Drug Testing FAQ

General Questions

The following chart gives approximate detection periods for each substance by specimen type.The window of detection depends on factors such as – class of drugs, amount and frequency of use, along with the metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, and urine pH of the user. For ease of use, the detection times for metabolites (byproducts of drugs once metabolized by the body) are incorporated into each parent drug. For example, heroin and cocaine can only be detected for a few hours after use, but their metabolites can be detected for several days in urine. In this type of situation, we report the detection times of the metabolites.

Substance

Urine

Oral Fluid

Hair

Alcohol 6 to 24 hours 12 hours Not Available
Amphetamines
(except Methamphetamines)
1 to 4 days 12 hours Up to 90 days
Methamphetamines 1 to 4 days 1-3 days Up to 90 days
MDMA (Ecstasy) 1 to 3 days 25 hours Up to 90 days
Barbiturates
(except Phenobarbital)
1 to 7 days Not Available Not Available
Phenobarbital 3 to 4 weeks Not Available Not Available
Benzodiazepines* Therapeutic use: up to 7 days

Chronic use (over one year): 4 to 6 weeks

Not Available Not Available
Marijuana/THC 3 to 7 daysUp to >30 days after heavy use and/or in users with high body fat 24 to 30 hours Up to 90 days
Cocaine 2 to 5 days with exceptions for certain kidney disorders 2 to 5 days Up to 90 days
Codeine 1 to 4 days 12 to 24 hours Up to 90 days
Morphine 1 to 4 days 1 to 3 days Up to 90 days
Heroin 1 to 4 days 1 to 2 days Up to 90 days
Methadone 1 to 4 days Not Available Not Available
Propoxyphene 1 to 2 days Not Available Not Available
Propoxyphene Metabolite up 4 weeks Not Available Not Available
Oxycodone 1 to 3 days 12 to 24 hours Up to 90 days
PCP (Phencyclidine) 3 to 7 days for single useUp to 30 days in chronic users 1 to 3 days Up to 90 days
Cotinine
(tobacco metabolite)
2 to 4 days Not Available Up to 90 days

*The length of benzodiazepine positivity is more a function of the metabolite than the length of use. Diazepam/chlordiazepoxide/chlorazepate have nordiazepam (a.k.a.; desmethyldiazepam) as a metabolite. This metabolite has a 3 day half-life and thus is detectable in urine for up to 3-4 weeks. The rest have either no active metabolites, or metabolites with short half-lives (equal to or shorter than the parent drug).

Drugs of abuse represent a variety of substances having different activities in the body, but they all have one activity in common. That is, they are psychoactive. This means they affect the mental and physical responses of an individual. In general, drugs of abuse fit into one of three categories: Stimulants, depressants and psychedelics.
Although nicknames for drugs change frequently, below is a list with commonly used slang terms:

Amphetamine (AMP) Speed, amp, bennie, black beauties, chalk
Methamphetamine (mAMP) Crystal, meth, ice, glass, speed
Cocaine (COC) Coke, snow, flake, crack, blow, rock
Marijuana (THC) Pot, weed, herb, bud, MJ, doobie, reefer, joints, blunts, grass
Phencyclidine (PCP) Angel dust, sherms, star dust, magic dust
Opiates (OPI) Horse, smack, hairy hombre, H, scag, jones

To ensure a safe, drug-free workplace, companies should conduct employee drug testing at all stages of employment:
Pre-employment
Random selection for current employees
Probable cause for current employees
Post-accident for current employees
Return-to-duty for employees coming back to work after an absence
Overall, employers have the right to test. There are certain restrictions in some states and cities limiting who can be tested and for what reason, but generally speaking, drug testing is a standard practice in the workplace. Employers do have the right to establish a policy that requires their employees to be drug free and to implement drug testing as part of their program. During all phases of development, the company’s policy should be reviewed by legal counsel with special knowledge in litigation and liability issues regarding workplace drug abuse.
WOLFE has designed a single four-part chain of custody form to accommodate traditional lab testing and instant test results for urine and oral fluid testing. To simplify the collection process, we have ensured that this form is accepted at all labs that work with us.
Federally regulated employees must adhere to guidelines established by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Company policy largely determines the guidelines for non-DOT testing. Laws in some states restrict the use of instant testing devices.
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

Urine, oral fluid, hair, and blood are four of the most commonly used methods to detect drug use. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, urine is a very reliable established method of detection. Since the kidneys are the primary route by which drugs and their metabolites are excreted from the body, drugs are easily detected in urine.

However, the most recent industry consensus is that oral fluid is better than urine for drug testing because it is easier to collect in any environment and more difficult to adulterate, it correlates with blood level concentrations, and is a strong indicator of recent use.

Hair testing provides a longer window of detection, but is a more costly option that requires a more complicated collection process.

