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Drug Test Detection Times

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***This information is taken from government sponsored sources and from the Package Inserts of our Saliva, Urine, and Hair Tests. Again, this guide should be taken only as a general guide - detection times will vary based on a number of factors including frequency of use, route of administration, body mass, activity, diet and age.

drug test detection times

How Does Drug Test Detection Work?

Depending on the type of test you are using, the drug use history you can learn will vary. Our drug and alcohol tests find drugs in hair, urine, or oral fluid (saliva). The table above shows when you can first detect a drug and when the detection period ends. Both the beginning and ending of the detection period can vary based on many factors, including weight, tolerance for the drug, overall health, metabolic rate, age, and urine pH. We hope this guide can help you select the home drug test that is right for you from Home Health Testing.

How to Use This Table: Say, for example, that you suspect a child has used cocaine in the past 8 hours. Using the chart above, you can see that a saliva test or a urine test could both determine the child's recent drug use. A hair test would be inappropriate at this time - the cocaine would not make it into the hair for another 5-7 days

All the drugs in the chart will generally appear in urine 2-5 hours after use. Please be aware that the exact time depends on many factors, as emphasized above, and may vary. Please also note that these detection periods refer to when a drug test will work best. You may, for example, be able to find cocaine in urine 5 days after use with a urine drug test. It is just increasingly less likely that you would and certainly not 96% accurate when you get further from the detection period below. Please consider these as your rules of thumb for detection.

*"...cutoff in Hair":Hair drug testing is a little more complicated than other forms of testing. Going back 90 days is the standard used by our hair drug labs for home use. 90 days is the approximate time frame indicated by an inch and a half of hair. When testing, if hair is longer than an inch and a half, our labs cut it down to an inch and a half.

Our lab, Omega Laboratories, is a leader in hair testing in business and legals environments. Generally, 90 days is also the pre-employment testing standard package. However, hair labs can analyze hair beyond the 90 day mark. It all depends on how long the hair submitted is. In court cases, for example, a hair lab can analyze an entire six inches of hair or more (which would indicate a year long timeframe). So, our information regarding detection times does not apply to court cases or necessarily all business situations. This should be kept in mind by someone who is interested in hair testing beyond that done with our products.

Drugs can be detected in the hair on your head about 5-7 days after use. With body hair, it takes a longer time for the drugs to be detected, because body hair grows more slowly. The growth of body hair does not correlate to length as readily as the growth of head hair does, so it's hard to say that it takes X amount of days for drugs to enter body hair. The nature of body hair also means that if body hair is tested by a lab, the detection time will be longer. A sample of inch and a half body hair can reflect a period from anywhere up to 6 months to a year. It's a longer, vaguer time frame, and someone submitting body hair to a lab should be aware of this.

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