What is a urine drug test?

Urine (pee), blood, saliva (spit), hair, or sweat sample is used in a drug test to check for traces of one or more prescribed or illicit medications.

urine drug test

Drug testing is done to determine if you have been abusing one or more substances. However, it cannot identify a drug use disorder (addiction).

There are many reasons to administer a drug test, including:

Employment: Before employing you, employers may do a drug test on you. After you’re employed, they could test you to see whether you’ve used drugs at work. If you suffer a workplace accident, you could be tested to determine if alcohol or drugs were used.

Sports: Drugs used to enhance performance, such as steroids that assist increase muscle, are often tested for in professional and other sports.

Drug rehabilitation: Drug testing may be used to track progress in programs for people with alcohol or drug use disorders.

Legal proof: Investigations into crimes or auto accidents may include testing. A court action may also impose a need for drug testing.

Tracking prescription drug abuse: If your provider prescribes medicine that can be addictive, such as an opioid for long-term pain, your provider may order a drug test to make sure you’re taking the medication correctly.

Drug tests may be administered voluntarily or at random and without warning.

urine drug test

A drug test’s goal is to detect drug usage and abuse, which includes:

  • Using any illicit substances, such as cocaine or club drugs
  • A drug test may determine if your body contains one substance or a variety of drugs.
  • Drug testing often looks for:
  • Amphetamines, especially methamphetamine, with alcohol
  • Secobarbital and phenobarbital, among other barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines, including clonazepam and alprazolam
  • marijuana and cocaine (THC)
  • heroin, codeine, oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl are examples of opiates and opioids (PCP)
  • Steroids

Urine samples are used in most drug testing. These tests may detect drug use in the hours, days, or even weeks before the test.

A drug’s duration in your body is determined by:

  • which kind of drug
  • amount of use
  • how long have you used it before the test
  • how the medication affects your body
  • Other titles include drug tests, substance abuse tests, drug tests, toxicology tests, and sports doping tests.

Urine Drug Screen Purpose:

The use of drugs is prohibited in several parts of the globe, despite the fact that it is harmful to human health, people consume it and become addicted. To detect and stop such practice urine drug screens are arranged and at several companies, a negative drug screen is a requirement to keep the work environment clean. A lot of drug addicts when inquired, reported that they started drugs just like once in a blue moon activity and they don’t really know when it became a permanent habit of theirs.  This makes it crystal clear that the use of drugs even for fun sake should be prohibited.

When people don’t have control over their senses they can become a danger to society. Hence, Drug screening becomes an important activity for societal welfare.

Uses of urine drug test are as follows-

  • Drug Abuse– Several times people who appear positive on a drug screen, if not lying dot know themselves about the drug intake in their body. Urine Drug screening is an easy process and can clear the picture for such people.
  • Drug Intoxication– Generally all drugs are harmful and its intake and addiction will cause harm to you in every possible way but some drugs are superior in producing a lot of toxins in the body which can even cause chronic diseases. A simple Drug Screen can help in detection.
  • Eligibility– every workplace today demands healthy and sound employees. This is the reason why several workplaces have made negative drug screen as necessary eligibility criteria for its employees.
  • Medication– If a patient is admitted in an emergency, to start the medication it is the protocol to check for drug percentage present in one’s body. Urine Drug Screen helps in the medication by a simple test.
  • Monitor– People in rehab who are recovering from drug addiction are monitored every now and then with the help Of Urine Drug Screen, it helps to keep a track of the recovering warriors.

How long does a urine drug test take?

The drug test performed for the first screening may also impact wait times. For sending samples and reporting findings, specific laboratories may charge extra.

The most popular pre-employment drug test procedures and their typical turnaround time are as follows:

  • Testing urine: 1 to 5 business days
  • Testing of hair: 4–10 business days
  • Testing for blood: 1 to 5 business days

How much urine is needed for a drug test?

A minimum of 30 mL of urine must collect in a private bathroom for urine testing (45 mL for a US Department of Transportation or DOT collection). The specimen is collected and put into a sealed container with tamper-evident tape. The Custody and Control Form (CCF) and the material are forwarded to the lab for analysis.


Experts follow the following steps:

You’ll probably do the urine drug test in a restroom set aside expressly for drug testing. The stages in the test technique are as follows:

The individual conducting the quiz will give you a sample cup.

While taking the exam, you must leave your bag, briefcase, or other possessions in another room. Additionally, you’ll have to empty your pockets.

Only very seldom will you be accompanied into the restroom by a same-gender nurse or technician to ensure that you adhere to all testing protocols. They ought to justify the need for this kind of controlled testing.

