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US DRUG TESTING

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This page contains explanations, definitions and technical information.  Click on underlined words for detailed information.

ADULTERANTS are substances used by donors in an effort to defeat a drug test.  We offer products that will detect if adulterants have been used in the specimen. 

CLIA WAIVED PRODUCTS offered by USDT are products that have been approved for use by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) law that specified that laboratory requirements be based on the complexity of the test performed and established provisions for categorizing a test as waived.  Tests may be waived from regulatory oversight if they meet certain requirements established by the statute. On February 28, 1992, regulations were published to implement CLIA. In the regulations, waived tests were defined as simple laboratory examinations and procedures that are cleared by the FDA for home use, employ methodologies that are so simple and accurate that mistakes are unlikely and negligible; or pose no reasonable risk of harm to the patient if performed incorrectly. To view the FDA listing of waived tests go to:  

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfClia/testswaived.cfm  

The CLIA WAIVED products that we offer will be found under the Acon name.  The cassettes were approved on 6/3/05 and the integrated cups on 9/13/05.

Cross Reactivity Chart By Positives Only.  This chart shows what drugs (prescribed or illegal) will show a positive result on an instant drug test.  For a definite confirmation of a positive result, the specimen should be submitted to a GC/MS laboratory analysis.

SUMMARY OF DRUGS & EFFECTS:

Cocaine (COC) is a potent central nervous system stimulant and a local anesthetic found in the leaves of the coca plant. The psychological effects induced by using cocaine are euphoria, confidence and sense of increased energy. These psychological effects are accompanied by increased heart rate, dilation of the pupils, fever, tremors and sweating. Cocaine is excreted in the urine primarily as benzoylecgonine in a short period of time. Benzoylecgonine has a biological half-life of 5 to 8 hours, which is much longer than that of cocaine (0.5 to 1.5 hour), and can be generally detected for 24 to 60 hours after cocaine use or exposure.

Amphetamine/Methamphetamine, amphetamine, (AMP, mAMP) and metabolites are potent central nervous system stimulants. Acute higher doses induce euphoria, alertness, and sense of increased energy and power. More acute responses produce anxiety, paranoia, psychotic behavior, and cardiac dysrhythmias. Methamphetamine is excreted in urine as amphetamine and oxidized as deaminated and hydroxylated derivatives. However, methamphetamine is also excreted to some extent unchanged. Thus the presence of the parent compound in the urine indicates methamphetamine use.

Opiates (OPI), such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. The use of opiates at high doses produces euphoria and release from anxiety. Physical dependence is apparent in users and leads to depressed coordination, disrupted decision making, decreased respiration, hypothermia and coma. Heroin is quickly metabolized to morphine, morphine glucuronide and 6-acetylmorphine. Thus, the presence of morphine (or the metabolite, morphine glucuronide) in the urine indicates heroin, morphine, and/or codeine use.

Phencyclidine (PCP), commonly known as "angel dust" and "crystal cyclone", is an arylcyclohexylamine that is originally used as an anesthetic agent and a veterinary tranquilizer. The drug is abused by oral or nasal ingestion, smoking, or intravenous injection. It produces hallucinations, lethargy, disorientation, loss of coordination, trance-like ecstatic states, a sense of euphoria and visual distortions. It is well absorbed following all routes of administration. Unchanged PCP is excreted in urine in moderate amounts (10% of the dose).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is generally accepted to be the principle active component in marijuana. When ingested or smoked, it produces euphoric effects. Abusers exhibit central nervous system effects, altered mood and sensory perceptions, loss of coordination, impaired short term memory, anxiety, paranoia, depression, confusion, hallucinations and increased heart rate. When marijuana is ingested, the drug is metabolized by the liver, the primary metabolite of marijuana excreted in the urine is 11-nor-*-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid. Therefore, the presence of detected cannabinoids, including the primary carboxyl metabolite, in the urine indicate marijuana/cannabis use.

The length of time following drug use of which a positive result may occur is dependent upon several factors, including the frequency and amount of drug, metabolic rate, excretion rate, drug half-life, and the drug user's age, weight, activity and diet.

