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Facts About Drug Testing

Written by Sierra Rein
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With all the myths about passing and failing drug screenings out there, here are a few facts about drug testing. Fact one is that, yes, if you do eat a few poppy-seed bagels or sundry bread products, there is a chance you may test positive for opiates, so don't eat any of those a few days before a test, ok? Now that this information is out in the open, we can get on to the more important items of knowledge.

A drug test relies on the fact that the body does not process all the drug that are accepted into the system. After a while, metabolites, or traces of the drug, is passed through the system and expelled by the urinary, salivary, or perspiration modes of the body. These metabolites even place a "signature" within the scalp, allowing the hair follicles to become a basic journal of drug use and overall health.

Facts About Drug Testing Passing

Each drug that is tested has two "cut off levels" for positive detection. Below these cut off levels, the test is considered negative, while above the levels, the test is positive. These levels, at least for employers, are determined by the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It is up to SAMHSA to provide business owners with the right facts about drug testing to implement an effective drug-free policy.

However, teenage drug testing is designed to be much more strict, as the cut off level is much lower than an adult's. However, most of these cut offs are way above the levels of drugs that would be inhaled through second-hand experiences, such as marijuana smoking. It is the interest of the employer or parent to make sure that there is no habitual and dangerous use of the drug while at school or at work.

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