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Antidoping > drug test

Drug test:

A drug test is a technical analysis of a biological specimen - urine, hair, blood, sweat, or oral fluid / saliva - to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites.


Parts of the doping control process involving test distribution planning,sample collection, sample handling, and sample transport to the laboratory.

Drug testing methodologies

The different types of drug tests are tested in very similar ways. Before testing the sample, the tamper-evident seal is checked for integrity. If it appears to have been tampered with or was damaged in transit, the laboratory rejects the sample and does not test it.

One of the first steps for all drug tests is to make the sample testable. Urine and oral fluid can be used "as is" for some tests, but other tests require the drugs to be extracted from urine beforehand. Strands of hair, patches, and blood must be prepared before testing. Hair is washed in order to eliminate second-hand sources of drugs on the surface of the hair, then the keratin is broken down using enzymes. Blood plasma may need to be separated by centrifuge from blood cells prior to testing. Sweat patches are opened up and the sweat collection component is soaked in a solvent to dissolve any drugs present. Laboratory-based drug testing is done in a two-tiered fashion using two different types of detection methods. The first is known as the screening test, and this is applied to all samples that go through the laboratory. The second, known as the confirmation test, is only applied to samples that test positive during the screening test. Screening tests are usually done by immunoassay (EMIT, ELISA, and RIA are the most common). A "dipstick" drug testing method which could at some future time provide screening test capabilities to field investigators has been developed at the University of Illinois.

After a suspected positive sample is detected during screening, the sample is flagged and tested using the confirmation test. Samples that are negative on the screening test are discarded and reported as negative. The confirmation test in most laboratories (and all SAMHSA certified labs) is performed using mass spectrometry, and is extremely precise but also fairly expensive to run. False positive samples from the screening test will be negative on the confirmation test. Samples testing positive during both screening and confirmation tests are reported as positive to the entity that ordered the test. Most laboratories save positive samples for some period of months or years in the event of a disputed result or lawsuit. For workplace drug testing, a positive result is generally not confirmed without a review by a Medical Review Officer that will normally interview the subject of the drug test.

  Norchem Drug Testing

Norchem Drug Testing is a premier forensic drug testing laboratory that has adopted the latest technological advances to provide legally defensible results to its clients. We employ knowledgeable, credentialed staff and technical experts who live up to our brand promise, "First in Forensics." Norchem Drug Testing is certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) as part of their Forensic Drug Testing (CAP-FDT) program.

Telephone and Fax:
928-526-1777 (fax)
Mailing Address:
PO Box 70,000
Flagstaff, AZ

  Biosystems America, a Unit of Biosystems, Inc.

1535-H Oak Industrial Lane
PO Box 3222
Cumming, GA 30028-6517
Cumming: 770 886-6911
Atlanta 404 664-4622
Toll-free 877 886-6911
Fax: 770 886-7474


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