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Urine Drug Testing

Image Courtesy of Quest Diagnostics

Urine drug testing (commonly referred to as a piss test) is by far the most common form of drug testing in the occupational realm in Canada.  Most employers use urine as their standard pre-employment drug screen.  At Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants, we offer several options when it comes to urine drug testing.

 

Point of Care (POCT) / Express Testing

POCT testing refers to a ‘quick screen’ drug test.  This method of urine testing is commonly used and widely accepted in the occupational testing community.  Testing provides a qualitative result as to whether or not drug metabolites are detected in the workers/candidates urine.

Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants completes a full adulteration screen, prior to testing any POCT samples to ensure the sample’s validity.  This screen will indicate whether a worker is attempting to mask the results of their screen, or if there is a legitimate issue that would invalidate the test (ex.  drinking too much water).  If a problem is detected during the adulteration screen, additional samples may be required prior to completing the drug screen.  Please contact us for more information about Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants’ adulteration protocols.

If the worker has a negative drug screen, no further testing is required and results will be available within 2 hours of testing completion.

If the worker has a non-negative drug screen, it is Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants’ recommendation that ALL non-negative sample’s be sent to the laboratory for confirmation testing and if laboratory results still remain non-negative on to a Medical Review Officer (MRO).  Please note that non-negative drug screens CANNOT be called positive for legal purposes.  To have a positive drug test, a sample would need to undergo the laboratory and MRO process.

  • Laboratory confirmation creates a full chain of custody and legally recognized drug screen.
  • Confirmation testing and MRO review will determine if there is any legitimate reason the donor may have a non-negative or positive drug screen (ex. prescription medication)
  • MRO review will ensure that drug levels are within prescription limits in the case of prescription drugs

 

Lab-Based Testing

Lab-Based testing is very similar to POCT testing, apart from the fact that a POCT drug screen is not completed in the collection facility.

Initially Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants completes a full adulteration screen at the time of collection for lab-based samples to ensure the sample’s validity.  This screen will indicate whether a worker is attempting to mask the results of their screen, or if there is a legitimate issue that would invalidate the test (ex.  drinking too much water).  If a problem is detected during the adulteration screen, additional samples may be required prior to completing the drug screen.  Please contact us for more information about Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants’ adulteration protocols.

Once the sample is collected, a chain of custody is complete and the sample is sent directly to the laboratory for initial screening.  Health and Hearing Conservation Consultants utilizes the services of Gamma Dynacare Medical Laboratories which has a full laboratory in London, Ontario and an initial screening lab in Edmonton, Alberta.

If the worker has a negative drug screen, results are typically available within 24-48 hours of collection.

If the worker has a non-negative initial drug screen, a confirmation screen will be completed and an MRO review will occur prior to releasing the final result as either Positive or Negative.  This process typically takes between 48 and 72 hours from the time of testing.

 

Urine Drug Detection Chart

This table should be used as a general guideline only. Many variables may affect the amount of time that a drug remains detectable in the urine, including a drug’s half-life, the donor’s state of hydration and fluid balance, frequency of use, route of administration, or other variables.

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