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Drug testing is the process of checking if a person has ingested illicit drugs and if he or she has it in the system. This works by taking a sample from the person, like urine, blood, or even hair, and … Continue reading

Specifics of Urine Drug Testing

When you’re looking for a new job, you’ll often have to pass a drug screen and or drug test prior to employment. The two most common types of drug testing that may be performed are drug urinalysis and hair testing. While hair testing can be more accurate, it’s more expensive and results and can take more time to be obtained. When a urine sample is taken, the lab researchers are looking for the metabolites of specific drugs (metabolites are what is leftover of the drugs you’ve consumed, after your body processes it).

Marijuana is broken down into 31 metabolites, with 11-nor-D-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid showing in the urine. People know this metabolite more commonly as THCA, or the metabolite of THC (11-nor-D-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

Marijuana is stored in fat cells that could take up to a month to break down. Even when it’s metabolized, it’s released back into the user's bloodstream. Urine samples taken even a month after the last usage may still show THCA in the system.

When an employer asks you for a urinalysis, they’re not asking for a full drug test. Initial urinalysis is simply a drug screen and is used because it is faster and cheaper. However, if you fail the drug screen for any reason, then a real lab drug tests is performed in order to confirm the results of the drug screen. The drug screen is called an Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Test, abbreviated as EMIT. The follow up lab drug test is known as gas chromatography, abbreviated as GMCS.

EMIT drug screens are also known as Point of Care (POC) testing. The biggest advantage of a POC test is that it can be done and results read in an office where the test was taken. Employers like this because it cuts down on costs of transporting and handling the specimen on the way to a lab.

Urinalysis EMIT drug screen is read using threshold numbers. If you are under that threshold, you are considered clean (negative/pass), and over the threshold is considered a dirty test (positive/fail). This type of test use dyes to form colored lines on the test strip or cassette to indicate a pass or fail for the urine drug test.

The other drug classes besides THC that urinalysis looks for includes Amphetamines, Cocaine, Opiates, Methadone, and Benzodiazepines. The cocaine metabolites appears as benzoylecgonine and methadone metabolites appears as EDDP. Each of them varies on how long they remain in the urine. From longest to shortest, they are as follows:

• Amphetamine – one to three days
• Single Marijuana Use – one to three days
• Methadone – one to three days
• Cocaine – two to four days
• Opiates – two to three days
• EDDP (a methadone metabolite) – up to six days
• Benzodiazepines – days or weeks
• Chronic Marijuana Use – 1 - 3 months (usage, concentration, and body fat % dependent)

When you go in for a drug screening, you should find out what the cutoff amount is for the drugs. In addition, the amount of ng/ml will be higher in the EMIT testing than in the gas chromatography test. So you want to pass the EMIT drug screen and not have it go to the GCMS drug test for confirmation, since the GCMS can pick up lower drug concentration levels in the urine. carries temporary and permanent detoxification systems that will help you get below the positive threshold on an EMIT drug screen. Each one of these products comes with two EMIT home drug screens, so you can test yourself after taking the product, giving you the “know before you go” peace of mind.

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