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Do you know that your blood holds clues to everything that goes on inside your body? Probably yes. Like most people, you probably visit your nearest laboratory for routine blood work to monitor blood glucose levels or the hemoglobin content in your body. But that’s not all! 



Do you have the slightest tint of the type of information doctors can derive from that simple vial of blood? Blood drug test results can help doctors find conditions from depression, cancer, hearing loss, dehydration to providing powerful insights into current medication use and illicit drug use. All thanks to the advancements in science and technology. The following are the seven things that you should know about blood drug testing-

Why Is It Used?

Blood drug tests monitor medications in an individual’s system when other tests are no longer viable. It is necessary to know how much of a substance is present in a person’s body.  Drugs in the blood are detected minutes after its administration until three days after. It, however, depends on the type of drug and dosage. 

Blood drug tests offer a shorter detection period than urine as most drugs are quickly metabolized and eliminated from the system. They significantly differ from other drug tests as blood drug tests test for the parent drug, thus providing an accurate measure of the drug present in a person when the sample is drawn.

When do you need a Blood Drug Test?

There are important reasons or circumstances where it becomes obligatory to undergo a blood drug test. These situations occur where a person is suspected of being under the influence of a substance at that moment. Typical scenarios are: 

  • work-related (such as to determine employment status or carried out on employees after serious injuries or workplace accident suspecting or believing to have caused by someone under drug influence); 
  • sports-related (to ensure that an athlete is not doping); 
  • ordered as a court drug test
  • ordered by an insurance company and so on.


Drugs that a Blood Drug Testing can Detect

As already known, the objective of a drug test is to determine the presence of certain drugs in an individual’s system. A blood drug test can test parent drugs, including alcohol. Though they are detectable only for a short period, a simple drug test can usually detect at least the following categories of drugs:

  • Amphetamines (amphetamines, methamphetamines)
  • Cannabinoids (marijuana)
  • Cocaine (benzoylecgonine)
  • Opiates (codeine, heroin, morphine)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)


Advantages of Blood Drug Testing

  • Blood drug testing has two definite advantages over other types of drug testing. The first advantage is its flexibility. There is considerably more flexibility to blood drug testing than any other drug testing because, if needed, they can order additional tests that look for solid substances. 
  • Another key advantage to a blood drug test is there are no known tricks to man to help pass a blood drug test. Any form of contamination or usage is easily detected. Hence, there’s no fallacy encountered.


Disadvantages of Blood Drug Testing

  • Besides the fact that there is a short detection period, the most significant disadvantage of blood drug tests is that they are more expensive than most drug testing. One of the reasons why urine testing is more popular than blood drug testing is that it is the least expensive of all drug testing types. 
  • Secondly, blood drug testing requires medically trained administrators to collect the specimen and is the most intrusive drug testing method. 
  • Thirdly, due to the short detection window of blood drug testing, it might sometimes fail to detect a drug after a few hours of use. 
  • Finally, a person might get infected with blood drug tests because they draw a sample as the vein punctures. 

However, these disadvantages do not outweigh the overall benefits that it forwards.

Factors that influence Blood Drug Testing Results

The outcome of a blood drug test is affected by several factors. The more common reasons being: age, the frequency of use, dependency on the drug, its body mass, and amount of physical activity performed. All these factors affect the amount of time the substance stays in your blood. 


Under typical conditions, most substances detect in the blood for more or less one or two days. However, this timespan can plummet if one is a heavy drug abuser or struggling with substance abuse. Also, aged people or people who don’t perform a lot of physical activity may take a more extended period to break down substances in their bodies. Ergo, this makes the drug levels evident in the body. Moreover, with an increase in body mass, the breakdown of substances takes even longer.

Why is Blood Drug Testing the Most Accurate?

Drug users have devised several nefarious schemes to try and alter their test results to avoid capture. Observations show that individuals attempt to cheat their way through the typical urine test that has become so common as it is relatively inexpensive compared to a blood drug test. However, since medically expert professionals only conduct blood drug testing, alteration using contaminants is not possible. Any substance used to disguise the presence of a drug during a blood drug test becomes detectable.

Altering the results of a drug test is never an ideal option. For it is only going to affect you, not anyone else. If you ever have to take a blood drug test, ensure that you provide a list of all medications (including supplements and vitamins) you consume.


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