The hiring process has gotten increasingly more and more long and complicated. That being said, some of these enhanced screening practices are here to stay, such as drug testing. A surprisingly large number of companies these days rely on drug testing as a basic part of their hiring process. If you run a company and would like to start administering drug tests to potential employees, you should weigh your options. There are a few different ways to go about drug testing, and they are not all the same. Hair follicle tests, for instance, are the most accurate, but also the most expensive by far. That is largely why most companies still use urinalysis.
Urine testing is something that is a prevalent practice, and it is something that some companies take more seriously than others. For instance, some companies still utilize the over the counter, at home drug tests that you can get at your local drug store. The problem with these drug tests is the fact that they are really just not very accurate. Instead, you are much better off investing in professional drug testing. With professional drug testing, you can at least be sure that your readings are accurate, which is the whole point of doing it in the first place. Professional drug testing does involve sending the samples to a lab, and the results are ready in a couple days, rather than in a few minutes. Of course, the fact that these samples are tested thoroughly means that you know the exact levels that were present. The way UA testing works is that it tests for certain metabolites that are given off after a certain drug has been metabolized. This is to say that it does not actually test for the drugs themselves, but only for the byproducts of them, once they have been metabolized. Because of this, there is a great deal of variation, when it comes to how long drugs can stay in your system. In the case of drugs like, THC, the half life can be very long. This is because it is stored in your fat cells. Because of this, THC metabolites can still show up in drug tests even weeks after the last time THC was ingested.
As for what drugs specifically are being tested for, it varies depending on the test itself. There are a few different types of UA tests available, but the most basic and most common is the five panel test, which tests for five of the most common drug categories among American drug abusers. The first of these is THC, which is the drug commonly found in marijuana. It is undoubtedly the drug that lingers in the system the longest. Opiates are another type of drug that is tested for in the five panel test, and opiates include an array of different drugs, ranging from heroin to morphine. In any case, lab testing is able to tell you which of these categories the drugs fall into, though not necessarily the specific drugs present.