How Does Urine Drug Test Instant Devices Work
Although a number of different types of drug tests are available, most work in very similar ways. Some are more effective than others. One of the weaknesses of the tests has been the slowness with which results could be provided because the samples had to be sent to labs. Now instant urine drug tests are available that can help detect use quickly so necessary actions can be taken promptly by employers, law enforcement agents, or parents.
How Drug Tests Work
Drug tests work by checking your urine for compounds known as metabolites. When you take drugs, parts of the substances are left behind and stored in the fat cells of your body in concentrated forms. When you exercise or your body uses energy, some of these fat cells are burned and the stored metabolites are released into the body. Because they are considered waste products, they are discharged through your body via urine.
Different drugs leave behind different types of metabolites. That’s why a drug test can pinpoint which types of drugs you have been using. Because some non-illegal substances, such as prescription medications, can leave behind similar metabolites, it’s always important to alert drug testers if you are currently taking any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs.
The difference between standard urinalysis drug tests and those which deliver fast results is that the test does not have to be sent away for scanning. Instead, the metabolites react with chemicals in the testing apparatus to provide the results.
Detecting Long-Term Usage
The amount of time the metabolites stay in your body varies. If you have a faster metabolism, they will generally leave your body faster because you fat cells will be burned at a much higher rate. If you have a large number of fat cells, have a slow metabolism, and are relatively inactive, the metabolites are going to be present in your body for a lot longer and will continue appearing in quantities in your urine over that time.
As a general rule of thumb, however, a fast acting urinalysis test can detect drug use within the last several days. The amount of time varies for each type of drug, as well as for your body’s unique way of processing the metabolites. For example, barbiturates can stay in your body and appear in your urine sample for up to 21 days while amphetamines are usually gone within 4 days. Traces of marijuana, on the other hand, can remain in your urine specimens for up to 12 weeks.
While hair follicle tests can check for drug use within the last 90 days for almost every drug included in the test, fast acting urinalysis tests provide results much faster.
Because of the way drugs are processed by your system, the secondhand smoke from crack or marijuana being used by someone around you can sometimes be absorbed into your system and stored as metabolites as well. That means you could end up literally being guilty by association in some instances. However, these amounts should be small and may even appear under the threshold for positive results.