Drug and alcohol testing is a way to evaluate if a person has been using drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol testing can be required for many reasons. The most common reason for drug and alcohol testing is employment, but drug and alcohol testing can occur in any aspect of life. This article will discuss the most common types of drug and alcohol tests.
What Is a Drug and Alcohol Test?
A drug and alcohol test is a procedure that measures the amount of alcohol and drugs in your system. It can screen for current use, determine if you have recently used drugs, or confirm whether you are intoxicated.
Drugs and alcohol are tested for in the blood, urine, and saliva. Drugs stay in your system longer than alcohol, so they may show up on a drug test even after your body has fully metabolized them. Alcohol leaves your system quickly after consumption; however, it can still show up on a breathalyzer test hours after drinking stops (depending on how much was consumed).
What Are Some Common Reasons to Take a Drug and Alcohol Test?
Drug and alcohol testing is required under certain circumstances. These include:
You may be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing as a condition of employment, primarily if you work in a profession that requires you to operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles.
Employment is one of the common scenarios where you will have to undergo a drug and alcohol test. However, the pandemic has given employees relief from this. According to statistics, one in five US employees has taken drugs and alcohol on workdays when employed remotely.
Career agencies Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management (GOSHRM) and CareerSource Central Florida are trying to reduce these numbers. They are communicating with employers and HR professionals in Orlando, Florida, to initiate recovery programs and manage the situation. Hence, if you are an employer, you can get a drug and alcohol test in Orlando, Florida, to help the career agencies achieve the results they are looking for.
A drug and alcohol test will ensure that your employees are clean and can focus on their work to ensure higher productivity.
Your school has the right to require you to submit to drug testing if they suspect that you have been using drugs or alcohol on campus or that there is an issue with substance abuse among students. This could include random tests and tests following an incident related to drugs and alcohol.
Sports organizations like the NCAA have rules requiring athletes who participate in their leagues (particularly those involving contact sports) to submit themselves for random screenings once per year over two years before being allowed back into competition after being suspended due to positive test results.
Besides, suppose you’re military personnel or work in the medical field (nurse or doctor), legal field (attorney or judge), entertainment field (actress or actor), political field (political candidate), or religious field (priest). In that case, you may be required to take a drug and alcohol test. If you enter any competition that requires a professional license from your state, there are likely to be drug tests and other tests that assess physical fitness.
How Long Do the Effects of Drugs Last in the Body?
The time a drug stays in the body depends on several factors, including:
- The type and amount of drug used. Different drugs take different amounts of time to leave your system.
- Your body weight. A larger person will eliminate drugs at a slower rate than someone with a smaller mass.
- Your metabolic rate—the speed at which your body metabolizes (breaks down) substances consumed or otherwise introduced into it through digestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin.
Common Ways to Test for Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
There are five common ways to test for drugs and alcohol abuse, which are:
Blood Testing for Drug and Alcohol Test
A blood test is the most accurate way to determine if someone has ingested drugs or alcohol. It detects the presence of drugs and alcohol in the body by measuring their metabolites, or breakdown products, in the blood. Blood tests are also known as “biological fluid” tests.
The significant advantage of a blood test is that it’s very accurate because it can detect drug use for up to two weeks after ingestion. This makes blood testing ideal for detecting both chronic and acute alcohol abuse. However, this method also has some downsides. It’s more expensive than other methods (such as saliva swabs), more invasive, and most importantly, it can’t be performed on people who are unconscious or unresponsive due to an overdose!
Breath Testing for Drug and Alcohol Test
Breath tests are usually non-invasive and can be done on the spot, making them ideal for law enforcement officers who want an immediate answer to their question: “Are you driving while intoxicated?”
Breath tests can also detect several drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. These tests will not catch every drug or substance in your system; they only reveal whether your body has recently ingested them. For example, if someone smoked marijuana three days ago but hasn’t smoked since then (and doesn’t plan on smoking again), this will show a negative result on their oral swab test even though the drug is still in their system at low levels.
To ensure accuracy when taking any alcohol test, whether blood or saliva, you should always avoid eating foods with high sugar content before taking this type of exam. The sugar content will dilute the sample and potentially skew results (especially if these foods contain caffeine). You should also refrain from consuming anything containing alcohol within 24 hours before giving any alcohol test; otherwise, results could be inaccurate due to residual amounts lingering in your bloodstream after drinking heavily earlier that evening.
Urine Testing for Drug and Alcohol Test
Urine tests are reliable and accurate, but they can only detect drugs and alcohol for up to 90 days. This makes them the most common drug test that you’ll encounter. They’re easy to administer, cheap, and require no special equipment.
Urine tests also come in a variety of formats:
- Anyone with some training can use testing strips—no doctor is needed! And they’re FDA-approved for use at home or work.
- Instant tests give results in as few as five minutes using only one drop of urine on the test strip! These instant tests are more expensive than other options since they require more materials, but that’s easy to justify when you consider how much time testing this way saves you (and your employer).
Hair Testing for Drug and Alcohol Test
Hair follicle testing is a drug and alcohol testing method involving collecting a hair sample for laboratory analysis. Hair testing is an effective drug testing method because it is challenging to get rid of drugs or alcohol on your hair.
Hair samples can be collected from any part of your body, but most people choose their head because the sample will be more consistent throughout their lifespan.
The sample must be at least 1/10th of an inch long so that there are enough cells for testing.
Saliva Testing for Drug and Alcohol Test
Saliva testing is usually done with a mouth swabber or oral fluid collector device that collects the saliva from inside your mouth to check for drug or alcohol use within the last two hours (and sometimes up to eight hours, depending on how much was consumed).
This type of sample can be collected at any time during work hours without directly coming into contact with anyone else who may be under suspicion. It also enables the use of multiple devices at once without wasting money on additional products needed since each person only needs one device per day. It also saves time because there’s no need for paperwork processing afterward either!
We hope that this article has shown you some common ways to test for drugs and alcohol. There are many different testing methods, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on what needs to be tested. We encourage everyone who wants more information about drug testing, or even if they are just curious, to reach out at any time!