Drug addiction has been one of the major problems in the world. Despite all efforts in trying to prevent these illicit substances from circulating further, drug traders seem to have a way to get past authorities. This is the reason why detection of drug use has become popular, particularly through the use of a urine test.
The Reality of Drug Abuse and Addiction
Taking illicit substances usually start out as an outlet for something unfavorable in a person’s life. However, due to the habit-forming nature of these drugs, the intention of just trying it once becomes a frequent activity until it gets out of control.
Drug addiction does not only affect the user, but also hurt his family and the people around him. Some of these drugs have caused broken relationships and destroyed lives. Unless somebody cares to help a user get out of the hole, drug addiction will continue to entice more people to go through with the vice.
What’s worse is that a lot of people receive wrong information that could eventually lead to their early demise.
Drug testing is a process by which an individual is asked to provide a sample of urine, blood, hair or saliva to detect the presence of drug metabolites in his system. This has been a controversial issue within the workplace, as employees perceive the activity as an invasion of privacy if they were asked to undergo drug testing. For some people, as long as they are able to perform their jobs well, whatever they do outside of work should be not of any concern by their employer.
While this may be true in some sense, a large percentage of workplace accidents are caused by employees who report to work heavily intoxicated with either drugs or alcohol.
Workplace drug testing may be an additional expense on the employer. However, apart from the goal of becoming successful in the business that they are in, company owners need to provide assurance to employees that they are working with a healthy and safe workplace environment for everyone.
Drug testing as part of the pre-employment process can be a big help in identifying applicants who may be using drugs. This may be perceived as a form of discrimination, but people should start seeing the whole picture in a different perspective. The end goal would mean success and safety for the employers, employees and the customers.
Here are some of the benefits of implementing a workplace drug testing policy:
- Pre-employment drug testing can screen drug users prior to employment.
- Allowing to have drug testing promotes a healthy and safe workplace. Employees who are handling different types of heavy machinery are at high risk of succumbing to accidents and injuries. Therefore, they should always have a clear mind to be able to make decisions with the best intention of performing their respective jobs dutifully.
- Employees who may have problems with drug problems can receive assistance by recommending to them a rehabilitation facility where they can be treated.
- A safe workplace promotes better productivity among employees. It creates little to no obstruction with the normal flow of everyone’s work, and it provides everyone with peace of mind that they are working in a safe environment.
- Changing jobs frequently will not be a problem because drug-free employees are able to perform well in their assigned jobs. It can significantly drop the rate of employee turnover.
- It helps reduce conflicts between employees and employers. Individuals who use drugs may have an aggressive behavior. By having a drug testing program, the company can detect employees who are using drugs before conflicts arise.
- Having a drug testing program allows the employees to have awareness regarding the dangers of drugs. Information dissemination can be done through seminars, workshops, drug forums and distribution of flyers and post anti-drug ad campaigns within the company premises.
Drug Testing Methods
Drug testing has been proven to be one of the best solutions for maintaining company reputation. It also promotes the production of high-quality products and services backed up by employees who work their individual jobs in a healthy and safe environment.
Below are the drug testing methods used to detect the presence of drugs in the body.
- Urine test
- Blood test
- Saliva Test
- Hair Test
- Sweat Test
Each of these drug testing methods has their own window detection time. This is the period in which the drug test can still detect the drug metabolite in the sample.
The testing method should be conducted appropriately to ensure accuracy and reliability. It is likely to have a negative test result when the test has been done beyond the detection window. The drug detection time can be affected by the amount of drug intake, the type of drug, the type of specimen used, and the frequency of drug use.
A urine drug test is the common method of choice because of its accuracy in detecting the presence of drugs. Although some would choose to perform other types of drug testing, urinalysis has been the commonly used method since it is less expensive and non-invasive.
Here are the drug detection times for urine test :
|Substance||Drug Detection Times|
|Anabolic Steroids||3 weeks- 9 months|
|Barbiturates||2 days- 4 weeks|
|Phencyclidine & Analogs||2-8 days|
Can Urine Tests That Detect Other Compounds?
A typical urine test can detect various components of urine. It does not only detect the presence of drug metabolites, but can also determine the cause of existing symptoms.
Waste materials, fluids, and other substances from the blood are passed in the urine through the kidney. The kind of food consumed, the quality of lifestyle and the condition of the kidney will affect what is in the urine.
There are various tests which can be done just by simply using a urine sample. A regular urinalysis often includes the following tests:
Fluid balance, diet, medicines and presence of diseases may affect the color of the urine. A darker urine color may indicate low water content.
Urine is normally clear, but the presence of blood, pus, or bacteria can make it appear cloudy.
Normally, the urine does not have a strong odor. The odor may be caused by the presence of an existing medical condition, particularly bacterial infection.
This determines the balance of water in the urine. A high specific gravity indicates more solid materials in the urine while a low specific gravity indicates more water in it.
The normal pH of urine is 7. Anything lower indicates that the urine is strongly acidic, while higher pH values indicate that the urine is strongly alkaline. Abnormal pH level may show indication of formation of kidney stones.
This is not usually found in urine, but traces of protein may show an indication of fever, pregnancy or a kidney disease.
This is the type of sugar found in blood. An unusual amount of glucose in urine is a clear indication of uncontrolled diabetes. It is also possible to see glucose in urine when kidneys are damaged.
The presence of nitrates in urine is an indication of the presence of bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection.
This indicates the presence of white blood cells in the urine, which may mean the presence of a urinary tract infection.
Ketones are products from broken down fats. A large amount of this in the urine may indicate a serious condition such as diabetic ketoacidosis. It is also possible to cause ketones in urine when one has a diet that is low in carbohydrate or has severe vomiting episodes.
Red Blood Cells
This may show an indication of a disease, inflammation, or injury to the kidney, bladder, or urethra.
Casts are formed when there is a presence of kidney disease in the form of red blood cells, protein or fatty substances.
A large amount of crystals in urine is an indication of the presence of kidney stones.
The presence of squamous cells in a urine sample is an indication that the sample is not pure.
Bacteria, Yeast Cells or Parasites
Presence of any of these may indicate an infection.
Urine Test for Specific Medical Issues
Specific tests may also be required to exactly pinpoint any existing medical conditions based on the symptoms shown from an individual.
Creatinine is a chemical waste product that is produced by muscle metabolism. Normal functioning kidneys are able to filter creatinine out of the body. However, an increase beyond the normal range of 500-2000 mg a day is an indication of a kidney disease, kidney infection, urinary tract obstruction, or kidney failure.
Uric acid is made up of broken down body cells and food. The kidney functions by taking out the uric acid from the blood to be transported to the urine. But if the body is not functioning normally, a high level of urine acid may be present in urine, which can cause the formation of crystals to form in joints. Such condition is called gout.
If left untreated, this can lead to building up of hard and lumpy deposits called tophi. High uric acid can also cause the formation of kidney stones.
The presence of urea can determine the condition of the kidneys and can also determine if the protein intake is too high or too low. It can also be a significant way in determining if an individual has any problem with protein absorption.
A human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) urine test is also commonly known as a pregnancy test. It is able to detect the presence of the said hormone, which is generally present in all pregnant women.
Bilirubin is the yellowish pigmentation found in bile. An excessive amount of bilirubin can cause yellowing of the skin called jaundice.
We hope this list of compounds that are identifiable via urine test can help you optimize the use of this kind of testing procedure for your intended purpose.