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A toxicology test is used to measure the amount of both legal and illegal drugs in a person’s system. Depending on the reason for the testing, a nurse may be present to verify the sample.
- The test consists of a blood or urine sample which takes just a few minutes.
- In some cases, the person requesting the test will require a hair or saliva sample
A toxicology test is used to measure the amount of both legal and illegal drugs in a person’s system. The test consists of a blood or urine sample which takes just a few minutes. In some cases, the person requesting the test will require a hair or saliva sample. Depending on the reason for the testing, a nurse may be present to verify the sample.
Types of Toxicology Testing
There are four different types of toxicology testing. The first is medical testing which is requested by a doctor to identify and treat poisoning in the body. The second category is employment drug testing. This testing is called for by an employer to test for drug usage. The company typically requires a urine test but can request a blood, hair, or saliva test.
The third type is forensic toxicology, which happens after a death. This testing is part of a complete autopsy and helps to identify the cause of death. Finally, athletics testing is used to test athletes for controlled substance abuse.
Why Use Toxicology Tests?
Medical toxicology tests are typically used to determine if an unresponsive person has taken drugs. The toxicology results can inform the doctor of which type of drug and possible how much the patient has taken. With this information, the doctor can then choose a course of action for the treatment of the patient. A physician will also require a toxicology test before a scheduled organ transplant to prevent complications during the operation.
A doctor will also ask for a toxicology if a pregnant woman has a history of drug abuse to aid in the after delivery care. Some employers require a drug test as part of the application process. If an accident has occurred, some insurance companies require the employee to have a toxicology test. In criminal cases, a toxicology test is needed to provide evidence of usage.
Which Drugs Toxicology Identifies
A variety of drugs and substances can be identified with a toxicology test. The most common test is for THC, which is the drug in marijuana. Opiates and cocaine can also show in a toxicology test. Some other commonly tested for drugs are alcohol, barbiturates, and amphetamines. These drugs are just a small list of the drugs on a toxicology test. When looking for a particular substance, a toxicology test can pinpoint the specific drug.
Depending on the type of test, there are various stages involved. If it is a urine test, the patient is given a small container to collect urine. It is suggested to urinate for a few seconds and then begin collecting the sample.
A blood test requires a trained health professional. The professional will withdraw a tube of blood from the body. Hair and saliva toxicology tests are also administered by a health professional. During the saliva test, the professional uses a swab to collect a sample from the inside of the cheek.