Most common questions about drug testing
Is a faint line on a drug test a negative result?
Yes. It is very important that a line in the test region (no matter how faint) must be considered a line and must be considered negative. This is how drug testers in Australia are trained.
This is the most common question we receive. The colour, or density of the line have no meaning on the drug test. This answer was backed up by our manufacturing engineers.
As you can see by the picture A below, there are variations in line densities. This does NOT mean that there could be traces of the drug in lighter lines.
Picture B has a non-negative result for AMP Amphetamines as there is no line at all, and must be confirmed positive by pathology.
What does a drug test test for?
In Australia we have standards most companies choose to go by. There are two main ways to test for drugs…. And they are urine and saliva. Here are the two standards and what they require to test for,
Opiates (pain killers)
These are standards where companies (who drug test their own staff), and workplace drug testing companies need to adhere to. In saying that, some companies choose to test for more drugs like MDMA (ecstasy), K2 (synthetic marijuana), alcohol, etc. Most pre-employment medicals these days are likely to test for alcohol in urine as well as the 6 mandatory drugs.
On the road in Australia the police check saliva for Cannabis, Opiates, Cocaine, Amphetamines, and Methamphetamines.
How long does it take for drugs to get out of your system?
Here is a list of drugs and the time they take to be excreted.
Cocaine 2-4 days
Cannabis 5-30 days
Methamphetamine 2-3 days
Amphetamine 2-3 days
Opiates 2-4 days
Benzodiazepines 3-7 days
Cocaine 12 hours
Cannabis 12 -36 hours
Methamphetamine 12 hours
Amphetamine 12 hours
Opiates 6-12 hours
Benzodiazepines 6 hours
These numbers are subject to a lot of variables from person to person. How quick a drug tends to leave your system depends on many factors such as how fit the person is (usually the more fit, the higher metabolism), how overweight a person is, age, how long they have been using, etc.
Do you need to be certified to be a drug tester in Australia?
Yes. Drug testing qualification is needed for workplace drug and alcohol testers. If a result is challenged, they need to know that everything was performed correctly and to the standard.
Course are provided with knowledge and skills to be able to undertake the specimen collection process when testing for drugs in the Australian Standard. Training includes legislation and best practice around workplace drug and alcohol testing, the collection of breath, oral and urine fluid samples and the confirmation testing and chain of custody process. Includes a thorough practical component with current industry exposed trainers, assessors and clinicians.