Drug screening is used to detect illegal and some prescribed drugs in the blood, urine, and other biological samples. It is also used to determine drug use and is an integral part of ongoing evaluation and treatment. It is done in schools, hospitals, and places of employment, for college and professional athletes, and post accident drug testing. It is also done for random testing, return to duty testing, pre-employment testing, reasonable suspicion/cause testing, and follow up testing.
Drug screening is done when applying for employment in railways, airlines industries, federal transportation, and other work places where public safety is of high importance. In addition, sports drug screening is required at college level and in case of professional athletes, to screen for illegal, recreational, or performance boosting drugs such as recombinant human growth hormone, diuretics, erthropietin, anabolic steroids, and others. Some of the major illicit drugs include heroin, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamine. In addition, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), such as phenethylamines, ketamine, piperazine and tryptamines, are also emerging in the drug market. Urine sample is the most popular sample used for testing due to its low cost and result reliability. Drug screening tests are a two step process, which involves the initial and confirmatory test. In the initial test, the immunoassay toxicity testing method is used, whereas in confirmatory test, the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry [GC-MS] testing is used to test for drugs. The confirmatory test is conducted to determine the presence of individual drug substances or metabolites and to quantify the amount of substance. Moreover, there are various factors that affect the time duration for which a drug remains detectable in urine or a biological sample.
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