How long does it take to get drug test results?
Drug testing is an important part of the pre-employment process. Employers want to make sure who they’re hiring is trustworthy and won’t be under the influence of drugs while on the job.
The drug testing process can vary, depending on the type of test ordered and what the results of the initial test are. The various drug tests also screen for different drugs and can detect drugs in the system for varying lengths of time.
Types of Drug Tests
There are three main types of drug tests. Urine, hair, and blood testing are the three drug tests often chosen by employers. Urine tests are the most popular because they generally yield the quickest turnaround time and are the least costly test to perform.
Hair testing takes slightly longer than a urine test does, but some employers still prefer to do it because it can detect drugs in the system further back than a urine test or blood test can.
Blood tests are not often performed by employers for purposes of hiring because they only detect drugs in the bloodstream for up to 48 hours. Although the results are received quickly, the accuracy of the test to detect drugs in the system after more than two days is not desirable for most employers.
What Drug Tests Screen For
A standardized test that follows the guidelines of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration tests for five main drugs- opiates, PCP, cocaine, cannabinoids, and amphetamines.
Some employers choose to test for more drugs, with the most common ones being methadone, barbiturates, alcohol, propoxyphene, methaqualone, and benzodiazepines.
Waiting for Results
Blood tests take one to two days for negative results and three or more days for positive results. Urine tests take one to three days for negative results and four to five days for positive results. Hair tests take anywhere from two to ten days for results to be reported.