Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Details About Drug Tests

Many companies today will test prospective employees for the use of illegal drugs. However, sometimes even people who don't use drugs can test positive for a drug test due to an error in the test or the test detecting a legal drug or substance as a completely different, illegal drug.

False Positives

Many NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can cause you to test positive for marijuana. This includes over-the-counter drugs, such as Advil, Motrin, Excedrin, Midol and Aleve. Prescription NSAIDs, such as Relafen, Voltaren, Meclomen and Lodine, can have similar results. Amoxicillin or tonic water could cause you to test positive for cocaine. A wide variety of cold and flu medicines, such as Robitussin, Sudafed and Nyquil, could cause you to test positive for amphetamines. Migraine medications may appear on a drug test as LSD.

Detection Periods

If you do use drugs and have an upcoming drug test, it's important to realize that different types of drugs have different detection periods, or the lengths of time that remnants of the drug will remain in your body. Many types of drugs, such as codeine, amphetamines and opiates, and euphorics such as ecstasy and magic mushrooms, will only be detectable in your system for up to a week. Phenobarbital might stick around up to 20 days. Anabolic steroids have a much longer detection period, up to three months.

Marijuana Testing

Marijuana will remain in the system for up to 60 days or more. The actual detection period depends on how often you use marijuana. If you smoked marijuana only once, around five to eight days must pass before it is cleared from your system. Smoking two or four times per month will increase the detection period to up to two and a half weeks. Daily marijuana users will require up to two months to clear any traces of the drug from their bodies.

Hair Follicle Tests

Hair follicle tests are based on the principle that as drugs circulate in your blood stream, they become trapped in your hair follicles as your blood nourishes their development. Hair follicle tests have a much longer detection period that urine or blood tests. A typical hair follicle test could detect drug use from 90 days before to the test.

Failing a Test

If you fail a test, and you'd like to retake it, you can typically reschedule it. A second test, however, will commonly have to be paid for by the prospective employee, rather than the company. It's only advisable to repeat a failed drug test if you are certain that you have not taken any drugs in the past 90 days.

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