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A urine or oral fluid toxicology test is used to identify the presence of drugs (both legal and illegal) in your system. When your body metabolizes drugs, the drugs break down into metabolites.
- The toxicology tests are testing for these metabolized byproducts.
- The metabolites can only be in your urine or oral fluid if you have used the drugs.
A urine or oral fluid toxicology test is used to identify the presence of drugs (both legal and illegal) in your system. When your body metabolizes drugs, the drugs break down into metabolites. The toxicology tests are actually testing for these metabolized byproducts. The metabolites can only be in your urine or oral fluid if you have used the drugs.
To do a urine toxicology test, you will need to collect a sample of your urine into a sterile container. You will be given the container and a disinfectant wipe. The wipe is used to remove any bacteria from the area around your urethra. Wipe from front to back, then start to urinate. Collect the urine in mid-stream and seal the container.
The laboratory tests your urine for the presence of drugs. For an oral fluid sample, you will open your mouth and a medical assistant will swab the inside of your cheeks with what looks like a long cotton swab. The swab will be inserted into a collection tube. The saliva is used for the toxicology screening. A urine or oral fluid drug test takes one to three days to complete, depending on the types of toxins that your doctor wants you tested for.
Preparing for an Oral Fluid or Urine Toxicology Clinical Test
You do not need to do anything special before the test. You can eat and drink as you usually would. You may want to avoid urinating for about an hour before your test so that you will produce enough urine.
Why You May Need to Take a Toxicology Urine or Oral Fluid Test
A urine or oral fluid toxicology test is often used for drug testing by employers before you are offered a job or as randomized drug testing by your employer. Students are increasingly required to have these urine and oral fluid drug tests in order to play high school or college sports. The tests can also be used to check for drugs to enhance athletic performance.
If you have been found unconscious, these tests may be performed in order to determine which drugs are in your system. If you are taking medications for a condition but your condition is not responding, your doctor may check to see if your body is metabolizing the drugs prescribed for treatment.
How Urine and Oral Fluid Toxicology Results Are Used
The test results will vary based upon the length of time that it has been since you used any of the substances. Your doctor and employer may receive your test results with your consent. The test results could also be sent to law enforcement in certain situations. If illegal drugs are found in your system, you may be referred for treatment. If the screening was done to check for a problem with prescribed medications that you are taking, your doctor may use the results to adjust your medication or change it to an alternative medication.