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Drugs of Abuse Screening

We offer a  clinical screening service for drugs of abuse. We require a random urine sample collected into a plain container. We always measure the urine creatinine concentration in these samples because if the urine is very dilute any drugs present may be there in concentrations that are below the cut-off value to give a positive result. We screen for the presence of 7 commonly abused drug classes (or their metabolites).

Amfetamines (includes methylated amfetamines such as ecstasy)

Benzodiazepines

Cannabis

Cocaine

Methadone metabolites

Opiates

6 monoacetyl morphine


Some other drugs will give positive results with our amfetamine and opiate screens. For this reason samples that are shown to be positive for the presence of amfetamines or opiates are further investigated using chromatography to check there is amfetamine (or a derivative) or morphine present respectively.


We are often asked how long drugs will remain detectable in urine after consumption. Below is a table with approximate times.

Drug

Approximate retention time

Amfetamines

1-3 days

Benzodiazepines

12 hours to 6 weeks (depends on the type of benzodiazepine)

Cannabis

Up to one month (depends on previous consumption)

Cocaine

1-3 days

Methadone metabolites

1 day

Opiates

1-2 days

6 monoacetyl morphine

12-24h


We will also screen for individual drugs if you do not want to screen for all of the 7 drugs in the above panel. Please indicate the drug(s) that you want to screen for on the request card.

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