The Two Big Questions When Determining The Right Drug Test For Your Needs

07 May 2016

When most people think of drug testing, they immediately think of the basic urinalysis drug test that is used by employers for prescreening their applicants before they’re hired. But there are many additional reasons that a drug and alcohol test may be used, and several different kinds of drug tests that might need to be utilized depending on the situation.

Primarily, there are two big factors that will help one make a determination about what kind of drug test is needed in a given situation. Looking at them will make it easier to figure out what drug and alcohol test you’ll be facing – or will want to use.

What Drugs Do You Want To Test For?

The first question is simply what kind of substances you’re trying to test for. Drug tests are classified by the number of drugs they will look for. For example, a 5 panel drug test looks for a total of 5 different drugs. These include:

  • PCP
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiate drugs like heroin, opium, and codeine based prescription drugs

However, those who need to look for more substances will want to consider a 10 panel drug screen test. Consider exactly what you’re hoping to look for and then base your decision on that.

What Type Of Sample Is Needed?

The other big decision to make is what kind of sample you want to use when testing. There are a few options here.

  • Oral Fluid – A saliva based drug test is fast, easy to collect, and very affordable. However, it will only test for a few basic drugs and will only test for a few hours previous. Drugs used days or weeks in the past won’t show up in the test.
  • Hair – On the opposite side of the spectrum, hair drug tests will be incredibly accurate and can test for months back from the test date. However, they have a higher overall cost.
  • Blood – Blood drug tests use blood to run tests for drugs, and provide very accurate results and can test for months previous. They’re more affordable than hair, but require a more specialized method of sample collection.
  • Urine – The most common type of sample used is so popular because it features easy sample collection, accurate results, and fast result times. It’s also affordable.

You’ll want to look into the pros and cons of each type of sample above in order to determine which is the right one for you. Keep the two questions above in mind and finding the right drug and alcohol test for your needs isn’t that difficult to do.