The ability of any test to detect low levels of drugs has an inherent limit. The concentration of a drug in the urine sample, below which a test can no longer be considered reliable, is the sensitivity limit. The cutoff point is the concentration limit that will actually be used to test the samples. Any sample testing below this level is considered a negative. Manufacturers of commercial urine screening systems set cutoff limits of their tests well above the sensitivity limits to assure accuracy and reliability, and to minimize the possibility of a negative sample giving a false positive result.
Tests confirmed positive at the laboratory should undergo the medical review process to rule out the possibility of a prescription medication or other legitimate reason for the positive result. We will interview the donor to gather prescription information. If the donor is currently under a doctor’s care with a valid prescription in their name, the test will most probably be reported back as a negative. It is highly recommended that a medical review be performed on any positive test involving a current employee, such as those who are part of a random selection program. The medical review officer is the balancing force, protecting employee rights, pursuing accurate information and watching out for the safety of all involved.
It is possible, but the odds are very low. The science of drug testing has become more sophisticated in recent years. Temperature strips, used at the time the sample is taken, assure that the sample matches the body temperature. The chance for substitution or adulteration generally is limited by the integrity of the testing process and is detectable, in most cases, at the laboratory. When professionally administered, the protocols and chain-of-custody procedures of drug testing are not susceptible to tampering or deception.
Many managers of employee drug testing programs have heard claims from employees who test positive for cannabis that they were just in the room and inhaled passive or second-hand smoke. But those claims are undermined in a study published in May 2010 in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

The study exposed eight volunteers to passive cannabis smoke for three hours in a busy coffee shop in Maastricht, Netherlands. Beforehand, each volunteer provided a urine and blood sample. At specified intervals they provided additional urine samples up to 84 hours after exposure and blood samples up to 14 hours after exposure.

After immunoassay screening for cannabinoids and analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS or LC-MS-MC) for THC, THC-OH, and THC-COOH, the results were clear. Although all of the volunteers absorbed THC (the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high), the post-exposure samples showed only small concentrations.

The study’s conclusions: “Because none of the urine samples produced immunoassay results that were more than the cutoff concentration of 25 ng/mL, none of the passive inhalers would be misjudged for cannabis use during a routine drug screening. If GC-MS testing would be done nevertheless, the corresponding THC-COOH concentrations were below 10 ng/mL, even after hydrolysis. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that passive exposure to cannabis smoke may only lead to trace amounts of THC in serum.”

To put it another way, the argument that passive cannabis smoke causes employees to test positive for marijuana use doesn’t hold water.

Most of the popular stories about things that trigger a positive result are based upon misconceptions. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications with high concentrations of decongestants can produce a positive result for amphetamines. Appropriate confirmatory testing will tell whether the drug detected is an amphetamine or an OTC decongestant.

About WOLFE

Times for each laboratory and collection site vary depending on geographic location and specimen delivery options. The collection site sends specimens out for overnight delivery via Fedex. Positives are typically available to begin medical review within 24 hours of lab receipt, while opiate positives can take up to 36 hours. Medical review requires the donor to be interviewed before the result is reported out as a positive.

Our cutting-edge retrieval technology provides some of the best turnaround times in our industry for obtaining drug test results.

Finding a collection site is just a phone call away. Our staff routinely sets up and facilitates all testing arrangements with collection sites, working to make them convenient for you and your donors. Your organization will be equipped with all the needed collection supplies including chain of custody forms, lab packs, airbills, specimen bottles, collection instructions, and authorization forms. Customized kit packaging is available to meet your individual needs.

Training is available for collectors, supervisors, and employees on topics including drug and alcohol related workplace problems, urine and breath alcohol collections, and instant testing product procedures. Our policy development services will help your organization implement sound substance abuse policies, procedures and documentation to comply with applicable regulations. When substance abuse testing programs are properly implemented and managed, everyone involved understands the issues pertaining to workplace drug testing.
We strive to offer an array of products and services to meet almost any budget. Whether you choose an instant product or laboratory testing with collection and medical review, your investment will provide a high return toward maintaining a safe, drug-free workplace.

Instant Drug Testing

Call, fax, email or use our website to order through our customer service staff. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. If you would like to establish a billing account, we will be happy to send you a credit application. Our payment terms are net 30 days.
All testing should involve a combination of services. Even when using instant drug testing products, non-negative results should be confirmed by an accredited laboratory.

Using instant drug tests for initial testing or using a laboratory for the initial screening are both acceptable approaches. The WOLFE sales team will evaluate a number of factors to help determine the approach best suited to your business. These factors include:

  • Federal and state regulations
  • Your facilities
  • Degree to which you expect your HR and Supervisory staff to be involved in the process
  • Specific goals for your Substance Abuse program
  • These same factors will help us determine the best collection methodology, type of specimen to use for testing, and which of WOLFE’s various services will help you achieve your goals.

