FAQ about Drug and Alcohol Tests





General FAQ about Drug and Alcohol Testing

Who are these tests ideal for?
These tests can be used with anyone and in almost any setting. The tests are ideal for families, schools, teams, organizations, and workplace testing. They are perfect for Counselor and Psychiatrist offices, detox, inpatient, outpatient, and wilderness treatment centers, halfway houses, recovery homes, therapeutic homes, and much more. These tests aren’t ideal for DOT testing.


How often should drug and alcohol tests be done if drug or alcohol abuse is suspected?
Drug and alcohol tests should be done frequently and randomly. It is best that they are observed by another individual of the same sex.


What do I do if the drug or alcohol test is positive?
At this point, it’s vital that you involve an experienced professional to help you determine what to do next. For Teen and Young Adult families, a confidential Family Consultation is the next best step. During your Consultation, we’ll brainstorm together and come up with a plan to move forward. Life Coaching may be a great option if the test is negative, but your Teen or Young Adult doesn’t seem to be  living up to their potential or is off track in their lives. 


How long can drugs and alcohol be detected after use?
This varies depending on the substance used, the amount used, body makeup,  and the method of testing.

Most drugs are detectable on average of 24-72 hours after use. Certain kinds of Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, and Hallucinogens can be detected for much longer periods.

Marijuana can be detected for up to up to 30 days or more in heavy or chronic users.

Alcohol can be detected in a Basic Comprehensive Drug Test after one hour of consumption. Then blood alcohol decreases by .02 gm% per hour thereafter.  When using an Alcohol (EtG/EtS) Test, alcohol can be detected within the previous 3 to 4 days, or approximately 80 hours after alcohol has been ingested.


Why should I test my employees for drugs and alcohol?
The answer is simple. The cost to employers from illegal drug abuse is over $100 billion every year!

  • 8.2% of full-time workers are current illicit drug uses
  • 80% of drug abusers steal from their workplace
  • 65% of all work related accidents are the direct result of substance abuse
  • As many as 50% of all workers’ compensation claims involve substance abuse

Employers have an obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Employees who abuse drugs jeopardize the safety and well-being of all employees and impact the bottom line.

In these economically challenging times, it is more important than ever to prevent and reduce expenses related to substance abuse.  Each substance abuser costs an employer about $9,600 a year in: Increased Health Care Costs, Increased Workers Compensation Costs, Absenteeism, Low productivity, Loss time from accidents, Loss time handling confrontation and conflicts.

Regardless of which tests are done, drug testing always produces a positive return on investment:
  • Pre-employment drug testing can significantly improve applicant selectivity for your company. Why not avoid hiring an employee that might decrease safety, productivity and moral in your workplace, and cost you money?
  • Random drug testing has been shown to be a powerful deterrent to substance abuse in the workplace for existing employees. Such programs reduce accidents, improve productivity and may provide savings on workers compensation insurance premiums.
  • Reasonable Suspicion drug testing may be valuable in reducing liability in your operations. Reasonable Suspicion drug tests consistently produce the highest positive rates (18%).



FAQ about Redwood Toxicology Laboratory Tests

What other types of drug tests do you have available that aren’t listed?
There are many other tests available. Just the most common ones are listed. Contact me if there’s something you are looking for, but didn’t find here. I can probably get it for you. There are very few drugs that can’t be tested.


What other kinds of drug test do you have available that aren’t listed?
Some other testing devices available are instant urine drug tests, laboratory based saliva testing, and rapid nicotine tests. Contact me if you’re interested in these.


Why is Redwood Toxicology Laboratory the best choice for drug and alcohol testing?
Redwood Toxicology Laboratory is one of the largest, full service, independent drug and alcohol testing laboratories in the United States. They are trusted by over 7,000 customers.

