How To Read Drug Test Results From The Lab By Yourself

how to read drug

Sometimes it’s not possible to go to the doctor, but your drug test result comes out. So, now it’s essential to know how to read drug test results from the lab by yourself? So, that’s the topic of today’s article.

The consumption of drugs of abuse represents a serious public health risk in the USA. Marijuana and Cocaine continue to be the most prevalent drugs. Multiple organizations, both in the private sector and in the public sector, maintain drug use detection programs to verify a person’s aptitude to hold a position or perform a function.

For this reason, laboratories and medical service centers, as well as specialists in Occupational Health. Make an effort to find the best methods to perform drug detection tests, giving priority to those that offer high sensitivity and specificity, a fast response time. And a competitive price.

Rapid saliva and blood screening tests are available on the market. Assays can also carry out at the urinary level. These tests make it possible to prove that a person has consumed a particular psychoactive substance. Under certain conditions, the employer can carry out saliva screening tests. In addition, there are some ways to read drug test results from the lab.

How to read drug test results from the lab?

Saliva screening tests

Drugs pass in the saliva, so it is possible to detect them. These tests perform directly on the person.

These are the parent molecules found in saliva and not metabolites. The tests reveal the consumption of the last 24 hours.

These tests consider relatively reliable, but there may be an error rate of 30 to 70% depending on the tests.

A saliva sample considers non-invasive. You can collect a saliva sample by spitting it into a container, sweeping the mouth with a cotton swab. Or stimulating saliva production with an acidic candy, citric acid crystals, or chewing an inert material such as Teflon.

Excretion in the saliva of cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates


Very little excrete in saliva, but since cannabis administer by mouth. THC detectable several hours after contamination of the mouth by inhaled smoke. 30 minutes after smoking a joint, the concentration of THC can exceed 100 ng/ml.

THC remains detectable for 3 to 6 hours


It can detect in saliva between 4 and 12 hours after a single administration of the drug intravenously, intranasally (snort), or inhalation (smoke).


The molecules amphetamine, and methamphetamine, can detect for two days in saliva. Many drugs metabolize into amphetamine and methamphetamine.


Heroin can detect by a single administration intravenously, intranasally (snorting), or inhalation (smoke).

After intravenous injection, heroin is detectable for less than an hour in saliva, 6-AM for 1 to 4 hours, and morphine for 12 hours.

Saliva screening tests and road safety

Since 2008, the police provide with saliva screening tests for narcotics. In addition, rapid screening tests used to control vehicle drivers driving under the influence of narcotics misdemeanors.

Now, in a positive saliva test result, the police can carry out a second saliva test. It will then send to a toxicological analysis laboratory to prove the presence of narcotic substances. With this new device, the driver is no longer obliged to go to an analysis laboratory to carry out a blood test.

Saliva screening tests in companies

Saliva tests can be used in occupational health to detect the consumption of illicit products.

Since a decision rendered in 2016 by the Council of State, these saliva drug screening tests are no longer considered biological examinations. They are therefore no longer reserved for health professionals.

An employer or one of its representatives can perform these drug tests in saliva as soon as the employees tested occupy security positions in the company. The conditions of these tests are well specified in the regulations.

The employer uses a multi-drug test.

The result of a saliva test cannot in itself lead to disciplinary action nor dismissal for misconduct.

Nevertheless, the introduction and consumption of drugs in the company. Therefore, it can justify dismissal even in the absence of prior warning. So that according to the judgment of the Court of Cassation of July 1, 2008.

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The latter is present in the sample.

Four families of drugs are necessarily sought in drivers involved in a traffic accident or perpetrators of an offense or likely to drive under the influence of narcotics: amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, and opiates. That is a urine screening, which, if positive, is necessarily confirmed by confirmation and quantification in the blood.

Urine tests: Read drug test results from the lab

Many tests are available to detect drugs and toxins in the urine in less than 5 minutes: place a few drops of urine in a well containing the reagent.

The method is simple and involves depositing a minimal volume of urine on the test.

A single test can detect several drugs. Several tests are available, associating a variable number of tests.

The protocol for collecting urine to analyze psychoactive substances must be rigorous. Urine must be emitted on site. A room without a water point the flushing water must be colored, no cleaning product such as bleach, descaler, deodorant, insecticide, soap must be present in the collection room urine.

The collection is in single-use, unbreakable material, immediately given to the medical assistant at the exit of the toilet.

The lab must check it: Easy way to read drug test results from the lab

  • the PH: between 4.5 and 8
  • temperature: from 32.5 to 37.5 °
  • density: from 1.007 to 1.035
  • urinary creatinine must be greater than 450 mg / l.

The occupational physician must carry out the analysis in the presence of the employee

If the test is positive and the employee recognizes having consumed psychoactive substances.The screening considers positive.

If the test is positive, but the employee denies having consumed psychoactive substances. The laboratory confirmation must carry out by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry.

You can only do this deferred laboratory analysis on bottles labeled with the employee’s name and signed by the employee (with indelible ink). You must have two bottles; in case of a second opinion  requested. Keep the first bottle in the refrigerator, and you should freeze the second one immediately.

