Some employers want to examine their employees for any traces of drugs. Most of the time, urine drug testing, or the UDT, is the method used. A doctor can also identify potential substance abuse problems through urine drug test. Implementing such test promotes a safe and healthy working environment.

What is a urine drug test?

Urine Drug Tests

Urine sample with reagent strip test urinalysis in laboratory

A urine drug test, also referred to as urine drug screening or UDS, is a painless test that analyzes the urine if it contains illicit drugs and prescription medications. It screens for drugs including benzodiazepines, amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, and PCP.

There are two types of UDT, namely, the screening test and the confirmatory test. The screening test also called an immunoassay, is cost-effective and examines the urine for the parent drug or metabolite. On the other hand, the confirmatory urine drug test uses gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or high-performance liquid chromatography. This test is expensive, and it will take time to provide results.

The screening test could provide results quickly, but it may give false positives, which means the urine sample was positive for drugs, yet the person did not use any drug. The confirmatory test is more accurate and will not give false positives.

How does a urine test work?

The urine drug test is usually done in a testing laboratory. A person administering the test gives the patient a specimen cup. These urine drug test cups come from certified suppliers, such as the, which is a reliable and trusted drug test source.

The patient must acquire mid-stream urine using the cup. Then, this urine sample is then handed over to the technician for processing and testing.

Urine drug tests

A lab technician will then conduct the urine test. A test strip is used to examine the urine. This test strip has an absorbent material that would soak the urine at a certain speed. Any drug metabolites in the urine then react to the drug-specific antibodies found in the test strip.

If there are no drug metabolites in the urine sample, the special molecules in the test strip would react with the antibodies to create a color that indicates a negative result. On the other hand, if there are drug metabolites in the urine sample, the molecules will not create a color, which indicates a preliminary positive result.

The lab technician will then conduct additional tests, including the confirmatory analysis of the urine sample, to support the preliminary test result. All tests results must match to come up with a conclusion. The result will then forwarded to the concerned person, the employers, or the doctor who will take appropriate action.