Drug Testing Blood Vs. Urine


Anything a person puts into their body will be metabolized by their body, including drugs. Drug testing can be used for a variety of reasons. There are a few different types of tests for drugs in the body’s systems. Probably the most common and popularly known types of drug tests are tests for the urine and blood. These processes usually take place in a medical setting. Though each test gets the job done, there are benefits to both. The test that is selected might be according to individual circumstances, but both types of screenings search for the same protein, molecules, and antigens found in the make-up of the body, and type of testing can create a false positive, however.

A urine drug test is also referred to as a urine drug screen. To execute a urine drug screening, a specimen is collected from an individual and put to process. There is a type of urine screen called an immunoassay, and a second and more thorough type called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A urine test can screen for alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, marijuana, PCP, and narcotics. When testing the urine, the result can often detect not only drug use, but the abuse of that or other drugs as well. A urine drug test kit might be a standard of employment, routine after a drug related jail sentence, or a suspicious parent. The results are so quick, it’s possible to know within 5 minutes whether the test is a pass or fail.

A blood drug test can screen for many of the same substances a urine test can as well as, Barbiturates and Phencyclidines. It is performed by venipuncture, a process in which a patient’s blood specimen is drawn from his or her veins, and processed by drug-specific enzyme immunoassay (ELISA). The analysis is confirmed by the same process in which a urine specimen might be subject to, GC/MS. It is the best route in order to see if a person is actively under the influence. Unfortunately, the test detection window is undoubtedly smaller, and taking the blood test route may give a drug user time to metabolize the drugs and give a false reading as drugs in the bloodstream have hold a value for only minutes to hours depending on the amount administered and the time of consumption. Blood tests are often utilized by the police with the suspicion that a subject is intoxicated.

It is said that there are five stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Once someone recognizes a problem and is considering making a change, thus entering the contemplation and preparation stages, their support needs to be free of judgment in order to give that person the greatest chance of success. Hiding in substance use is easy; facing substance use head on takes courage, persistence, and resilience. This is done most successfully in an open, accepting environment. So in a way, society needs to modify its perspective on drug use in two ways. First, it should adopt the view of the drug test—did the use occur or not occur. Free of opinions, absent of stigma. However society also needs to show compassion, acceptance, and empathy, taking the drug-test perspective to a level more human. In opening up the conversation in these two ways, treatment and prevention efforts for substance use will be more widespread and generally more effective. Change the conversation in order to change the behavior.

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