A urine drug screen is used to detect illegal and some prescription drugs in the urine.
Before the test, you may be asked to remove all your clothing and wear a hospital gown. You will then be placed in a room where you have no access to your personal items or water. In this environment, you cannot dilute the sample, nor can you use someone else's urine for the test.
This test involves collecting a "clean-catch" (midstream) urine sample:
The sample is then taken to the laboratory for evaluation.
The test involves only normal urination.
The test is performed to detect the presence of illegal and some prescription drugs in your urine. Their presence indicates that you recently used such drugs.
No drugs in the urine.
If the test result is positive, another test called gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) may be done to confirm the results. The GC-MS will help tell the difference between a false positive and a true positive.
In some cases, a test will register a false positive. This can result from interfering factors such as some foods, prescription medications, and other drugs.
Drug screen - urine
Pincus MR, Abraham NZ Jr. Toxicology and therapeutic drug monitoring. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 23.
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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