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Journal Article


Tsanaclis LM, Wicks JF, Chasin AA. Drug Test. Anal. 2012; 4(2): 83-88.


Cansford Laboratories Limited, Cardiff Medicentre, Cardiff, UK.


(Copyright © 2012, John Wiley and Sons)






Drug testing is used by employers to detect drug use by employees or job candidates. It can identify recent use of alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs as a screening tool for potential health and safety and performance issues. Urine is the most commonly used sample for illicit drugs. It detects the use of a drug within the last few days and as such is evidence of recent use; but a positive test does not necessarily mean that the individual was impaired at the time of the test. Abstention from use for three days will often produce a negative test result. Analysis of hair provides a much longer window of detection, typically 1 to 3 months. Hence the likelihood of a falsely negative test using hair is very much less than with a urine test. Conversely, a negative hair test is a substantially stronger indicator of a non-drug user than a negative urine test. Oral fluid (saliva) is also easy to collect. Drugs remain in oral fluid for a similar time as in blood. The method is a good way of detecting current use and is more likely to reflect current impairment. It offers promise as a test in post-accident, for cause, and on-duty situations. Studies have shown that within the same industrial settings, hair testing can detect twice as many drug users as urine testing. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Language: en


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