General Adulting

What to expect from a drug test

What did the drug test say to the addict?
“Urine trouble”


I had an interesting experience today. I am starting a new job and one of the requirements for this new job is a drug screening. Now, I have not had to take a drug test for any employer for nearly 20 years. Ever since I got out of the medical profession, and into IT, drug testing as a term of employment has never been an issue, so I had forgotten about urine samples and the procedures around collecting them. I will describe my experience in the hope that it may alleviate any concern or apprehension you might have for an upcoming drug screening.

After arriving at the lab, I signed in and sat down to wait until I was called. I was the only person in the small waiting room with only a few chairs and a television playing CNN in the background. After several minutes I was called into the back. The technician asked for my photo ID, which I provided to her. I verified the information that she had typed into the computer and then she led me into the restroom.

She asked to to wash my hands, which I did, then she turned the water off to the restroom. The water in the toilet was tinted with dye, to prevent any watering down of the sample. She asked me to remove everything from my pockets and place it into a lock box in the back of the room. The technician then handed me a specimen cup with one of those stick on label thermometer strips on it and told me that it needed to be filled up past the strip. The technician then left the room and let me handle things things from there.

Let it flow… let it flow… can’t hold it back anymore…

-Queen Elsa from Frozen (or maybe not)

Once I was finished, I knocked on the door to let the technician know I was finished. She came in, turned the water back on, and took the sample and poured some into a smaller collection tube. She asked me to initial the tube and after washing my hands, I did. I gathered my belongings from the lock box and we then walked back to the first room where she completed some more paperwork. The technician asked me to verify that the number on the paperwork was the same on the sample and to initial the paperwork. I then thanked her and then left.

After looking at the lab sheet, and typing those numbers into my favorite search engine, I was able to see exactly what the lab will be testing for.

You can see it HERE

Now, I am just waiting on the call from the laboratory stating that my urine showed positive for opiates and asking me why. I will then have to give them my doctor’s contact information as well as my pharmacy’s contact information. The lab will compare the levels they saw against what I am prescribed to determine if I am abusing those medications or not.

Hopefully this explanation of a typical urine drug test helps alleviate some of your fears and concern over taking a test. If you were coming here hoping for advice on how to “trick” the drug test, or some way to make your urine seem negative for illicit substances when it should not be, I am sorry, but as a father the only advice I will give you is this: Time fixes everything. If it has been more than 30 days since you have taken something you should not have, then you are fine. If not, then there are plenty of other websites that can offer tips and tricks that are NOT guaranteed to help.

Like and share this so I know you guys are out there!