  • State of the art screening, confirmation methodologies, and instrumentation
  • Extensive experience in performing forensic toxicology analysis
  • Extensive quality assurance and quality control procedures to ensure accurate results

Drug store drug test kits are often unreliable and give false results which creates more conflict. Doctor’s offices and the local lab aren’t able to test for the newest street drugs and are sometimes often trying to help people find a way around testing positive when they have drugs in their system.



FAQ about Basic Comprehensive Drug Tests

How will I benefit from choosing the Basic Comprehensive Drug Test?
The Basic Comprehensive Drug Test detects over 600 brand name prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and alcohol. This includes an expanded list of opiates/narcotics. The test has high specificity analysis and is highly sensitive.


What are the benefits of Basic Comprehensive Drug Testing?
The tests are ideal for families, schools, teams, treatment centers, workplace testing. They are also well-suited for substance abuse treatment centers, monitoring those in recovery, and monitoring compliance of pain medications. In schools and workplaces they limit liability and costs for school districts and employers.


How accurate and reliable is the Basic Comprehensive Drug Test?
Redwood Toxicology Lab utilizes the most sophisticated, sensitive, and specific equipment and technology available. Confirmations of all presumptive positive samples are performed from a separate urine aliquot. The Comprehensive Drug Test utilizes an optimal method of extraction and GC/MS analysis for each individual drug.


Are prescription drugs abused for non-medical use?
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem across the country. Most people take prescription medications responsibly. However, an estimated 48 million people (ages 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. This represents approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population. The liability issue is tremendous and may damage the lives of students, employees, patients, your organization’s reputation and revenue.


Will a standard drug store or lab test from my Doctor detect prescription drugs?
Conventional drug test panels will not detect the broad variety of addictive prescription drugs. They pass undetected in standard testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines.  However, this Basic Comprehensive Drug Test solves this problem.


Which prescription drugs are abused most often?
A few types of prescription drugs are misused or abused most often:

  • Opiates/Narcotics: Alleviate pain, depress body functions and reactions, and when taken in large doses, cause strong euphoria.
  • Barbiturates/Benzodiazepines: Slow down brain activity, treat anxiety, muscle tension, pain, insomnia, acute stress reactions, panic attacks, and seizure disorders. In higher doses, some CNS depressants may be used as general anesthetics. 
  • Antidepressants: Used to treat depression, anxiety and eating disorders. They are known as lifestyle drugs or “mood brighteners.” Their side effects are the subject of many recent studies.
  • Stimulants: Increase activity in certain areas of the brain. They are used for conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), weight loss (diet pills), or sleep disorder Narcolepsy.



FAQ about Alcohol (EtG/EtS) Tests

Why should I get an Alcohol (EtG/EtS) Test?
Since alcohol leaves the bloodstream rather quickly, the window for detection is fairly narrow with Basic Comprehensive Drug Tests or breathalyzers. However, The Alcohol (EtG/EtS) Test fixes this by greatly increasing the detection window. It detects recent ingestion of alcohol more accurately and for a longer period of time than standard alcohol tests. It provides greater sensitivity because it tests both EtG and EtS.


How long can EtG/EtS be detected in urine?
Traditional laboratory methods detect the actual alcohol in the body, which reflects current use within the past few hours (depending on how much is ingested). The presence of EtG/EtS in urine indicates that ethanol was ingested within the previous 3-4 days, or approximately 80 hours after ethanol has been ingested. Therefore, EtG/EtS is a more accurate indicator of the recent ingestion of ethanol than measuring for the presence of ethanol itself.


What is Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG)?
Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a direct metabolite of alcohol (ethanol). Its presence in urine may be used to detect recent ethanol ingestion, even after ethanol is no longer measurable. The presence of EtG in urine is an indicator that ethanol was ingested.


What is Ethyl Sulfate (EtS)?
In addition to EtG, recent scientific studies have identified ethyl sulfate (EtS) as a second specific metabolite or biomarker of ethanol. For this reason, Redwood Toxicology Lab tests and reports EtS, in conjunction with EtG, to confirm recent ethanol ingestion or exposure. The detection of EtG and EtS offers greater sensitivity and accuracy for determination of recent ethanol ingestion, than by detection of either biomarker alone.


