What is DRUG OF ABUSE ( DOA ) URINE - OPIATES?
Opioid testing detects evidence of opioid use in a person’s body. Opioids may be prescribed by a doctor to manage moderate to severe pain, or they may be obtained and used illegally.
Opioid testing can be performed on a sample of a patient’s blood, hair, saliva, sweat, or urine. Testing for opioid use may be performed for a variety of reasons, including employment testing and when monitoring patients for prescription drug misuse.
While opioid tests can be ordered on their own, testing is often conducted as part of a broad screening panel. A drug screening panel, such as a 10-panel drug test, may be used to find evidence of a variety of illegal and prescription drugs. If a patient tests positive on an initial drug screening panel, results are confirmed by a second, more specific test.
Purpose of the test
Opioid testing is used to detect evidence of opioid use or misuse. Opioid use describes the use of illegal opioids, such as heroin and illegally manufactured fentanyl. Opioid misuse refers to using prescription opioids in a manner that differs from a doctor’s recommendation. Testing for the use and misuse of opioids may be performed for a variety of purposes:
- Medical screening: Drug testing is commonly used in psychiatric care, substance use treatment programs, and as a way to monitor the use of prescription opioids. It’s uncommon to screen hospitalized patients for opioid use, even in cases of a suspected overdose.
- Workplace testing: An employer may require drug testing for job applicants before being hired, regularly during employment, or after an accident. Workplace drug testing is required by federal law in certain safety- and security-sensitive industries, such as transportation.
- Military testing: The Department of Defense requires drug testing for members of the military. Urine drug tests are ordered randomly and at other times, such as when a superior believes that a service member is using drugs.
- Athletic testing: Professional athletes are often required to take part in drug testing programs. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency prohibits the use of many opioids for athletes participating in competitions.
- Legal and forensic testing: Drug testing may be conducted during an investigation or court case. For example, drug testing may provide evidence after a motor vehicle accident or in a case involving child abuse or endangerment.
In patients prescribed opioids for pain, opioid testing allows doctors to monitor for opioid misuse. Opioid misuse includes taking opioids prescribed for another person, taking a larger dose than prescribed, or using an opioid in a way that differs from what is recommended by a doctor, such as snorting or injecting the drug. Monitoring patients can help doctors prevent or treat opioid misuse before it develops into an addiction.
Opioid testing can not detect current intoxication or opioid addiction.
What does the test measure?
Opioid testing detects the presence of opioids or opioid metabolites in a test sample. Opioid metabolites are substances created when the body is processing and breaking down an opioid. Opioids include both natural and manufactured substances:
- Natural opioids are derived from the seeds of the opium poppy plant. Also called opiates, natural opioids include morphine, codeine, opium, and heroin.
- Synthetic opioids are fully machine-made substances. Synthetic opioids include tramadol and fentanyl.
- Semi-synthetic opioids are part natural and part synthetic. Semi-synthetic opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.
Opioid tests do not detect all opioids and their metabolites. The types of opioids included in an opioid test vary by medical facility, laboratory, and geographical region. A routine drug screening panel often detects only natural opioids like heroin, morphine, and codeine.
Drug screening panels may not detect widely-used synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids, such as tramadol, methadone, and fentanyl. Testing for these opioids often requires a more extensive panel or a more targeted drug test. For example, the Department of Defense uses an expanded drug panel that includes several semi-synthetic opioids.
When should I get opioid testing?
Opioid testing may be used in a variety of settings, including monitoring of prescription opioid use, within a substance use treatment program, and during pre-employment testing.
Drug testing requirements are impacted by laws on the federal, state, and local levels. Drug-free policies that require regular drug testing may be implemented in both federal and non-federal workplaces.
How to get tested
Opioid testing can be performed in a doctor’s office, laboratory, or another medical facility. Test samples can also be obtained on-site at a workplace or other location requiring drug testing.
An opioid test may be ordered by a person’s doctor or by an administrator of the program that requires drug testing.
Can I take the test at home?
At-home drug tests are available to screen for opioid use. At-home opioid testing can be performed on a sample of hair, saliva, or urine. At-home hair follicle testing involves collecting a hair sample at home before sending the sample to a laboratory for testing. At-home saliva and urine drug tests allow patients to conduct a rapid drug screening with results provided quickly in their own homes.
Rapid drug tests performed at home are a type of initial drug screening. Positive results on drug screening tests require confirmation testing. An at-home opioid test is not a substitute for drug testing conducted by a doctor or other health care professional.