The 4 Most Common Types of Drug Tests

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There are several situations where it is necessary to screen people for illegal drugs. Employers often require a 5 panel drug test Houston before making a job offer. Athletic associations may use them to detect the presence of performance enhancing substances. They are also used in treatment programs to verify whether a person’s system is clean or not. Here are the 4 types of drug tests that are most commonly administered.


Urine tests are the most popular tests used by employers as they are inexpensive and quite accurate. Depending on the type of drug, its presence may be detected in urine for up to a month after use. The person being tested urinates into a sample cup at the test site, and it is analyzed shortly thereafter.


Blood tests are performed in a hospital or lab setting. Blood is drawn from the subject’s arm through an intravenous needle, just as it would be to run any other lab test. Blood tests are the most expensive and invasive 5 panel drug test Houston, but they are reliable as it is nearly impossible for the subject to skew the results.


In hair tests, a small number of hair follicles are cut from the subject’s scalp, usually near the back so as not to be noticeable. The advantage of a hair 5 panel drug test Houston is that it can accurately report results from up to 90 days prior.


A saliva test is the easiest drug screen to perform, but it does not measure back more than a few days. A cotton swab is run across the subject’s cheek and analyzed.

Drug screening is a valuable tool to insure safe work environments and level playing fields. As technology has become more advanced, these once expensive and inaccessible procedures are now very practical and commonplace.