How accurate and reliable is the EtG/EtS test?
EtG/EtS are direct metabolites of alcohol (ethanol), and their detection in urine is highly specific, similar to testing for other drugs. The lab also utilizes the most sophisticated, sensitive, and specific equipment and technology available. After initial screening for suspect positives, we quantitatively confirm EtG and EtS by LC/MS/MS (liquid chromatograpy/tandem mass spectrometry). This combination of three separate methods provides highly accurate alcohol biomarker test results.


Can residual EtG/EtS be detected in the urine of long-term alcoholics who abstain?
Studies indicate that alcoholics in abstinence have no detectable levels of EtG/EtS in their urine after approximately 80 hours of detoxification.


What about urine alcohol produced by fermentation?
EtG/EtS is only detected in urine when ethanol is ingested. This is important since it is possible to have ethanol in urine without drinking. Ethanol in urine without drinking is due to the production of ethanol in vitro. Ethanol in vitro is spontaneously produced in the bladder or the specimen container itself, due to fermentation of urine samples containing sugars (diabetes) and yeast or bacteria. Since the ethanol produced is not metabolized by the liver, EtG/EtS will not be produced and will therefore not be detected in a urine containing ethanol as a result of fermentation.


Will use of incidental alcohol, like mouthwash and Over-the-Counter (OTC) cough syrups trigger a positive result?
Tests show “incidental exposure” to chronic use of food products (vanilla extract), hygiene products, mouthwash, or OTC medications (cough syrups), which contain ethanol, can produce EtG concentrations in excess of 100 ng/mL. However, if measurable ethanol is detected (>.04 gm %) in the urine, and EtG is detected in excess of 100 ng/mL and EtS is also detected in excess of 25 ng/mL, then this is very strong evidence that beverage alcohol was ingested. At the same time, this test may detect if these products are being abused in order to get intoxicated (Cough Syrup is an especially popular drug of abuse for teens).



FAQ about Premium Synthetic Marijuana Drug Tests

Will a standard drug test detect Synthetic Marijuana?
Conventional drug test panels will NOT detect the broad range of Synthetic Marijuana. They pass undetected in standard urine testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines.

However, they are detected with the cutting edge Premium Synthetic Marijuana Drug Test. This test continues to be updated with all the latest forms of this substance. No other lab is capable of doing so at this time.


How long can Synthetic Marijuana be detected by the drug test?
The average window of detection is 72 hours following a single low dose; in case of chronic use the window is much longer.


What are Synthetic Cannabinoids? 
Synthetic cannabinoids are chemical compounds that mimic the effect of THC, the principle active ingredient of cannabis. The psychoactive research chemicals are frequently sprayed on herbal mixtures and sold as “synthetic marijuana.” Initially, JWH-018 and JWH-073 were the two most common chemicals found in a variety of herbal smoking blends. Others like AKB-48, UR-144, XLR-II, AB-PINACA, ADB-PINACA, ADBICA, and AB-FUBINACA have started appearing in newer product preparations.



FAQ about Designer Stimulant Drug Tests

Will a standard drug test detect Designer Stimulants?
Conventional drug test panels will NOT detect Designer Stimulants. They pass undetected in standard urine testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines. However, this cutting edge  test continues to be updated with all the latest forms of this substance. No other lab is capable of doing so at this time.


How long can Stimulant Designer Drugs be detected by the drug test?
The average detection window up to 24-72 hours following use with the Designer Stimulant Drug Test.



FAQ about Kratom Drug Tests

Will a standard drug test detect Kratom?
Conventional drug test panels will NOT detect Kratom.
It passes undetected in standard urine testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines. However, this cutting edge Kratom Drug Test continues to be updated with all the latest forms of this substance. Few other labs are capable of detecting Kratom at this time.


