The Advantages and Disadvantages of Urine Drug Testing

Published: 05th June 2009
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Urine drug testing is the most commonly used and federally mandated method of drug testing. Urine drug testing is used both as on-site tests and for laboratory analysis. It is said to be one of the most economical drug testing method with lower maintenance cost, yet often said to be with lower effectiveness.



Pros and Cons of Urine Drug Testing

As in the case of all other drug-testing methods, urine drug testing also has some advantages and disadvantages. It is also one of the most controversial methods of drug testing. Inexpensiveness, easy to perform, and providing reliable results are some of the advantages of urine drug testing. High levels of invasiveness and high potential of adulteration are some disadvantages. The following are some advantages and disadvantages of urine drug testing in detail.



Advantages of urine drug testing:

Urinalysis is one of the economical methods available to test people for drug abuse. Its least expensiveness made it popular with various organizations. Urine drug testing can detect the abuse of more than five to twelve drugs at a time. The drugs, which can be detected using urinalysis, include cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, morphine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, hydromorphone, tetrahydrocannabinol, propoxyphene, methadone, codeine, and barbiturates.



Disadvantages of urine drug testing:

The specimen collection process is the controversy and it is the major disadvantage of urine drug testing. Collecting specimen in urinalysis is highly invasive. Since, it is not feasible to collect specimen under reliable supervision, there is high possibility of specimen tampering. Other tampering methods include drinking excess water and using some adulterants like chlorine bleach, liquid drain cleaner, white vinegar, glutaraldehyde, etc.



There are many commercial products available in the market, which have potential to flush illicit substance out of the body and thus tamper the drug testing results easily. Urinalysis cannot be used to detect immediate drug abuse. It requires some time for the drug to be ingested into the body.



Urine drug testing is the affordable and suitable method for random drug testing at home and organizations and is easy to execute. Though there are some cons in urinalysis, it is still the classic drug testing method.



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