Finally, it’s happened. You filled the cup and crossed your fingers. And now the suspense is killing you. That’s why you come here to know how long to get urine test results back, right? Relax and take a deep breath. We‘ll try to answer your burning questions.
How does drug test work?
The process divided into two parts. The initial test is immunoassay and the confirmatory is Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GS/MS). A combination of these two gives a high sensitivity and specificity, and decrease the chances to get wrong results — false-positives or false negatives.
If the immunoassay test is negative, no other will be performed. This is the best result for you. To get it try to make a plan of emergency detox from drugs and the number one on your list must be “Stop using all drugs including prescribed before the test”.
If you’ve got the positive result of the drug screen, it means the more accurate GC/MS will be performed. This test gives the answers to questions:
Only if the confirmation is performed, the positive result of the urine drug test would be reported to your employer. Your goal — avoid this situation by anyway. Here’s the one.
What affects the time you get a result of the urine tests?
The main thing that affects the waiting time, is did they found in your sample drug traces or not. If you’re clean, your sample will be processed fast and the result will be in 24-48 hrs. If it’s something wrong with your specimen, for example in the cases of false positives, the process will be prolonged for confirmation by using more accurate test GS/MS. On average, it takes 5 or more working days. However, the time frames may vary from one lab to another.
What are they looking for?
Standard and the most popular drug screen use 5-panel drug test, something like this. It detects the urine for Marijuana, Amphetamines, Cocaine, PCP, and Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Codeine). So, the 5-panel drug screen easily detects Methadone, Oxycodone, & Ecstasy.
However, more and more employers trying to avoid potential problems, use 7 or 10-panel drug screen. 7-panel drug screen tests urine for all substances listed above plus Benzodiazepines (like Xanax) and Barbiturates (like Seconal, Luminal, etc). By 10-panel drug screen employers and courts test for both 5 street drugs — Cocaine, Marijuana, PCP, Amphetamines, Opiates, and 5 prescription drugs — Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Methadone, Propoxyphene, and Quaaludes (Methaqualone).
A couple of words about false positives and prescribed drugs
There a lot of cases when the person has never used illegal drugs and tested positive. To avoid the misunderstanding, the lab professionals recommend providing the list of the medications you’re taking and prescription from your doctor. However, in some cases, it’s hard to prove the innocence. The example — the test shows up amphetamines because of the person’s dietary pill, not ecstasy. So be careful with prescriptions and make self-testing first.
How long did you wait for the results of your urine drug test? Share your experience in the comments.