What is Kratom?
Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa korth, is a tropical tree indigenous to Thailand and regions of Southeast Asia. Mitragynine is the primary active ingredient of Kratom. There are no legitimate uses for Kratom in the U.S., and the DEA has it listed under Drugs and Chemicals of Concern. Used for decades in Thailand and other regions of Southeast Asia as an herbal drug and as a substitute for opium, Kratom produces both stimulant and sedative effects, with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy, talkativeness and sociable behavior.


What are the short-term effects of Kratom?
At high doses, opiate effects are produced—in addition to sedative and euphoric effects. In some cases, Kratom produces psychotic symptoms including hallucinations, delusion and confusion.


What are the long-term effects of Kratom?
Effects of long-term use include anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, skin darkening, dry mouth, frequent urination, and constipation.


What are the withdrawal symptoms of Kratom?
Withdrawal symptoms of Kratom include hostility, aggression, emotional liability, wet nose, achy muscles and bones, and jerky movement of the limbs.



FAQ about LSD Drug Tests

What are its short-term effects of LSD?
The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken, the user’s personality, mood, and expectations, and the surroundings in which the drug is used.  The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs.  The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another.  If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations.  The user’s sense of time and self changes.  Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds.  These changes can be frightening and can cause panic.


What are its long-term effects of LSD?
Some LSD users experience flashbacks, recurrence of certain aspects of a person’s experience even if the user doesn’t take the drug again.  It can be very scary as a flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use.


How long can LSD be detected by the drug test?
LSD can be detected in a LSD Drug Test is approximately 1.5-5 days after usage.



FAQ about DXM Drug Tests

Will a standard drug test detect DXM?
Conventional drug test panels will NOT detect DXM. They pass undetected in standard urine testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines. Commonly used drug screens and field tests do not accurately detect the presence of DXM. Therefore, more thorough laboratory testing must be performed with a DXM Drug Test.


How long can DXM be detected by the drug test?
The average window of detection is 4 days for DXM to be detected in the body.



FAQ about Steroid/Sports Drug Tests

Will a standard drug test detect Steroids?
Conventional drug test panels will NOT detect prescription androgenic anabolic steroids, prohormones, designer anabolic steroids, essential masking and anti-estrogen agents, or diuretics. They pass undetected in standard urine testing for such drugs as Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Amphetamines. However, this cutting edge  test continues to be updated with all the latest forms of this substance. No other lab is capable of doing so at this time.


What are anabolic steroids?
Androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are a class of steroid hormones possessing androgenic (promote development of male sexual characteristics) and anabolic (increase nitrogen retention, protein synthesis and muscle growth) properties. Synthetic AAS were developed as licensed drugs in the late 1950’s/ early 1960’s. Soon they became popular among athletes as highly potent performance enhancing drugs.

Abuse of AAS violates fundamental principles of sports and seriously threatens athlete’s health. AAS are banned in sports since 1976. In response to the demand, new similar non-licensed steroids were developed and sold as “legal” nutritional supplements. They are also known as prohormones and designer anabolic steroids. Currently, in the US all prohormones, classic and designer AAS are classified as Schedule III Controlled substances.


What are diuretics?
Diuretics elevate the rate of bodily urine excretion (diuresis). Use of diuretics is prohibited in sports. Increased urine flow reduces concentration of prohibited substances in urine, thus complicating their detection (masking). Diuretics are also known to be abused in weight sports (weight category manipulation).


What are stimulants?
Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that induce temporary improvements in mental and/or physical function. The effects of stimulants include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, endurance, productivity and motivation; increased arousal, locomotion, heart rate/blood pressure; and a perception of a diminished requirement for food and sleep. Stimulant abuse can lead to addiction and is eventually destructive to human health.

Steroid/Sports Drug Tests include prescription androgenic anabolic steroids, prohormones, designer anabolic steroids, essential masking and anti-estrogen agents, and diuretics.


