Everything you need to know about types of drug test

What do we mean by drug test?

It is a medical examination with biochemical assessments that detects the presence of illegal drugs in your body. There are various types of drug tests available out of which the common ones are: urine test, blood test, saliva test, hair and sweat test.

Why is it done?

Drug testing is done to check if a person has been consuming any kind of banned or illegal drugs like:

  • Marijuana
  • Opioids:codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone
  • Amphetamines
  • Steroids
  • Cocaine
  • Barbiturates
  • Phencyclidine

Drug testing can be used for:


The organization hiring you might want to test you before hiring and after hiring to check if their employees are involved in any kind of substance abuse.

Sports organizations:

Sports fraternity is very careful about drug testing and each athlete needs to take a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

Forensic purposes:

These screenings may be ordered as a part of a criminal case investigation, in the case of a motor vehicle accident or any other court case for that matter. 

Checking opioid use:

Some people have prescribed opioids for chronic pain. However, your health care provider may order drug tests to monitor the intake of your medicine.

The importance of drug testing before employing individuals has been accepted by a lot of employers as these tests give them a way to make their workplaces safer and better. And if you too believe in making your workplace a safe and sound environment, you need to know about the various types of drug tests available in the market. 

Here’s some information that can be useful to you for the same!

Types of drug tests:

There are various types of drug tests, some of which are mentioned and explained below:

1. Urine drug testing:

Urine testing is one of the most common drug testing methods. This method of analysis is the only one approved and mandated by the government and it is also the least invasive technique. Urine analysis is mostly used for screening of drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates, marijuana, PCP and more.

The reason behind using urine analysis as a method of drug testing is that it detects the metabolites of suspected drugs in the urine. These metabolites are just molecules produced by metabolising the substances consumed by the body. These molecules are ultimately excreted via urine and hence, their presence can be detected there.

Mostly, TLC, GC, MS and immunoassays are used for this testing. However, we need to consider one thing that metabolites are formed and excreted after quite some time post the drug consumption, which means that a positive urine test doesn’t necessarily suggest that the person was under the influence of drugs while testing.

2. Saliva Testing:

Saliva testing is one of the simplest methods to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s body. It is conducted by placing a swab adjacent to the lower gums against the inner cheeks for several minutes before it is collected in a vial and taken to the lab for testing.

Also, urine analysis detects the substances ingested 24-48 hours prior to testing and most importantly the use of mouth spray or oral rinses within 30 min of consuming alcohol will not affect the drug test results. Unlike urine samples, saliva or oral samples decreases the possibility of tampering and can be easily collected with the limited invasion of privacy.

3. Blood Testing:

Blood testing is a bit expensive as compared to saliva and urine testing. However, it is also more accurate as compared to other tests as it can detect the time of drug consumption, and the presence of the drug and its metabolites in the blood.

In fact, you can also know about the actual number of drugs in the blood at the time of testing by conducting a blood test.

4. Hair Testing:

The principle of hair drug testing is based on the fact that metabolites of an ingested substance enter the blood vessels of the scalp, and these metabolites are further filtered and stored by the hair. Hence, it makes your hair a permanent record of consuming any kind of drug. 

However, many people don’t agree with this test as it doesn’t measure drug usage at the time of the test.

Even if you consume cannabis a few months before testing, a hair analysis will give you away. No shampoo, no chemical can take away these chemicals from your hair. The purpose of drug testing itself is to check if the person is on drugs while working. So that makes hair testing a bit irrelevant.

5. Sweat Testing:

This is a new method in modern-day drug testing. Usually, a sweat patch is used to record the presence of drugs in a person’s body. This patch is attached to your skin for 14 days and excretion of the drug via perspiration is detected. This method is mostly used to monitor people on a probation period or if anyone is involved in child custody cases.

So these are the types of drug testing available to us today. Depending on your requirements, you can choose the suitable type of drug test. 24/7 Onsite Drug and Alcohol Testing is one of the best drug testing services that you can rely on for DOT testing, non-DOT testing, alcohol testing etc.

Moreover, we also provide onsite testing to save you both, time and money. Whether it’s an accident or a scheduled test, you can depend on our drug testing services. With our standardized procedures and strict protocols, we can assure you the most accurate results for the tests we conduct.