Drugs of Abuse

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Also known as: Drug Screen; Drug Test; Substance Abuse Testing; Toxicology Screen; Tox Screen; Sports Doping Tests
Formal name: Drugs of Abuse Screen

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To detect or exclude the presence of commonly abused and/or illegal drugs. This may be carried out for a number of reasons including screening for pre-employment purposes or to comply with a drug rehabilitation programme.

When to Get Tested?

  • If you apply for a job where drug screens are carried out as a routine. People with drug and alcohol problems have worse records for accidents and absenteeism; for this reason some employers screen job applicants prior to appointment.
  • If you have admitted having a drug problem and are enrolled in a detoxification or drug rehabilitation scheme where testing is part of the programme.
  • If you believe you may have taken a drug accidentally or been given a drug without consent (e.g. drink spiking).
  • If you are admitted to hospital in an emergency and doctors think that your treatment could be improved if drug abuse could be proved or excluded.
  • If you take part in a sport at a professional level.
  • If you apply for an insurance policy – some companies perform limited drug screening on applicants.
  • For legal reasons (e.g. child custody cases).
  • Sample Required?

    A random urine sample is usually collected for detection of drugs of abuse although they can be detected in blood, sweat, saliva, mother's milk and hair samples.

    Test Preparation Needed?

    Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs may give a positive screening result; prior to testing, indicate any medications that you have taken and/or for which you have prescriptions.