, but still suspect drug abuse, you can test again at a later time. You should also consider testing other types of drugs. Talk to your doctor if you need more help deciding what steps to take next.

 

8.        What is false positive result?

A false positive result is a screening test read positive when the drug or drug metabolite is not present or its concentration is less than the cutoff level.

 

9.        What does Preliminary Positive mean?

The Multi-Drug Urine Test is a screening test.   It is the first step in a two-step process.  Screening tests are not as accurate as laboratory test.  It is possible to get a positive result when the person did not take drugs.  For example, some medicines and food may cause the screening tests to incorrectly read positive. Things such as diet pills, inhalers and cough syrup can cause a positive result.  You consult with your doctor to better understand how medications may interfere with this test.

 

10.     Does a positive screen test mean that you have found drugs of abuse?

No. Wait until you get the laboratory's result.  Remember that many factors may cause a false positive result in the home test.  It is important to send any sample giving positive results to the laboratory for further evaluation. 

 

11.     What if the lab test confirms a positive result?

The lab uses very accurate and reliable equipment to run the tests.  If the lab reports a positive result, it means the drug was present in the urine sample.  But do not assume the urine sample came from a drug abuser. 

People can test positive THC (or marijuana) because they have been repeatedly around heavy marijuana smoke even they did not smoke marijuana themselves.

Consider all amphetamine results carefully, even those from the lab.  Some over-the-counter medications contain amphetamines that cannot be distinguished from illegally abused amphetamines. 

·          If you received a positive result and you do not believe the test, consult your doctor.  They have your medical history and they can provide you with detailed information.

·          If a positive result was confirmed, consult you doctor to identify counselors who will help you.  You can also contact one of the resources listed below for help.

 

12.     Additional Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Phone: 301-443-1124

www.drugabuse.gov

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone: 301-443-9110

www.prevention.samhsa.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: 404-639-3534
Phone: 800-311-3435 (toll-free)

www.cdc.gov

Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program
U.S. Department of Education
Phone: 800-872-5327 (toll-free)

www.ed.gov

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
Phone: 800-729-6686 (toll-free)

www.ncadi.samhsa.gov

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Phone: 800-622-2255 (toll-free)

www.ncadd.org

American Council for Drug Education

Phone: 301-443-3860
www.niaaa.nih.gov