  • Use the technician’s provided wet cloth to clean your genital region.
  • Use the cup to urinate. For the sample, you must create at least 45 milliliters.
  • Put a cover on the cup when you’ve finished peeing, then give it to the technician.
  • Your sample’s temperature will measure to make sure it falls within the predicted range.
  • The urine sample must always be in the visible range of both you and the collector until it is sealed and prepared for testing.

Urine drug test detection times:

criteria for detecting drugs

  • Several variables affect how long medication is detectable in the body, including:
  • a test’s kind, dosage tolerance, and potency metabolism
  • the presence of health issues
  • times for drug detection

Please only use these numbers as a guide:

  • Alcohol: 3-5 days in the urine, 10–12 hours in the blood
  • Amphetamines: 1–3 days in urine, 12–24 hours in blood
  • 2-4 days in urine and 1-2 days in blood for barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines: 2-3 days in the blood and 3-6 weeks in the urine
  • Cannabis: up to two weeks in blood and seven to thirty days in urine
  • Cocaine: 1-2 days in the blood and 3-4 days in the urine.
  • One day in urine, up to 12 hours in blood for codeine
  • Heroin may stay in the body for up to 12 hours in the blood and 3-4 days in the urine.
  • LSD: up to 2-3 hours in blood and 1-3 days in urine
  • 1-2 days in blood and 3-4 days in urine for MDMA (ecstasy).
  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth): 24 to 72 hours in blood and 3 to 6 days in urine
  • Methylphenidate: 3–4 days in the urine and 24–36 hours in the blood
  • Methamphetamine: 2-3 days in urine, 6-8 hours in blood

Drugs may be found in hair

It’s possible to find drugs or their metabolites in hair. Given that hair grows at a pace of around 1 cm per month, it may be able to identify recent drug usage based on hair length.

Reasons for Urinalysis 

Normal Urinalysis results need more testing in order to uncover the exact source of the problem.

Urine test is most common in a random drug test. You should be aware of the facts and laws of random drug tests.
Most companies conduct drug tests for the safety of the workplace. If you have taken drugs in the past, you should know how long do drug stays in your body.

Here are some reasons for Urinalysis Drug test:


  • To check your health

Your doctor recommends urinalysis for routine exams, pregnancy checkups, or screening for the hospital admission. This hospital admission screening is for a variety of disorders or illnesses like diabetes and liver or kidney disease.

  • To diagnose a medical condition

Your doctor would suggest a urinalysis if you are facing any abdominal pain, painful urination, blood in urine, or any such conditions. Moreover, for the detection of any urinary problems, urinalysis is effective and highly suggested. Additionally, any of such alarming symptoms can be diagnosed by urinalysis. 


  • To monitor the medical condition

If your diagnosis shows any medical condition like urinary tract disease or kidney disease in this scenario, your doctor will recommend urinalysis. In tests like a pregnancy test and drug screening, it is highly reliable on the urine sample. However, the substance cannot be found in the urinalysis.

Drugs that can be detected in urine test

Any urine screening or test can detect drugs like alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, and PCP. A urine test can easily detect alcohol presence in a person’s body.  Moreover, if any person is a suspect of alcohol consumption, he is more likely to request or ask for a breath or blood test. Urine screening is also helpful in detecting nicotine and cotinine. 


These following factors detect detection of any drug in any person’s body: 

  •  How long the person took the substance or drug
  • Acidity of urine
  • Level of hydration
  • Body mass

How to be prepared for a urine test

A urine test requires a little preparation, which requires just to urinate in a plastic container. Moreover, you need to understand that certain supplements and medicines can cause a false alarm and indicate the illegal use of drugs. A person should always inform the test provider if you have taken any of these:

  • Herbal remedies
  • Supplements
  • OTC medicines
  • Prescription medications

A medical professional will carry drug screening equipment by asking the person to do the following: 

  • Remove any excess clothes or items.
  • Clean hands with gel which is antibacterial or any soap and water
  • You need to clean the genital area with the help of wipes that the technician provides.

We often see people using powdered urine for drug test. It is upto you to use it or not.

What color should urine be for a drug test?

Your urine is best when it has a light yellow tint. It may indicate that you are dehydrated if it is a deeper shade of yellow or orange. A significant liver problem might be indicated by orange urine. Foods or medications may make browner skin.

Urine drug test results explained?

Some urine testing facilities provide instant results. Other times, a urine sample is sent out for examination. The outcomes need to be accessible in a couple of business days.

