OC Urgent Care Medical Clinic - Huntington Beach, Anahiem, Foothill Ranch


OPEN        DAYS

Monday - Friday 10 AM - 8 PM
Saturday - Sunday 10 AM - 6 PM

Please call us for holiday hours

Drug Screening

A recent report from Quest Diagnostics shows that drug abuse is on the rise. Because of this, employers have amped up their pre-employment drug screening in order to reduce liability.

Urinalysis is the most common test performed, mainly because it is the most reliable and the least expensive. Here are some other things you should know.

What Do They Look For

In a word, five things: canniboids (marijuana), cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). The National Institute on Drug Abuse has listed these as the most commonly abused illicit drugs in the country.

How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your System

Some have a longer staying power than others. It also depends on what methods and equipment the screener uses. For instance, older equipment won't be able to trace alcohol after about 12 hours from the point of ingestion. Newer equipment can find it in your system after five days.

Here's a breakdown of substances and their durations, with ranges taking type of equipment into account.

Amphetamines and methamphetamines – can be traced from two days with older equipment to up to 90 days with more modern equipment.

Cannaboids – can stay in your system anywhere from 24 hours to 90 days, depending on the frequency of usage. If you've used marijuana, for example, every day for two years, the stuff can technically stay with you for a couple of months.

Cocaine, heroin, LSD – can stay anywhere from two days to 90 days.

Common Misperceptions

The dreaded poppy seed – We all remember the famous Seinfeld episode. There is some truth to the belief that ingesting large amounts of poppy seeds can skew test results. If you have one bagel the day before a test, don't sweat it. However, perhaps it's best to avoid them altogether, as the little seeds can give a false positive in great numbers.

Detox treatments – There is no magic juice out there that can flush out your system any faster. Don't believe anything anyone says about cranberry juice or herbal tea or anything. Water doesn't do anything except thin out your sample, which could work in your favor if you're worried about passing the screen. Screeners will reject the sample and reschedule you if it's too clear, allowing you time to clean out.

Remember: you have rights when it comes to drug screening. For more information, feel free to contact OC Urgent Care.