How is Drug Testing Done

If you’re new to the trucking or transportation industry, you may be wondering to yourself just how exactly does drug testing work? You probably have the basic gist of what happens, but you’re not exactly sure how a simple urine sample can yield such conclusive results. Well we here at Transportation Compliance Service have been handling consortium drug and alcohol testing for quite some time and can really teach you the basics of a urinalysis.

Firstly, we would like to clarify that labs are not looking for drugs in urine samples. They are instead looking for drug metabolites that are found in urine. The basic idea behind this is that as the body takes in a substance, the end product that is expelled in waste looks quite a bit different. As an example, alcohol may enter your body as beer, however, it is later expelled as water after it makes its way through the liver and other organs. This holds true for other drugs as well.

So over the years, the art of detecting these different metabolites has been perfected and can yield very sound conclusions. In the case of the Department of Transportation and their regulations, a test referred to as the five panel EMIT. This particular test is able to test for a variety of drugs (5 to be exact, as the name suggests) and is an accepted standard for the Department of Transportation. The test is designed to detect metabolites for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, and amphetamines.

DOT tests have been known as the hardest to pass if no detoxifying product is used to mask metabolites. This is just a little information in regard to an entire industry.

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