A urine drug test is a common type of drug screening. It entails analyzing an individual’s urine sample to determine whether there are any traces of drug or substance abuse in their system. The purpose of the urine drug test is to determine whether a person has used certain drugs even after the effects have worn off.

Which drugs can a drug screen detect?

Some of the various drugs a screen looks for are alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, methamphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and phencyclidine. A drug test can also detect cotinine and nicotine which is usually produced by the body after the breakdown of nicotine.

Urine drug test types

There are basically two types of urine drug tests namely immunoassay and gas Chromatography/mass spectrometry.


This particular urine screen is a quick and cost-effective urine test, however, at times it doesn’t give accurate results. An immunoassay test may come back positive with drug or substance abuse even for individuals who’ve never used drugs before. On the other hand, it might fail to detect some drug abuse in one’s system. One of the common drugs that fail detection is opioids.

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography is a slightly expensive test that’s used as a follow-up of Immunoassay. Although Gas chromatography urine test results take longer, they have accurate results.

Factors that determine the accuracy of a urine test

Some of the factors that influence a urine test result include Body mass, urines acidity, hydration levels, and the duration an individual has taken the drugs. However, when someone is abusing drugs or is an addict, detection is usually easier since the drugs typically remain longer in an individual’s system.

How long does a drug or substance abuse stay in a person’s system?

For instance, a single marijuana usage remains in one’s system for three days, while moderate usage takes between 5 to 7 days. On the other hand, a urine drug test is able to detect marijuana usage for an individual who uses it daily for up to 10 or 15 days, while excessive usage detection is possible for up to a month or more.

Alcohol detection takes between 7 to 12 hours after use, heroin, and Amphetamines 48 hours. Cocaine takes between 2 to 4 days, morphine between 48 to 72 hours, while methadone takes 3 days to detect.

Circumstances where a urine drug test is mandatory

Some of the scenarios where a urine drug test is necessary are during a work-related evaluation, professional sports before a specific competition, safety drug testing, and post-accident drug testing.

For instance, candidates who are applying for a public service post related to others’ lives have to take a urine drug test.


Urine drug screening comes in handy particularly when you’re an employer who wants to hire someone to fill a sensitive post. Health Street is not only renowned as the best urine screening provider but also the number one drug test center. Their test is fast, accurate and the results are secured online.