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Drug Test Results

Written by Sierra Rein
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So you have some drug test results in your hand and you don't know how to read them? It is essential for anyone, be it an individual, parent, or employer, to understand fully how to analyze drug testing information, especially when lab tests and reference ranges are involved. Without this understanding, the information can be misinterpreted or useless.

Some drug test results are easy to understand, and give either a positive or negative answer to the question of whether drugs are in the specimen or not. This method of testing is usually done for teenagers and pre-teens, when drug use in any case is prohibited. However, there have been cases where a test can prove to be positive due to second-hand marijuana inhaling, so the test should be used as an introduction to drug abuse conversations, and not as a way to point fingers without question.

More Confusing Drug Test Results and "Cut Off" Levels

When it comes to adult testing, especially in the workplace, most lab drug tests are built around reference ranges and "cut off" levels. For example, marijuana must show at least 50 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) in the specimen, while secondary tests must provide at least 15 ng/ml for a positive result. These levels have been set by different federal or business guidelines, depending on the institution (such as the U.S. Department of Transportation or SAMHSA references).

It is therefore an incredibly important thing to become fully acquainted with the drug test you choose to utilize. Ask the manufacturer or laboratory how it works, and write down any potential risks for false positives or mistakes. Only then will you be able to analyze the results effectively and honestly.


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