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The Benefits of Lab Testing in Recovery

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The Benefits of Lab Testing in Recovery

Lab Drug Testing & Addiction Recovery Treatment

Roughly 20 million American adults struggle with a substance use disorder. With such shockingly high numbers, it is no mystery that clinical treatment is a necessary resource to help these people take control of drug and alcohol addiction issues.

When it comes to supporting these people in their decision to work toward a sober lifestyle, lab drug testing can help clinicians to ensure more favorable outcomes for patients. The lab experts at Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory are here to outline how accurate and timely lab testing can help those on the path toward recovery and wellness.

The Purpose of Drug Screenings During Treatment

When struggling with substance use disorders and addiction, being held accountable for your actions is imperative during clinical treatment. Regardless of if the person is receiving inpatient, outpatient, long or short-term treatment—routine and sporadic testing is a realistic way to keep track of each individual’s process.

If drugs or alcohol are detected during routine or random screenings, it can help to alert clinicians that it may be necessary to pivot within an individual’s treatment plan. This can also help clinicians to safely treat patients as some substances may negatively interact with medications used to help patients slowly stop their drug use.

What Substances Do Lab Tests Screen For?

At Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory, we are able to test blood, urine, and saliva sample for the presence of the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • Methadone
  • Opioids
  • Opiates

Types of Lab Drug Screenings

Urine Drug Testing

Urine toxicology is performed by taking a small urine sample and checking it for the presence of various substances. While urine drug screenings are able to identify drug classes of substances present, they are not able to quantify or identify the specific drugs in the sample.

Saliva Drug Testing

Oral fluid toxicology is done by testing saliva for the presence of various substances and their metabolites. With oral fluid drug testing, the small sample of saliva is observed and taken by the collector, then sent off to the lab for analysis.

How Long it Takes for Substances to Metabolize

When consuming drugs, there is a certain amount of time it takes for these substances to fully metabolize. This can influence how long these substances are detectable through drug screenings. Some commonly used drugs and how long they are detectable include:

  • Marijuana is detectable in bodily fluid samples for up to 30 days.
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) cannot be detected by urinalysis. Blood tests can detect LSD for up to 8 hours after use.
  • Barbiturates are detectable in urine samples for up to 48 hours.
  • Alcohol is detectable through urinalysis for up to 48 hours after drinking.

At-Home Drug Screenings

Oftentimes, when friends and family members suspect that someone may be struggling with substance abuse and addiction, they turn to at-home drug testing.

As the name suggests, home drug tests are drug screenings for prescription and illicit drugs without the use of a lab by testing a urine sample. These tests are qualitative and not quantitative tests, meaning that they test for the presence of substances and not how much is present.

At-home drug tests are fairly sensitive, making the margin of error high. Some common reasons a test may be inaccurate include:

  • Consuming certain foods.
  • How the urine sample was stored.
  • How the test was stored.
  • Taking certain over-the-counter medications.

Because at-home tests have a lower accuracy rate, it is recommended that you seek further testing whether you’ve received a positive or negative result.

Addiction Medicine Testing Solutions in Louisville, Kentucky

At Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory, we strive to offer solutions to our addiction medicine healthcare partners by delivering timely, accurate results with expert analysis and interpretation. With state-of-the-art testing solutions and advanced technology, we are able to help providers monitor patient compliance by identifying the presence of prescribed or illicit drugs.

Call (502) 538-2980 or visit our dedicated Addiction Medicine page for more information on our customized test panels.