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Drug testing in America

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Drug testing in America initiated in later 1980s, using the process for testing particular federal officials and special professions, regulated by DOT. Drug testing recommendations and procedures, especially for mentioned cases, are arranged and controlled by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), earlier by NIDA or National Institute on Drug Abuse, and call for organizations which employ qualified drivers, special safety sensible delivery and gas and oil professions, as well as particular federal official, to test the people mentioned above for abusing particular drugs. Test categories were determined years ago and contain five certain drug types. They don't include present day drug using patterns. E.g., the procedures don't consider semi-synthetical opioids, as oxymorphone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and so on.

Components, highly used in the USA:
  • Cocaine (benzoylecognine, cocaine, cocaethylene)
  • Cannabinoids (hashish, marijuana)
  • Opiates (opium, heroin, morphine, codeine)
  • Amphetamines (methamphetamine, amphetamine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

NIDA/SAMHSA regulations give permission to laboratories for only disclosing quantitative figures for the "NIDA-5" on organization's official tests, and as for other drug test laboratories and on-site testing, they allow a more exact and wider range of drug screens that are more sensitive for nowadays abused substances. As mentioned earlier, such tests consider manufactured painkillers, barbiturates and benzodiazepines in various drug panels (which mean a predefined range of tests). A confirmation test can reveal the distinction between chemically resembling drugs as ecstasy and methamphetamine, and in deficiency of methamphetamine amounts that can be detected in the specimen, a laboratory will only reveal if the specimen is positive or negative for MDMA. The information revealed to the person is dependent on the kind of panel used during the test, and if MDMA is mentioned there, it would be either mentioned in results.

GHB (gamma-hydroxy-butyrate) was not included into test until early 1990s, but later laboratories decided to consider it as an optional drug for testing. GHB is rarely considered on drug-screens before employment, but some labs process a test for it in cases of potential overdose, post-mortem tests for toxins and date rape. Special K (ketamine) is also optional for testing, however it depends on the organization ordering the test, because ketamine testing is not regular. Actually, the larger the amount of drugs selected for testing, the more expensive the test is, that's why a significant number of employers choose NIDA 5.

Other substances, as fentanyl, propoxyphene, Demerol (meperidine) and methadone aren't commonly considered in drug testing before employment. These illicit substances are commonly contained in tests, concerning particular demographic categories (drug rehabilitation patients, medicine workers, and so on).

Hallucinogenic drugs different from cannabis and PCP, for example, LSD, mushrooms and mescaline (peyote) are rare to be tested for.


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