How long can Steroids be detected by the drug test?
The average window of detection is a few days if the user is consuming pills. However, if the person is using oil-based injections, it can be detected approximately up to 12-18 months after use.



FAQ about Fentanyl Drug Tests

What is Fentanyl?
Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opiate receptors, highly concentrated in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. When opiate drugs bind to these receptors, they can drive up dopamine levels in the brain’s reward areas, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation. Medications called opiate receptor antagonists act by blocking the effects of opiate drugs. Naloxone is one such antagonist. Overdoses of Fentanyl should be treated immediately with an opiate antagonist.

When prescribed by a physician, fentanyl is often administered via injection, transdermal patch, or in lozenge form. However, the type of Fentanyl associated with recent overdoses was produced in clandestine laboratories and mixed with (or substituted for) heroin in a powder form.

Mixing Fentanyl with street-sold heroin or cocaine markedly amplifies their potency and potential dangers. Effects include: euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, and addiction.  Since the effects are so dangerous Fentanyl Drug Testing is vital.


How long can Fentanyl be detected by the drug test?
The average window of detection time is approximately 48-72 hours after use.


FAQ about Suboxone Drug Tests

How long can Suboxone be detected by the drug test?
Suboxone Drug Test can detect Suboxone for approximately up to 72 hours. However, it can be detected up to 7-10 days for a heavy user.


FAQ about GHB Drug Tests

What is GHB?
GHB was first developed as an anesthetic, but was discontinued for use due to its adverse and unpredictable effects. However, GHB is readily available and used in Europe as a sedative. The salt form of GHB has been marketed in gymnasiums and health food stores for the past few years as a steroid alternative for body-building and as a tryptophan replacement for sedation.


How is GHB metabolized?
GHB is thought to be extensively metabolized by alcohol dehydrogenase and/or succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase. Metabolic precursors to GHB, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4 butanediol are also readily available as substances of abuse. Endogenous GHB is also a product of GABA metabolism, and concentrations of 0 – 6.6 mg/L have been reported. Oral doses of approximately 2.5 g (1 teaspoon of GHB powder) dissolved in water, produced urine GHB concentrations of 29 mg/L in a 100 kg man.

Studies also indicate peak urine GHB concentrations of 100 mg/L following a 100 mg/kg oral dose, and no detectable drug in the urine by 12 hours. Less than 5% of an oral dose is eliminated unchanged in urine. To distinguish between endogenous and exogenous GHB, a reporting cutoff of 10 μg/mL is suggested.


How long can GHB be detected by the drug test?
The average window of detection for GHB is approximately 24-48 hours, depending on the dose.


I think someone used GHB to rape me. Can you rush me this test?
Yes, this a GHB Drug Test can typically be rushed to you for an additional shipping cost. Since the window for detection is brief, contact me right away to discuss this option.


Will this test hold up in the court of law?
Yes, Redwood Toxicology Laboratory provides expert witness services by affidavit, telephonically, or in-court. Redwood Toxicology Laboratory’s board certified & licensed toxicologists are court (federal and state) approved as experts in forensic toxicology and/or urine & oral fluid drug testing.



Are you certain your Teen or Young Adult has a drug or alcohol problem but not sure how to help them? Do you wish you could pick a professional’s brain and come up with a plan? Now you can! Sign up for a Family Consultation today!

Are you hoping drug and alcohol tests will be a good way to hold your Teen or Young Adult accountable to their recovery and to help prevent relapse? Doing frequent and random tests is definitely a great plan! However, combining Drug and Alcohol Testing with Recovery Coaching will make their recovery much stronger and greatly increase their chances of not relapsing.

Not sure if drugs and alcohol are the problem or if there’s some other reason why your Teen or Young Adult isn’t excelling? Then, Life Coaching may be a great option for them!  Both Life and Recovery Coaching have many amazing benefits to your entire family!

Check out these great resources today!

 Information Adapted from Redwood Toxicology Lab

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