7 Disciplines Of Drug and Alcohol Testing One Should Know

Drug and alcohol dependency and addiction are prevalent in the population. 14.8 million Americans are presently abusing drugs, and more than 70% of these people are employed in the workplace. Drugs slow cognitive abilities, slowing down the ability to remain productive.

Of course, there are now many drug and alcohol testing products available. Many companies use them regularly to test for drugs in their employees. That said, here are seven types of drug and alcohol testing done should know. 

Blood Tests

Blood tests are not very common due to the invasive procedures used to collect blood. However, it is a widespread drug and alcohol test

Many companies and employees have doubts about using this drug test due to its invasive nature. Those who do know that blood testing makes it possible to detect things other than drug presence in a person’s blood. It can determine the exact drug concentration level in the body through drug metabolites, even in small blood samples like those offered through drug testing Lorain, Ohio.

You can detect the presence of drugs in blood tests for up to several weeks. It is essential to wait a day or two to improve its efficiency. 

Hair Tests

A hair follicle drug test is the least common form of drug test but is one of the most effective. Not only is it able to scan for illicit drug use, but it can also detect misuse of drugs in people using prescribed drugs. 

All you have to do is clip off a small strand of hair from the person’s head using scissors to perform the test. The person administering the test would then analyze the hair strand, determining if a particular person used any illicit drugs 90 days before the test. You can use it to detect amphetamines, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, and opioids. 

Breath Tests

Although law enforcement officers use breath tests the most, it has become quite common in the workplace. It is often praised for its effectiveness despite its non-invasive methods. It is best to use this form of drug testing when showing signs of recent drug use.

When employers or law enforcement officers want to perform breathing testing, they must use a breathalyzer—the breathalyzer tests for exhaled breath and water vapor for blood plasma alcohol concentration.

The downside to using this form of drug testing is that it only detects alcohol in your blood system for about 24 hours. Hence, you can only use this test when you’re sure someone has used alcohol or other drugs in the past 24 hours. 

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Urine Tests

Urine tests like mandelin reagent are undoubtedly the most common drug tests in the world. They are highly affordable, efficient, and portable. You can find many urine test variants at stores around you.

Urine tests can detect several illicit drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines, ecstasy, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.

Like many other drug tests, it involves using non-invasive methods to detect drugs. Naturally, the amount of time a drug stays in a person’s system depends on several factors like weight, height, sex, and physical health. However, on average, the U.S Food and Drug Administration stated that drugs would stay in urine for about 1-30 days, depending on how frequently the person uses it. 


Saliva testing is another standard drug testing method that employs non-invasive methods. However, just like breath tests, you can only use them to detect recent drug use. To be more precise, it can only detect drug use within 4-10 hours. 

This form of drug testing is best for pre-employment procedures or random testing. Some police officers also use it on drivers they suspect are driving under the influence. It can detect amphetamines, opioids, cannabis, alcohol, barbiturates, methamphetamines, and so on. 

Sweat Drug Screen

A sweat drug screen uses sweat to detect the presence of drugs. This procedure involves a doctor collecting some sweat patches on your skin for several days or weeks and then subjecting it to laboratory tests. Sweat patch testing is highly accurate, seeing as sweat patches are about 92% percent accurate in detecting the presence of cocaine.

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Presumptive Substance Testing 

This is the last form of testing that authorized personnel can conduct without the awareness of the individual. As an employer, you can inspect a material, substance, or surface an employee has used to look for traces of drug use. Many of these are now quite affordable, and they are available as over-the-counter products. 

Moreover, you don’t need a lab to confirm the results. All you need to do for the test is mix the suspicious material with a chemical and look for a color change. If there is a color change, drugs are present in that material. Drugs can be detected using this form of testing for 24 hours.

Final Verdict

It is essential to remember that the best way to beat a drug test is not to do drugs at all. Drug tests can detect the presence of virtually illicit drugs, and you can get in trouble if results come back positive. That said, the above are seven disciplines of drug and alcohol testing you should know.