Drug Test Near Me

8 Most Common Reasons to Search For a Drug Test Near Me

Posted On Aug 9th 2022 , UrgentMed Services
Drug Test Near Me

A drug test refers to the collection and analysis of saliva, hair, urine, sweat, or blood to detect the presence of contaminants and chemicals left behind in one’s body due to drug use.

You may be asked to take this test for a job, as part of a court case or a police investigation, or to participate in certain organized sports. If you are in a hospital emergency room, your doctor may order drug and alcohol testing if you’re showing signs of a possible drug overdose. The purpose of drug testing is to determine whether a person is using (or misusing) drugs, including:

  • Prescription medications (the individual might be taking a higher dose than prescribed to them, or they might be taking someone else’s medicine)
  • Illicit drugs (like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine)

What are Drug Tests Used for?

drug testing

The misuse of both prescription and illegal drugs in America has become a significant problem. Studies show that over 138 million or almost 50% of Americans aged 12 and above have illicitly used drugs at least once in their lifetime.

Abusing any type of drug – be it prescribed by a doctor or bought illegally from a shady source – can cause varying risks to your health and the safety and welfare of others around you. Drug abuse and addiction are the cause of at least 25% of all violent crimes in the US.

Drug testing services are used to determine whether a person is under the influence of substances and if so, exactly how much of it is in their system (such as their hair or urine). Drug tests can show a history of usage over a period of the last 12 months. Drug test results can be requested for a variety of purposes, including:

1. Pre-Employment Drug Testing

In many organizations, drug testing is part of the hiring process. Depending on the employer’s policies, the job candidate may be declined for a position if they test positive for certain substances. While private employers are not required by law to perform these tests, companies in industries such as aviation, transit, defense and safety are required to test applicants in certain roles for alcohol and drug use.

2. Employment Drug Testing

If you work in any of the industries mentioned above, you may be required to undergo random drug testing to check for on-the-job drug usage. Employees in universities, schools, and hospitals are also often required to submit to random urine tests and alcohol testing services.  If you have an accident at the workplace, you may be tested to see whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

In most states, employers have the right to test an employee who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the job. They can also conduct testing if frequent lateness or unexcused absence from work is an issue or if the employee’s performance seems to be deteriorating.

An employer may also order a drug test when they want to verify whether an employee was under the influence during a workplace accident. A post-incident or post-accident drug test is performed after a worker has been involved in an accident at the workplace. The purpose is to determine whether drugs were a factor in the accident. Employers mostly use objective criteria for when and how this test will occur. For example, it could include significant damage to property or a vehicle, police citations, injuries that require medical assistance, or fatalities.

Note: Drug testing is restricted under state law. For example, some states mandate that certain conditions are met before testing employees while others require that applicants receive notice prior to testing. If you are an employee or applying for a job, you may want to learn your state’s drug screening laws. You can reach out to your state department of labor for accurate information.

3. Monitoring the Misuse of Prescription Medications

When someone is prescribed a potentially addictive medication by their healthcare provider—such as an opioid for chronic pain—they may be ordered to take a drug test to ensure they are taking the medication correctly.

4. Drug Rehabilitation Programs

Drug testing, especially hair or follicle testing, may be used in addiction medicine to spot chronic drug use or misuse, and to understand periods of abstinence.

5. Court Evidence

Alcohol and drug tests play a crucial role in many legal proceedings. Determining if substance misuse caused a motor vehicle accident or other criminal behavior can change the outcome of a trial.

6. Military Testing

Those who are in the military may be required to take random or periodic drug tests.

7. Return-to-duty Testing

Employees who were previously caught violating their company’s drug and alcohol policy, or who previously tested positive for illegal substances, may be required to take this test. For both the federally-mandated safety workforce and the general US workforce, return-to-duty testing is performed at a scheduled time, generally following the completion of an education plan or specified treatment recommended by a substance abuse professional.

8. Sports Testing

Athletes are often required to undergo hair drug testing and urine drug testing to check for chemicals that are banned or illegal in sports, such as performance-enhancing steroids.

What are the Different Types of Drug Tests?

types of drug testing including urine tests

The presence of drugs or alcohol can be identified by analyzing samples of sweat, hair, blood, urine, and saliva. A doctor or a laboratory technician at the hospital can collect the sample and send it to drug testing facilities for examination. Each of these tests works a little differently.

Hair Test

Hair testing has the longest detection window, making it one of the most reliable ways to test for drugs. Hair tests are able to identify substances up to 90 days after use, which is why they are generally used to detect repeated use. Dying or bleaching the hair doesn’t prevent a positive test result, nor will it lead to a false-positive result.

Analyzing a hair strand can reveal exactly which drug was taken, if and when the usage was stopped, and for how long the drugs were taken. The strand can be from the hair on your head, face, or armpit.

The duration of time that drugs stay detectable in hair is known as the “window of detection.” The length of this window depends on several factors, including the frequency and amount of use, and the rate at which the drug is broken down by the body. Some drugs continue to penetrate new hair growth for months after the individual’s last drug exposure.

