Urine toxicology is the process of screening urine to determine the type and relative amount of legal and illegal substances a person has consumed. The test is performed to evaluate patients prior to receiving medicine therapy, patients in substance abuse recovery, patients displaying deviant drug behavior, obstetric patients, and patients using controlled medications. Toxicology tests, or tox screens, can detect a specifically targeted substance or up to 80 substances at once.
Medical professionals obtain urine samples from patients using clean-catch midstream urine collection. The patient will need to have thoroughly washed hands before opening the collection cup. Before urinating, the patient will wipe the urethral orifice to ensure the sample is not contaminated with foreign materials. When the sample is collected, the laboratory technician, nurse, or physician will label the sample to be evaluated by Harvest Labs.
Our lab uses two types of urine drug screening, immunoassay and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, or GC/MS. Immunoassay does not measure the substance levels individually. It detects whether the substance is in the system by measuring drug levels in nanograms per milliliter with either a positive or negative result. GC/MS is capable of measuring exact levels of the substance found in the sample and is typically used to confirm a positive result.