How does urine drug testing work?

The body’s metabolism breaks down drugs into smaller metabolites, which pass out from the body in urine. Urine tests can detect these for on average up to 3-5 days following usage. There are many factors which can affect this time-frame. These include sex, weight, strength & frequency of drug use and the type of drug taken.

What will happen at the appointment?

We will send you an email containing all the information you need to attend your appointment. Please ensure you bring current photographic identification to your appointment. You will need to provide a list of medications (both prescribed and over the counter), which you have taken over the previous 14 days. When interpreting the results, we take all your medications into consideration.

You will be escorted to a private toilet facility and asked to provide a urine sample into a plastic beaker. The toilet area will have anti-tamper features in place. This is to prevent adulteration or substitution of the sample. The sample collection officer will then decant the urine into tubes. The secure samples are then sent to the laboratory for testing.

We will also take a ‘B’ sample and keep this at the laboratory. An example for using the ‘B’ sample would include a challenged drug result. Upon written and authorised request, we can destroy your ‘B’ sample at any time.

If you struggle to provide a urine sample, we can provide a small amount of water. We will give you another opportunity to try again. If you are still unable to produce a sample, the appointment will have to be re-arranged. If this is the case, please speak to your Case Manager to discuss the options.

What happens at the laboratory?

There are several different drug groups that are included in the analysis, including the following;

  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamines (including Ecstasy)
  • Benzodiazepines,
  • Cannabis,
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Ethanol (Alcohol)

On receipt of your sample at the laboratory, an initial screen will identify if any drugs are present. If we detect a drug, then further analysis will quantify and confirm exactly which drug it is. Conducted under UKAS 17025 standards, the process takes 1 to 4 working days. Reporting of your test results is by password protected email or posted hard copy. Both reporting options are available to you and your employer/solicitor.

Contacting us

If you have any questions or concerns about the drug test or your appointment, please contact your Case Manager. They are there to guide you through the entire process. Also, they can answer any technical questions or address any concerns you may have. Please call 0800 988 7107 and select the option for existing drug test. Ask for your Case Manager whose name appears on your appointment letter.