Drug Testing, Drug Test

Drug testing is a common procedure in the modern world. It’s often used to detect illegal and illicit substances found in the body, such as marijuana or cocaine.

When you’re being tested, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you’ve never been through drug testing before, then you might not know how the procedure works or what to expect during your first time.

You may also be concerned about the test results, so we’ve put together a guide to help you understand what happens when you undergo drug testing.

What is a Drug Test?

Drug tests are a common method of detecting drugs in the body. They can be used to determine if you’ve recently ingested alcohol, marijuana, or other illegal substances. The test is usually performed by technicians with specialized equipment, such as Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) machines.

This drug test can be used for different purposes, such as:

  • Screening for illegal drug use in the workplace
  • As part of probation or parole conditions
  • For athletes competing in professional sports
  • To determine if you have a drug addiction
  • To monitor the progress of your treatment for drug abuse
  • Pre-employment requirements
  • Legal evidence

The test can be used to screen for the following substances:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Marijuana Opiates (e.g., heroin)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Steroids
  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax)

How Long Does a Drug Test Take?

The drug test can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of test you’re taking.

  • Urine Test: A urine test is the most common form of drug testing, which involves using a cup to collect a sample of your urine for testing. You could be asked to provide one or two samples that are tested separately. Most drug tests can detect the presence of drugs in your system up to one to three days after use.
  • Saliva Test: A saliva test is less common but can be used to screen for the presence of drugs in your system. It’s often used as a preliminary test before administering a urine or blood test.
  • Blood Test: Blood testing is typically reserved for medical purposes and isn’t used as often in workplace drug tests.
  • Hair Test: Hair testing is the most accurate way to test for drugs in your system. It can detect drug use over a longer period than other types of tests, but it’s also more expensive than other tests.

What Happens During Drug Testing?

Drug tests generally have three parts: collection, analysis, and interpretation. The collection involves gathering the sample from you while you’re still at home or work.

The analysis involves using laboratory equipment to identify signs of drug use within the sample. Finally, the interpretation requires interpreting results based on different threshold levels set by organizations.

The type of test you receive will depend on why you’re being tested in the first place — for example, whether you’re applying for a job that requires drug testing or if someone suspects you’re doing drugs at home or work.


There are many reasons that you may undergo drug testing. You may be required to take a drug test before and during your employment or apply for a job requiring drug testing as part of the application process. The good news is that there are ways to prepare yourself for the test so that it doesn’t interfere with your life.

If you are ready to take the test, visit our walk-in clinic in Chelsea, AL, and set up an appointment with us. At Southern Immediate Care, you can be sure that you will be treated with respect and privacy. We want you to feel comfortable while undergoing the drug test and give you the results.

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