 

DETECTION TIMES  The following chart gives approximate detection periods for each substance by test type. The ranges depend on amount and frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, and urine pH. For ease of use, the detection times of metabolites have been incorporated into each parent drug. For example, heroin and cocaine can only be detected for a few hours after use, but their metabolites can be detected for several days in urine. In this type of situation, we will report the (longer) detection times of the metabolites. NOTE 1: Oral fluid or saliva testing results for the most part mimic thus of blood. The only exception is THC. Oral fluid will likely detect THC from ingestion up to a maximum period of 18-24 hours. NOTE 2: Urine can not detect current drug use. It takes approximately 6-8 hrs. post-consumption for drug to be metabolized and excreted in urine. Similarly hair requires two weeks, and sweat, seven days.

SUBSTANCE

URINE

HAIR

ORAL FLUID (SALIVA)

Alcohol

24 hour

N/A

12 hours

Amphetamines (except meth)

2 to 3 days

up to 90 days

12 hours

Methamphetamine

2 to 5 days

up to 90 days

24 hours

Barbiturates (except phenobarbital)

2 to 3 days

up to 90 days

1 to 2 days

Phenobarbital

7 to 14 days

up to 90 days

4 to 7 days

Benzodiazepines

1 to 7 days

up to 90 days

6 to 48 hours

Cannabis (single use)

1 to 3 days

up to 90 days

0 to 24 hours

Cannabis (habitual use)

up to 14 days

up to 90 days

0 to 48 hours

Cocaine

1 to 3 days

up to 90 days

24 hours

Codeine

2 to 3 days

up to 90 days

12 hours

Morphine

2 to 3 days

up to 90 days

6 hours

Heroin

2 to 3 days

up to 90 days

6 hours

LSD

1 to 4 days

unknown

0 to 3 hours

PCP

5 to 7 days

up to 90 days

24 hours

Why METHAMPHETAMINE should be screened SPECIFICALLY on an instant drug screen.  The Amphetamine panel will NOT always show Methamphetamine.

This is an explanation of the importance of screening specifically for methamphetamine in addition to amphetamine.  Methamphetamine or "Crystal Meth," has grown in popularity to become the second or third most commonly abused illicit drug in most areas, competing with cocaine for this position.  Marijuana continues to be the most commonly abused illicit drug.

Many drug screens rely on an amphetamine screen to identify methamphetamine users.  This works sometimes because methamphetamine does break down, or metabolize, into both amphetamine and methamphetamine.  However, the average metabolization ratio of methamphetamine to amphetamine is 6:1.  This means that after metabolization, the amount of methamphetamine present will be six times greater than the amount of amphetamine present.  The drug screen cut-off levels for both the amphetamine and methamphetamine screens is 1000 ng/ml, meaning the donor's urine must contain at least 1000 ng/ml to test positive for the drug.  For a methamphetamine user to be detected by an amphetamine screen, the donor's urine must contain at least 1000 ng/ml of amphetamine.  Because of the average metabolization ratio, the same urine containing 1000 ng/ml of amphetamine resulting from methamphetamine abuse would contain on average at least 6000 ng/ml of methamphetamine.  Using ONLY an amphetamine screen, only methamphetamine users who are detectable at higher levels will be detected, and the window of detection will be shorter than the window of detection provided by a methamphetamine screen.  The 1000 ng/ml cut-off on a methamphetamine screen will identify most methamphetamine users by detecting the primary metabolite.  The same urine which tests positive at cut-off (1000 ng/ml) for meth on a methamphetamine screen would typically contain only 167 ng/ml of amphetamine, which would NOT result in a positive amphetamine screen.

It is recommended that amphetamine and methamphetamine BOTH be tested on an instant drug screen.

Definition of GC/MS analysis:  Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, and explosives investigation. GC-MS can also be used in airport security to detect substances in luggage or on human beings. Additionally, it can identify trace elements in materials that were previously thought to have disintegrated beyond identification.  The GC-MS has been widely heralded as a "gold standard" for forensic substance identification because it is used to perform a specific test. A specific test positively identifies the actual presence of a particular substance in a given sample. A non-specific test, however, merely indicates that a substance falls into a category of substances. Although a non-specific test could statistically suggest the identity of the substance, this could lead to false positive identification.

STATE LAWS governing use of instant drug testing, click here.