Emergency and Overdose Drug Testing

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Also known as: Drug testing; Drug screen; Poison testing; Toxicology assays
Formal name: Emergency and Overdose Drug Testing

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To detect, measure, and occasionally to monitor drugs that may have been taken in overdose or are causing acute overdose symptoms; results from emergency and overdose drug testing are used mainly to help treatment. If results are needed for legal proceedings, then special legal (forensic) procedures must be followed for sample collection, storage, and testing.

When to Get Tested?

If a drug overdose is suspected, or when a person has symptoms such confusion, difficulty breathing, feeling sick, agitation, fits, changes in heart rhythm, or increased temperature that the Accident and Emergency (A&E) doctor thinks may be drug-related; at intervals to monitor a drug overdose

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm, a urine sample, or sometimes a breath sample; rarely, saliva or another body fluid

Test Preparation Needed?

None