Undergoing drug testing for opioids and opiates can be an important key to a client’s success in overcoming addiction. Think of an opioid drug test as a way of keeping the lines of communication between you and your addiction treatment specialist open and honest.
If an opiate drug testing result turns up positive, you and your therapist can openly converse about ways to overcome this setback. You can discuss why it occurred and how treatment can be improved to better target your individual needs and goals.
Instead of being a punishment for using, drug testing can be viewed as being just as important as someone with hypertension having their blood pressure monitored or a diabetic’s blood glucose levels being measured.
Urine Drug Testing
Drug testing using urine samples is the main method for screening for opioids and opiates during substance abuse treatment. Urine drug testing is easy to do and can be done in a private setting. Drug testing with urine requires you to pass urine into a sample cup.
This urine sample is then examined using an immunoassay test. If this first test is positive, you may be asked to provide another urine sample for a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry test that will confirm whether opiate metabolites are indeed present in your urine. This second tier of testing does not provide immediate, same-day results however.
Though no opiate drug testing method is perfect and false positives can occur, urine testing is very reliable. In general, a urine opioid drug test can detect the presence of drugs within a 48-72-hour ingestion period.
Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Drugs can be absorbed into hair follicles via the bloodstream. Drugs can be detected within 90 days of ingestion, with the detection period lasting up to five days. A piece of hair close to the scalp that is an inch and a half long is taken for testing. Though a reliable opiate drug testing method, hair tests are not usually well tolerated by clients.
Oral-fluid testing is a very sensitive and specific opioid drug test that can be privately conducted and needs little preparation. The results are similar to urine opiate drug testing results, though opioids tend to stay in saliva at higher concentrations for longer periods of time, making saliva testing advantageous. The downside of oral-fluid testing is that your mouth can be dry and unable to produce enough saliva for adequate testing.
This type of test is fairly easy and uncomplicated to do. You rub a swab along your lower cheek and gum for a few moments to saturate it with saliva. A lab test will show the presence or absence of opiate metabolites.
Sweat can be used instead of saliva for a fluid opioid drug test. A patch is placed on your skin and it collects your sweat for a seven-day period. Many clients, however, object to this type of opiate drug testing because they dislike having to wear a patch for a week or more. The sweat patch is also less sensitive than urine opioid drug tests.
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