Court-ordered probation or pre-trial drug tests vary depending on the individual’s offense and severity of punishment. Usually, probation drug testing is random and could include anywhere from 5 to 12 drug panels or more, and may include an alcohol test. The most commonly abused and therefore most tested for substances include marijuana, cocaine, PCP, opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines; the first 5 being included in the standard 5-panel drug test. If a drug test ever results in a positive for any of the drug panels, National Drug Screening immediately sends it for additional GC-MS confirmation by a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)-certified laboratory, as well as a test review by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). An individual who receives a positive result will have a chance to provide any prescriptions for medications they may be taking and will have the opportunity to explain to the MRO responsible for reviewing the test prior to the results are released. Since just about any drug can be detected in the urine, it is common for probation officers to require observed or random drug tests as a condition of their probation. However, probation officers may choose to require a hair follicle drug test since they are more difficult to beat and they detect drug use over a longer period of time, sometimes up to 90 days. If you must refrain from alcohol consumption as a condition of your probation, then you will most likely be required to submit to continuous, random alcohol tests to prove your sobriety.
Urine drug tests are the most inexpensive option when testing for recent drug use. Urine drug tests are an effective method, while still being a cost-effective way for individuals and employers to detect nearly any drug in the system. One of the many advantages in using a urine analysis to test for drugs is that they can be detected almost immediately after use or consumption since drugs make their way rapidly into a person’s urine. As long as the urine test is administered properly, it is difficult, though not impossible, to cheat a urine test. Most of the instances that one hears about an individual cheating a urine test is a result of an improperly administered test. Another advantage of a urine drug test is that it is always an option, whereas hair, for example, may not be readily available on every individual.
When someone consumes a drug, regardless of the method, the body metabolizes it. The metabolites along with the drug itself are then excreted into the body, including the urine. The drugs and their metabolites can then be detected when a lab analyzes an individual’s urine sample, then reported to whoever ordered the test. While urine tests are effective in detecting most drugs used in the recent past, they may not be able to detect drug use more than a week prior to the test since most drugs, except for marijuana, pass through a person’s system in just a few days. The length of time a drug remains detectable through a urine test will be different for every person depending on their metabolism and the type of drug used. It also can be effected by the amount of fluids a person consumes and excretes since the drug was used. Marijuana can remain in a person’s system for up to a month if the user consumes it heavily and consistently.
Since any drug that is ingested is excreted through the urine, a urine drug test provides the most options for detecting drug use, and it is the most affordable. National Drug Screening’s urine drug tests are arranged in panels, usually 5 or 10, and include the most commonly used combinations of drugs. The standard 5-panel drug screening tests for marijuana, cocaine, PCP (or phencyclidine, also known as angel dust), opiates and amphetamines. Additional panel tests are available upon request to include any of the following drugs: Propoxyphene, Buprenorphine, Ketamine, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, and more. You can also add alcohol testing to any urine test, if necessary.
Hair follicle testing is a more recent method of testing and is becoming more popular among the court systems and employers. Many probation officers may opt for a hair follicle test since the detection period is much longer than that of a urine drug test. Hair follicle tests are forensic toxicology tests that can determine if an individual has consumed or used drugs in the past 90 days, though they cannot usually detect drug use within the most recent 2 to 4 days just before a test. Hair follicle drug screening tests are generally used to determine chronic, recurring, or binge drug usage over an extended period of time. When a person ingests a drug, it enters the bloodstream while simultaneously metabolizing. Those metabolites also circulate through the blood along with the drug itself. Since blood nourishes a person’s hair follicles, the ingested drugs and their metabolites are deposited into their hair follicles. Once the hair has grown out of the follicle enough, usually at least 5 to 7 days after drug use, the evidence of the drug remains intact and can be tested for. Evidence of ingested drugs will remain in the hair indefinitely unless the hair is cut. Contrary to the name of the hair follicle test, the follicle, or “root” itself is not actually tested. Only about the first inch and a half of hair growth from the base is tested. If a person’s head hair is less than an inch and a half, then the test can be done using other body hair. That is one of the cons of the hair follicle test: if a person doesn’t have any hair on their body that is at least an inch and a half long, then the test cannot be done.
Alcohol testing is another form of forensic screening that can detect alcohol or it’s metabolites in an individual so that a probation officer can assess their history of prior consumption or current level of intoxication. Alcohol testing can be done using a variety of methods, including breath, blood, urine, hair or hand specimens. Hair testing can be used to detect EtG alcohol. The type of alcohol test used is determined by the circumstances. If immediate results are necessary, then a breath alcohol test can be administered to instantly determine a person’s current blood alcohol level. If immediate results are not necessary, or if a longer time period is needed to determine recent past use, then blood, hair, urine or nail specimens can be sent to an appropriately certified laboratory to identify alcohol consumption with varying windows of detection and sensitivities.
Many of National Drug Screening’s drug and alcohol testing centers offer same day results. If an individual fails a probation drug tests, the consequences can be severe. Court ordered testing is one of our specialties including probation drug testing, drug tests for child custody cases, drug tests for child protective agencies, drug tests for divorce cases and drug tests upon attorney requests. Your court ordered or probation drug tests are available with just one phone call and same day service.
Failing a court-ordered drug test can result in more stringent restrictions, being required to enter a drug rehab program, or even jail time. That is why it is very important to take probation drug tests very seriously, because the courts certainly will!