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Understanding drug and alcohol testing

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Most people are aware of drug and alcohol addiction problems. They do not only cause damage to addicts but also to those who deal with them on a day-to-day basis, like family members, colleagues, clients and friends. In many situations, the workplace for example, it's necessary to ensure that workers are free from any drug or alcohol addiction problems. Even people with driving licenses should be regularly checked for such problems as driving under influence of drugs and alcohol causes thousands of accidents every year. Consequently drug and alcohol testing has been made a mandatory requirement by many organizations including commercial enterprises, schools and colleges among others. New Zealand has instituted a very strong and robust system for monitoring pilots for drug and alcohol abuse.

Alcohol and drug testing can be done through a variety of methods. These include the following -

Urine Test

Urine testing for drug and alcohol abuse is one of the most popular methods as its easy, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. Once a person has consumed alcohol it shows in the urine around 1 to 1.5 hours later. A urine test can detect the same even 48 hrs after consumption. However it should be kept in mind that although urine testing can determine whether a person has consumed drugs or alcohol it cannot tell whether he/she is addicted.

Blood Test

Blood test for detecting the content of alcohol or drugs in a person's body is a highly reliable method. These substances get absorbed into a person's bloodstream fairly quickly and reach maximum level within an hour of consumption. Although like the above test this cannot determine whether a person is addicted, it can help determine if someone has taken drugs over the legally permissible limit leading to intoxication. The drawback of this method is that it's expensive and invasive.

Saliva Test

Just like blood, the presence of drug or alcohol can be detected in the saliva of a person. In fact this method of alcohol testing is preferred over blood test, as alcohol level in saliva is nearly same as that in blood. Furthermore this method is not invasive and also costs less compared to blood test.

Breathalyzer Test

Breathalyzer tests are done with the help of a handheld device that detects the presence of alcohol in a person's breath. This method is popularly used by law enforcement as breathalyzers are portable devices which are easy to handle and also provide immediate results.

Hair Test

Drug tests on hair samples is gaining popularity nowadays as this method can detect several drugs, is cost-effective, non-invasive, fairly accurateScience Articles, and most importantly it provides a history of alcohol consumption for several months. This kind of information can be very helpful for companies who are reviewing the possibility of hiring a new employee.

Article Tags: Alcohol Testing

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Phineas Gray writes on behalf of, which provide most comprehensive source for drug and alcohol testing.AMC has been providing pre-employee screening services, including drug testing, alcohol testing, onsite drug testing and employee background checks nationwide since 1993.

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