If you would like more assistance with this question feel free to fill out our Instant Drug Testing questionnaire here or contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991.

Our products are very reliable. Most have passed the rigorous regulations of FDA approval. We will supply detailed performance statistics upon request. It is always best to send any non-negative specimens to be confirmed at a laboratory.
If you have an employee or prospective employee whose urine instant drug test produces a positive result (technically referred to as non-negative), WOLFE can provide instant test results lab confirmation. These states require confirmation: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, New York, North Carolina and Oregon.

Remember, instant drug testing products provide only preliminary analytical test results. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used, because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

Lab Services


Amphetamines (AMP)
Barbiturates (BAR)
Benzodiazepines (BZO)
Cocaine (COC)
Ecstasy (MDMA)
Marijuana (THC)
Methadone (MTD)
Methamphetamines (mAMP)
Methaqualone (MQ)
Phencyclidine (PCP)
Propoxyphene (PPX)
Opiates (OPI)

Our laboratory partners can test for a much wider range of drugs. If you are interested in testing for a specific drug or group of drugs or want to learn about all the possibilities, please contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991.

All testing should involve a combination of services. Even when using instant drug testing products, non-negative results should be confirmed by an accredited laboratory.

Using instant drug tests for initial testing or using a laboratory for the initial screening are both acceptable approaches. The Wolfe sales team will evaluate a number of factors to help determine the approach best suited to your business. These factors include:

Federal and state regulations
Your facilities
Degree to which you expect your HR and Supervisory staff to be involved in the process
Specific goals for your Substance Abuse program
These same factors will help us determine the best collection methodology, type of specimen to use for testing, and which of Wolfe’s various services will help you achieve your goals.

If you would like more assistance with this question feel free to fill out our Lab Services questionnaire here or contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991.

Login Questions


When you try to login to Wolfe Reality Link – Drug Testing results, you should be able to do this by selecting the button below on the Login Page and logging in.

 

faq-test-results

If you see the above page you are at the correct location and then proceed to enter your username and password in the appropriate boxes labeled and then select Log In. If you still are not able to log in, please refer to the next FAQ about clearing your browser’s cache and make sure you close you browser window and re-open before attempting to log in again. If you still cannot log in, please call us at 1-800-451-3743 and ask for the support services team.


The only way to be sure that any sensitive information is gone is to manually clear the browser cache yourself. The instructions below will assist you to ensure that your personal information stays personal.

Instructions for clearing your cache are presented below for several popular browser vendors and versions.

Internet Explorer (Version 3.x)

  • Select “View | Options…” from the menu
  • Change to the “Advanced” tab
  • Click on the “Settings” button
  • Click on “Empty Folder…”Internet Explorer (Version 4.x)
  • Select “View | Internet Options…” from the menu
  • Change to the “General” tab
  • Click on the “Delete Files” buttonInternet Explorer (Version 5.x and 6.x)
  • Select “Tools | Internet Options…” from the menu
  • Change to the “General” tab
  • Click on the “Delete Files” buttonInternet Explorer (Version 7.x and 8.x)
  • Select “Tools | Internet Options…” from the menu
  • Click on the “Delete…” button
  • Make sure Temporary Internet Files, Cookies and History are only checked.
  • Click on the “Delete” button at the bottom
  • Close your browser and then reopen itMozilla Firefox (Version 1.0.x)
  • Select “Tools | Options…” from the menu
  • Change to the “Privacy” page
  • Click the “Clear” button next to the word “Cache”Mozilla Firefox (Version 3.6.x)
  • Select “Tools | Clear Recent History…” from the menu
  • Make sure Browsing and Download History, Cookies and Cache are the only ones selected
  • Click the “Clear Now” buttonNetscape Navigator (Version 3.x)
  • Select “Options | Network Preferences…” from the menu
  • Change to the “Cache” tab
  • Click on the “Clear Memory Now” button
  • Click on the “Clear Disk Cache” buttonNetscape Navigator (Version 4.x)
  • Select “Edit | Preferences…” from the menu
  • Expand the “Advanced ” category
  • Select “Cache”
  • Click on the “Clear Memory Cache” button
  • Click on the “Clear Disk Cache” buttonAmerica Online (Explorer Version 3.x)
  • Select “Members | Preferences” from the menu
  • Click on the “WWW” button
  • Click on “Advanced…”
  • Click on “Purge Cache”America Online (Version 4.x)
  • Select “My AOL | Preferences” from the menu
  • Click on the “WWW” button
  • Change to the “General” tab
  • Click on “Delete Files” buttonOpera
  • Select “Preferences | Cache…” from the menu
  • Click on the “Empty” button
    If that does not work… (from www.opera.com)
  • Using Windows Explorer or File Manager
  • Go to the Opera directory (default is c:\Program Files\Opera
  • Open the folder called “Cache”
  • Delete all the files in this folder