USDTL Assisted Research
Drug Test Feasibility in a General Population Household Survey
First Published: 08 March 2004 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2003.09.004
Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 S Wood, Mail Code 747, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
Biological testing for drugs of abuse has long been accepted as an essential means of gathering information about recent substance use in treatment settings. For example, in the United States, federal regulations require the use of drug testing in programs providing treatment for opiate dependence Department of Health and Human. Until recently, the use of biological testing as a tool for gathering data about drug use in research studies has been limited to studies of “special” populations, such as prisoners, arrestees, and those in treatment settings. Despite a growing body of research suggesting limits in the validity of drug surveys, drug testing has been less commonly used in population-based epidemiological research.
While treatment-oriented and special population studies commonly employ urine testing, a limited number of published epidemiological studies employing drug testing as an adjunct to population surveys of illicit drug abuse have employed hair testing. Saliva or “oral fluid” testing has been extensively employed in epidemiological, and community surveys focused on confirming self-reports of tobacco use.