Limits of Interpreting A Drug Test
Showing: bath salts
By: Kelly Hack, Content Writer
There are many variables regarding the analyses of substance abuse testing. Clients will often ask about specifics pertaining to the determination of time, dose and frequency when detecting substance(s) of abuse.
When testing a reservoir matrix- a material or substance, which can accumulate and retain drug and alcohol biomarkers (eg., urine, blood, hair, nail, umbilical cord, or meconium, etc.), the reported quantitation of a drug or its metabolite cannot be used to determine when/if a specific substance was used, how much of a substance was used or how often a substance was used. Test results show only if a substance was detected or not detected.
A specimen’s window of detection provides an estimated timeframe for detecting substance(s) of abuse. Based on extensive research studies, the generally accepted windows of detection for specimens used in our testing are as follows:
- Scalp Hair- Up to approximately 3 months prior to collection.
- Fingernail- Up to approximately 3-6 months prior to collection.
- Umbilical Cord- Up to approximately 20 weeks prior to birth.
- Meconium- Up to approximately 20 weeks prior to birth.
- Urine- Up to approximately 2-3 days prior to collection.
- Blood (PEth)-May be up to approximately 2-4 weeks prior to collection.
It is important to know that the interpretation of drug testing results may be determined by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). A Medical Review Officer is a licensed physician (MD or DO) who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual’s positive test result together with his or her medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.1This is an incredibly important aspect of drug testing. A laboratory can detect substances, but a MRO may be used to interpret what that detection means.
1.Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: (January 2003-Volume 45-Issue 1-p 102-103) Quaifications of medical Review Officers (MRO’s) in Regulated and Nonregulated Drug Testing. Departments: ACOEM Consensus Opinion Statement
News You Can Use:
Bill Banning Synthetic Drugs Passes Senate, Awaits President’s Signature
By Join Together Staff | June 29, 2012 | reprinted from: http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/bill-banning-synthetic-drugs-passes-senate-awaits-president%E2%80%99s-signature
The U.S. Senate passed a bill outlawing synthetic drugs this week, and awaits President Obama’s signature, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 bans drugs such as “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana at the federal level.
According to a news release from the office of Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the amendment included three bills relating to synthetic substances: one for bath salts, one for synthetic marijuana, and one for synthetic hallucinogens. Click on link above for more information.
Bath Salts – This terrible and relatively new type of drug is a growing problem across the United States. Here are some links to find out more:
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