Results of a drug test may be conclusive, ambiguous, or favorable:

  • A positive result indicates the presence of one or more of the panel’s medicines at a specific concentration.
  • An adverse outcome indicates that the panel medicines were not found at the cut-off level.
  • An ambiguous or incorrect result indicates that the test failed to detect the panel medicines.

Can you use 3 day old urine drug test?

You cannot pass a drug test with pee that is more than a week old. You must immediately provide a urine sample to lab examiners for a urine drug test. They will measure the sample’s temperature to guarantee that the urine is fresh.

Your sample will not pass muster with lab inspectors if its temperature does not correspond to that of the human body. We think you’re asking because you’ve been using drugs and need to pass a drug test.

So, here’s the advice. To guarantee that you pass your drug test, utilize a detox drink or a synthetic urine kit (with a heat activator to reheat the urine sample). Visit Drug Testing Solutions for additional details on passing a urine drug test quickly.

Drugs that don’t show up on urine tests?

Because some of these medications are not detected by regular urine testing, history is crucial for diagnosing drug misuse. Ketamine, for instance—also referred to as Special K, Super C, and cat valium—won’t appear on a drug test but might have significant adverse health effects for users.

Do you have to fast before a drug urine test?

Drink lots of water before the test to provide a sufficient urine sample. However, consuming too much water might lead to unreliable findings.

You need one or two additional glasses of liquids on the day of the test; these may be juice or milk, depending on your diet. You don’t need to fast or alter your diet for the test.

Tell your doctor about any vitamins or drugs you are taking as well.

Some of the factors may influence how your urinalysis turns out, such as:

  • Supplements with vitamin C
  • Laxatives with metronidazole, riboflavin, and anthraquinone
  • Methocarbamol
  • Nitrofurantoin

Other medicines may also have an impact on your outcomes. Before urinalysis, let your doctor know about any medications you use.

Urine Drug Testing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learning about forensic procedures and lab customs can be a little scary for the first timers but if you change your view you’ll find all of it amusing. Just like blood tests, urine tests are also widely conducted. The advantage which comes with urine tests is that they are painless unlike blood tests there is no use of a syringe to extract samples. No pain all gain here.

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Question about Urine testing with answers-

Q1> What is the volume of the sample which has to be submitted for the test?

For every urine related testing the default, volume is 30mls. Until and unless the testing lab has any other criteria set.

Q2> Is a morning urine sample necessary?

Our morning sample is considered best for testing as we collect it after we wake up after hours of sleep, in this whole time the process of urine formation does not stop. And when we sleep we do not consume any food item. Hence, it is not necessary any sample can be given but the morning sample will give more accurate results.

Q3> What kind of container should be used for the collection of samples?

Generally, the lab which has to test the sample provides a sterilized, airtight cup for the collection of the urine sample. If available such a container is the first choice for sample collection. If not then any container which is sterilized, airtight, and acceptable by the concerned lab can be used. Plus, it should be having enough space for a 30ml volume.

Q4> What to eat before Urine testing?

Nothing should be consumed for 4 to 5 hours before the sample collection. Fluids must be taken to stay hydrated, this will also help you to make more urine which is good for the test.

Q5> What is the correct way to collect the urine sample?

Some labs advise collecting the initial discharge then pass some and collect the final discharge. If not recommended you can collect as per your comfort. You can even use a funnel if needed but collecting urine in a different container and then transferring it to the provided container should not be done.

Q6>How many drugs can be identified with the same urine sample?

It depends on what you are checked for. But a variety of over 38 classes of drugs can be detected with the same sample.

Q7> What are the precautions for doing a pregnancy test by urine?

Every pregnancy detection kit comes with direction but you are doing it at home so the sterilized cups can not be available. If you are not peeing on a stick and collecting it and testing, make sure you are using a clean cup and avoiding spillage.


Tests for drugs of abuse in the urine provide a valuable method for keeping track of and identifying drug usage. Urine drug tests are frequently used in the criminal justice system (such as in problem-solving courts and correctional facilities) as part of a court-ordered treatment program, for workplace testing by employers to check for illicit drug use that could endanger employees or affect productivity, and by pain management clinics to make sure patients follow drug prescriptions and to watch for non-prescribed drug use that could affect health and treatment programs.

A drug is digested and broken down into metabolites after consumption, which is eliminated by various biological processes, including urine production. The presence of the parent drug and its metabolites in the person’s urine reveals if the subject has used drugs, when, and whether the abuse is chronic.

Please leave any further questions in the comments below if you still have them.


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