A toxicology test
checks for drugs or other chemicals in your blood, urine, or saliva. Drugs can be swallowed, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin or a mucous membrane. In rare cases, a tox screen may check your stomach contents or sweat.
A tox screen may check for one certain drug or for up to 30 different drugs at once. These may include prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines (such as aspirin), natural health products, alcohol, and illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin
Testing is often done on urine or saliva instead of blood. Many drugs will show up in a urine or saliva sample. And urine and saliva tests are usually easier to do than blood tests.
Why are toxicology tests done?
This test may be done to:
• Find out if a drug overdose may be causing life-threatening symptoms, unconsciousness, or strange behavior. This test will be done right away in this situation. A toxicology test can also be done up to 3-4 days after a possible overdose.
• Check for drug use in the workplace. Testing is common for people who work in public safety, such as bus drivers or childcare workers. Some jobs require a toxicology screen as part of the hiring process.
• Check for drug use in people going through a drug treatment program.
• Look for the use of drugs that enhance athletic ability.
• Check for the presence of a date rape drug.
Molecular lab testing is a broad term that refers to the detection and/or quantification of specific DNA or RNA sequences in a specimen. Molecular lab tests offer a high level of reliability and accuracy and are used to detect microorganisms, look for genetic mutations associated with certain infectious diseases and cancers, perform paternity tests, and much more. Highly complex molecular testing is performed in molecular or microbiology specialty.