The amount of hair tested is another factor. While longer samples of hair can be tested for exposure to substances over a longer period of time, a standard sample of hair from the scalp is one and a half inches long, and offers information about nearly 90 days of past usage. Hair grows much more slowly on other parts of the body, such as an armpit, so this can offer a detection window of up to one year.

Urine Tests

Urine testing is one of the most accurate ways to detect the presence of prohibited or illicit drug use, over-the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, and even legal substances like tobacco and alcohol.

Urine drug tests discover evidence of past or recent drug use or misuse, but usually can’t diagnose current addiction or intoxication. Depending on a variety of factors, drugs can be detected in the urine for a period of days, weeks, or months. These factors include the frequency and amount of drug use, plus the rate at which the certain drug is metabolized and flushed out of the body. A urine sample can help determine the presence of cocaine, marijuana, opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.

Blood Test

Blood tests are commonly used in medical emergencies, but they can also check whether the individual is using or misusing any substances. Since collecting blood samples is invasive, this is not used for drug testing as often as urine tests. Blood testing is also not very efficient since it is limited to recent substance use, typically within 2–12 hours prior to the test.

Sweat or Skin Patch Test

This test is typically done to continuously monitor for drug use. A patch or pad is placed on the individual’s skin to detect traces of drugs in their sweat. The patch is designed to be worn for several days and stays in place with a strong adhesive, similar to a band-aid.

If the individual uses any drugs while wearing the patch, a small amount of the drug or its metabolite enters the sweat and gets absorbed into the patch. The patch is waterproof and stays on while swimming or taking a shower. This type of test is very secure in that it is tamper-proof. If someone tries to tamper with the patch, the incident is registered as an automatic refusal.

Oral Fluid (Saliva) Test

Also known as a mouth swab, a saliva test is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to test for drugs. Since oral fluid samples can reveal drug usage within 24–48 hours prior to collection, saliva testing can be particularly efficient.

During the test, the individual’s mouth is swabbed to collect saliva, which is then sent for analysis at drug test centers. In some cases, this test can catch residual drugs in the mouth from same-day use. The only drawback is that the window of detection is rather short compared to other types of drug tests.

What Should I Do Before Taking a Drug Test Near Me?

It’s important to be aware of the prerequisites before you appear for a drug screening to help you minimize the wait time and successfully pass the test. Here are some recommended steps:

Be Ready With Your Paperwork

Carry a valid, government-issued photo ID, such as your employee badge, military ID, driver’s license, passport, or any other photo ID that was issued by a local, state, or federal government agency. Also, keep the authorization forms and other paperwork from your employer ready.

Don’t Go to the Restroom Prior to Your Urine Drug Test

For a urine test, you will need to provide 1.5 ounces or 45mL of fluid, so please try to not to use the restroom for a few hours before the test. If you aren’t able to provide the full sample during the collection process, you will likely be allowed a couple hours to complete the process.

Avoid Taking Health Supplements or Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

Don’t consume any herbal supplements or OTC medicine for allergies, colds or other conditions before the test.

Inform the Drug Testing Facility About Any Medication You’re Currently Taking

If you have a serious medical condition that requires you to take prescription drugs, be sure to inform the doctor or lab technician. It’s a good idea to bring the prescription note provided by your healthcare provider.

Avoid Inhaling “Secondhand” Smoke

If there are people around you smoking tobacco or marijuana, avoid being around them as you can passively inhale their smoke. Even if you have not been actively smoking marijuana or consuming any drug, secondhand smoke from certain drugs can lead to a false-positive test result.

Also keep in mind that:

  • False-positives are not common, but they can happen. If this happens to you, you can wait to take further testing to double-check your results.
  • If your test results come back positive for a prescribed and legal drug, talk to your employer about the use to prevent any consequences.

Need Fast and Reliable Drug Testing? Visit a Well-Equipped UrgentMED Urgent Care Clinic Near You for Drug Testing Services

UrgentMED provides a wide range of drug and alcohol testing services in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Our clinics are open daily (Mon–Fri: 8am–8pm; Weekends: 9am–5pm), so we can process drug tests very quickly and can often provide the results within 24 hours.

We offer both DOT (Department of Transportation) and Non-DOT drug tests and screenings to comply with your workforce requirements. Our friendly staff will help you navigate any drug testing services your organization needs, including random, pre-employment, follow-up, post-accident, and others.

Drug testing can be a tricky obstacle for companies and their employees. Our urgent care centers aim to streamline this process, making it as quick and painless as possible to get your employees in and out of our facility in a timely manner. Our prices are among the most competitive in Southern California, and we stay up-to-date with all federal regulations.

You don’t need an appointment to visit an UrgentMED clinic—we are always happy to accept walk-ins. With convenient drug testing locations all across Southern California, UrgentMED is an excellent choice for employers, government agencies, athletes, and anyone else who may need to take a drug test. Contact us today to learn more about our drug testing services.


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