After cannabis use, THC-COOH is still present for up to 8 to 12 days after intake in a regular smoker and up to 3 weeks in a heavy user.

Laboratories are now able to look for adulteration of urine before performing the tests systematically.

Ways to read drug test results from the lab

The rapid urine drug detection tests have a show to offer the best cost/benefit ratio as screening tests. In addition to the wide range of drug formats and types that it can identify from them.

It is because drug tests require strict supervision to avoid manipulation or adulteration by the patient. So being workers or candidates for job vacancies who undergo these tests. Laboratories and health professionals have a significant challenge to contemplate.

How a patient can alter a drug of abuse test?

  • Giving foreign urine to the test.
  • Replace urine with synthetic or drug-free urine, which can be obtained online.
  • Drink a commercially available product to speed up the process of removing drug metabolites.
  • Add an adulterant to the specimen after collection (Salt, vinegar, bleach, detergent).
  • Dilute the sample with water from the toilet/sink.

What is the adulteration of urine samples?

Adulteration is the intentional manipulation of a urine sample by the patient to avoid detecting the illicit use of substances in their sample. Adulteration can produce false-negative results and can consist either in the intake of “detoxifying agents,” which can be from cleaning supplies and even chemicals that can be purchased through the internet.

Therefore, it is essential to implement innovative and safe procedures to detect sample tampering. Some of the measures that it can carry out are:

  • Use of Security Labels and Folded Containers.
  • Include temperature verification strips in the containers and that this corresponds to the body temperature.
  • Request identification with photograph and signature of the patient and thus validate the identity.
  • Keep the bathroom where the sample is taken well protected, not allowing access to it by outsiders. In contrast, the sample is being collected, and patients wearing coats or loose clothing or carrying backpacks or bags while providing the sample. In addition to asking them to wash their hands before going to the toilet to provide the sample.
  • Use toilet tank tablets with the intention that the water turns blue.
  • Use test strips to detect contaminants.
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What are Adulterants in Urine strips?

Urine Adulterants Test

The test adulterants in urine are test strips. That identifies abnormal levels in urine that could impurity in the sample. The levels that are included in a strip of pollutants are:

CR (creatinine) for sample dilution. The daily excretion of creatinine, related to the human body’s muscle mass, is usually constant. The DOT guidelines state that creatinine concentrations less than 20 mg/dl in urine samples indicate adulteration, regardless of age, sex, diet, muscle mass, and distribution in the local population.

NI (Nitrite) is not a standard component of urine. However, nitrate concentrations up to 3.6 mg / dL may be found in some urine samples due to urinary tract infections, bacterial contamination, or improper storage. A nitrate concentration greater than 7.5 mg/dl is considered abnormal.

GL (Glutaraldehyde) is not a natural component of human urine, and its presence indicates adulteration. In addition, there may be false-positive results in the presence of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies appear in the urine when the subject has ketoacidosis, fasting, or other metabolic problems.

PH analysis: the normal pH of urine varies between 4.5 and 8.0. Values ​​less than 4.0 or greater than 9.0 indicate adulteration.

SG (Density): The density of urine samples collected at any time ranges from 1.003-1.030. In normal adults with typical diets and regular fluid intake, the mean urine density will be 1.016-1.022. High urine density may be due to the presence of moderate amounts of protein. DOT standards state that a density less than 1.003 in the urine sample indicates adulteration. Therefore, you should analyze density and creatinine together for a better assessment of sample adulteration.

OX (Oxidizers): The presence of oxidizing reagents in urine indicates adulteration because oxidizing reagents are not standard components of urine. Oxidizing reagents are bleach, hydrogen peroxide, pyridinium chlorochromate.

FAQ on how to read drug test results from the lab

  1. What comes out in a urine drug test?

The drugs or drugs most sought after through anti-doping tests are marijuana; opiates, heroin, codeine, oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl; amphetamines, such as methamphetamines; cocaine; steroids; barbiturates, such as phenobarbital and secobarbital; and phencyclidine.

  1. How to remove Alcohol from the body fast?

There are no ways to speed up the alcohol metabolism process. So instead, the body eliminates it in three possible ways: evaporation, excretion, and metabolism, and for this, it follows its ordinary course and rhythm.

  1. What to do not to test positive for Alcohol?

Blow slowly during the test

Neither blow slowly, nor do it with gum or anything like that. Breathalyzers require a particular airflow for a specific few seconds for the test to appear valid.

  1. How long does the crystal last in blood and urine?


That can detect its presence in blood for 37 hours. Its trace remains in the urine up to 6 days after consumption and in the hair, 90.

Conclusion on how to read drug test results from the lab

A positive result in the drug test does not make it possible to differentiate between a past consumption and a recent consumption.

In addition, to escape detection of their drug addiction, some users resort to adulterating their urine which will be tested (for example, by absorbing certain drugs before the urine sample, by diluting the urine sample) to disrupt the screening test.

Pass through the screening tests: substitution, dilution, adulteration of urine and hair. Thus, there are many products to falsify the results of examinations. Shampoos to prevent the detection of drugs in the hair.

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