Urine Drug Screen Collection Process

About the Urine Drug Screen Collection Process

Understanding Urine Drug Screening   

A urine drug test (also known as a UDS or a urine screen) is a painless test. It checks your urine for prescription drugs and illegal drugs. The urine drug test screens for:

  •   amphetamines    
  •   methamphetamines  
  •   benzodiazepines    
  •   barbiturates  
  •   marijuana    
  •   cocaine    
  •   PCP  
  •   methadone  
  •   Opioids (narcotics)    

Screening tests can also include alcohol, but it is usually detected using breath tests versus a urine screen.

A doctor can use a urine drug test to help identify potential abuse issues. Doctors can help you develop a treatment plan after a drug test has identified drugs that you currently may be using. To ensure that your substance abuse treatment is effective, you must submit to urine drug testing.

Why Use Order A Urine Drug Screen?

A urine drug test may be required in several situations.

This test may be ordered by your primary care physician if you are suspected of having a problem using drugs or alcohol. If you are confused, or your behavior is unusual or dangerous, an emergency room doctor might request this test.

Employers often require that potential employees undergo a urine drug test in order to hire them. A urine drug test can help keep drug users out of positions that require concentration and alertness as the risk of accidents on the job may be reduced by testing.

Regular drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers also conduct regular screenings. This is performed to ensure that those who are receiving treatment for alcohol or drug abuse remain sober. An officer who is responsible for your case might request random drug tests to confirm your sobriety if you are on probation or out on parole.

The tests can also be used at home. A family member might request that a loved one take the test to verify their non-use of drugs or alcohol. It’s a good idea to consult your family doctor before you attempt an at-home test. If the test comes back positive, they can help you with how to proceed.

Urine Specimen Collection Products

Urine Specimen Collection Products

Submit a culture and susceptibility preservative and urinalysis prep tube. Both tubes should be labeled with the patient’s full name and second identifier. Each specimen container should include the date and time of collection.


Submit a preservative tube for urinalysis. Each specimen container should be labeled with the patient’s first and last name, as well as the time and date of collection.

Culture & Susceptibility Only

Submit a culture and susceptibility preservative tube. The filled tube should be labeled with the patient’s first and last name, along with the second identifier. Each specimen container should be labeled with the date and time it was collected.

Frozen Gel Packs

Follow the specific instructions provided with a pack to allow for specimen integrity during warmer weather transport.

Random Urine Collection to Perform Routine Analysis

Written and spoken instructions should be given to patients regarding “clean-catch”. If a clean-catch specimen of urine is required, please refer to the Microbiology Specificimens: Bacteriology or Mycobacteriology section. To prevent bacteria growth, the urine sample should be immediately added to the appropriate tube with urine preservative or kept in the refrigerator until it is tested.

The urine values can vary significantly over a 24-hour period. Most test methods use normal values for the first morning sample. Because it has a higher volume and concentration, and a lower pH than the first urine void in the morning, it is preferable. This helps to preserve the formed elements. If it is impossible to get a morning sample, the time should be noted on the request form and in the patient’s medical records.

Urine Drug Test Results

Some methods provide instant results while others do not. The reason for the drug test will vary. Often, the sample is sent to testing for a formal and detailed report.

The most popular type of urine drug screening is immunoassays. They don’t measure drugs. They detect the drug’s interaction with the body’s immune system, and the ability to form antigen/antibody complexes.

The results of this test will be expressed in nanograms per liter (ng/mL). A cutoff point is used in the test. A negative screen is any result that falls below the cutoff value, and a positive screen is any that exceeds the cutoff.

The drug test results are usually given in terms of numeric rather than numerical values if it is an instant result. The ng/mL measurement is not displayed on many instant immunoassay tests. Instead, the results are displayed on a test strip which turns different colors to indicate the presence or absence of certain substances.

If you receive a positive result for illegal drug use, it is important to immediately get a GC/MS test. Talk to your medical review officer (MRO). This is the doctor who interprets and reports the results of drug testing that has been performed in their facility.

Work With A Trusted Toxicology Expert

Keystone Laboratories, Inc. is a dual CAP-accredited and CLIA certified lab providing clinical and forensic toxicology testing services for more than 35 years. Keystone has developed an innovative platform of services to ensure the success and growth of organizations throughout the United States. For more information about Keystone Lab, visit our InstagramLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook pages.


Urine Drug Screen Collection Process
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