What Is a Toxicology Screen?

A toxicology screen is a test that determines the approximate amount and type of legal or illegal drugs that are in a patient’s system. It may be used to screen for drug abuse, to monitor a substance abuse problem, or to evaluate drug intoxication or overdose.

    Heart Diseases - Cardiovascular Testing Services

    Common Classes of Drugs Detected

    Toxicology screenings can be done quickly. The test is done using a urine sample. The results can show the presence of one specific drug or a variety of drugs at once. Further testing may be needed to determine the exact amount of a drug in the body and to confirm the results.

    Many substances can be discovered through toxicology screens. Common classes of drugs that may be detected by toxicology screens include:

    alcohol, including ethanol and methanol amphetamines barbiturates
    benzodiazepines methadone cocaine
    opiates, including codeine, oxycodone, and heroin phencyclidine (PCP) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

    Common Classes of Drugs Detected

    Toxicology screenings can be done quickly. The test is done using a urine sample. The results can show the presence of one specific drug or a variety of drugs at once. Further testing may be needed to determine the exact amount of a drug in the body and to confirm the results.

    Many substances can be discovered through toxicology screens. Common classes of drugs that may be detected by toxicology screens include:

    • Alcohol, including ethanol and methanol
    • Amphetamines
    • Barbiturates
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Methadone
    • Cocaine
    • Opiates, including codeine, oxycodone, and heroin
    • Phencyclidine (PCP)
    • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

    Why is a toxicology test performed?

    Toxicology testing may be done for various reasons. The test is often ordered to determine if someone has taken drugs that could endanger their health. Doctors may request toxicology testing if they suspect a person is taking illegal drugs and that person is showing the following symptoms:

    • Confusion
    • Deliriousness
    • Unconsciousness
    • Panic attacks
    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures

    These symptoms usually indicate drug intoxication or overdose. Employers may also order a toxicology screen to ensure their workers abstain from using illegal substances. In some cases, the test may be a normal part of the application process for certain jobs. It can also be used to check athletes for the use of performance enhancing drugs.

    Law enforcement might also request a toxicology test while investigating a car accident or sexual assault case. Officials such as probation officers or substance abuse program leaders can also order a test for people who are being monitored for illegal drug use.

    Other scenarios in which toxicology testing may be performed include the following:

     

    • before receiving an organ transplant
    • during pregnancy, if suspected of substance abuse
    • during treatment for certain medical conditions, specifically those that require the use of pain medications

    Urine Collection Procedure

    • A urine sample is collected in an appropriate container for a minimum of 10 ml sample size.
    • Sample can be collected at any time during the day however the first-morning sample will be most concentrated.
    • All urine collection and/or transport containers should be clean and free of particles or interfering substances.
    • The collection and/or transport container should have a secure lid and be leak-resistant. Leak-resistant containers reduce specimen loss and healthcare worker exposure to the specimen while also protecting the specimen from contaminants.
    • It is good practice to use containers that are made of break-resistant plastic, which is safer than glass.
    • The container material should not leach interfering substances into the specimen.

     

    Urine Collection Procedure

    • A urine sample is collected in an appropriate container for a minimum of 10 ml sample size.
    • Sample can be collected at any time during the day however the first-morning sample will be most concentrated.
    • All urine collection and/or transport containers should be clean and free of particles or interfering substances.
    • The collection and/or transport container should have a secure lid and be leak-resistant. Leak-resistant containers reduce specimen loss and healthcare worker exposure to the specimen while also protecting the specimen from contaminants.
    • It is good practice to use containers that are made of break-resistant plastic, which is safer than glass.
    • The container material should not leach interfering substances into the specimen.

    Talk With Tesis Labs

    Better Approach to Exceptional Care

    Better Approach to Exceptional Care