Drug Testing Logo
store | sign in / account | order status | contact us  

Best Resources about Drug Testing

January 29th, 2015

Drug abuse is undoubtedly one of the most prevalent social problems that modern societies face today. There are literally hundreds of articles all over the internet discussing this issue from different points of view. The social impact of using and abusing illicit drugs1 is so wide and far-reaching that the sheer amount of information can be staggering and can be quite a challenge to sift through.

Drug testing in particular is tackled from all possible angles. The kind and extent of internet research you do on this topic will depend on who you are and why you need the information. You may be a parent concerned for a child, a student doing research for a school paper, a School Administrator seeking information about current in-campus substance abuse trends and how to address them, a corporate hiring manager polishing up on pre-employment drug screening guidelines or even a confused soul hoping to find a solution to your drug problem.

Check out the following categories of drug testing resources and decide which one best fits your research requirements.

Government and/or Law Enforcement Sites

  • United States Department of Labor – drug and alcohol abuse can lead to serious health and safety hazards that can negatively impact productivity and employee morale in the workplace. It can also potentially generate additional costs in the form of health care and short-term disability claims2. All questions about pre-employment drug screening and workplace drug testing will very likely be answered here.
  • United States Department of Transportation – this site contains information on the rules related to the alcohol and drug testing of employees holding safety-sensitive positions in trucking, aviation, mass transit, railroads, pipelines and the transportation industry in general.

The Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance3 under this Department publishes all the regulations and provides the official interpretations on alcohol and drug testing; guidelines on how to conduct tests; evaluates the treatment procedures used on employees returning to duty after test violations; and coordinates with the President’s National Drug Control Strategy annually.

  • S. Department of Justice – Drug testing on a large scale was first implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) back in the late 1960s to deal with marijuana and heroin use by U.S. military personnel in Vietnam. This ultimately led to the initial developments in urine drug test technology. Drug testing however is used differently in the military and in the workplace when compared to how it is used within the context of the criminal justice system, be it: for prosecution, for compliance with a probation order or pre-trial release, for monitoring participants in drug court programs and treatment etc4.

Research and Information Websites 

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – is a Federal scientific research institute under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA funds many global research efforts on drug abuse and addiction, including monitoring of emerging trends in drug use; the effects of drugs on the brain and body; developing and testing new drug abuse prevention and treatment methods; and publishing their findings to the public5. This site also contains general information about the most common drugs of abuse, the physical signs of drug use or addiction, effective drug treatment programs and screening/assessment/drug testing resources6

It is worth mentioning here that the NIDA Archive7 will contain material that are not current but will be of historical value especially to researchers, and/or publications and meeting summaries that go back 5 years or older and may have broken links. Simply go back to the NIDA Home Page if you are looking for current content.

  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) – this organization began in 1995 as the National Association of Collection Sites and has since expanded its scope to include the elevation and promotion of the standards of professionalism and quality control in the drug and alcohol testing industry8. They develop and oversee education, accreditation and certification programs for the industry, serving also as coordinator regarding matters of industry regulations and the legislation needed to set things in motion; sample collection issues; and drug free workplace rules and regulations. This organization represents over 1500 members that include not just collection sites but also laboratories, MROs, consortiums/TPAs and test equipment manufacturers.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – is the agency mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to lead public health efforts towards the advancement of behavioral health within the U.S with the primary objective of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.10 The SAMHSA is responsible for setting the initial and confirmatory cut-off concentrations for Analytes during drug testing.

Health/Medical and Non-profit Organizations 

  • Partnership for Drug-free Kids – Originally founded in 1987 as partnership for a Drug-free America, this non-profit organization works to reduce teen substance abuse and support families affected by alcohol or drug addiction11. They are composed of parent coaches and scientific advisors seeking to change attitudes about drug and alcohol use, to educate individuals about the health risks and to effect a change in behaviors.
  • Mayo Clinic13/WebMD14 – and other reliable Health websites provide valuable health information and tools, including those needed to address problems related to drugs and drug testing in general. These resources are backed by credible and timely response from clinical practitioners who provide their expertise in a consultative capacity.

The websites listed above are some of the best and most reliable online sources of information on drug testing.  This short list considerably reduces the amount of time one would usually spend looking for the information they need.



Social Impact of Drug Abuse














More Reading

Guidelines for Testing Drugs Under International Control in Hair, Sweat, Saliva

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug_Abuse Screening Test

10 Facts to Learn about Drug Abuse Screening Tool (DAST)

January 28th, 2015

The Drug Abuse Screening Tool or DAST is a substance abuse screening instrument that has been developed in 1982, more than three decades ago. Up to these days, the tool is said to be very excellent when it comes to screening drug abuse.1 Wonder what this drug testing tool is all about? The facts herewith will help you understand DAST more.

1. The drug testing tool is parallel to another type of test 2 

The test is called Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test or MAST. However, there are differences that can be noted between these two. One is the fact that the MAST contains 22 questions whereby the DAST has 28 questions in all. The more updated version however contains only 20 questions thus given the name DAST-20.3 Another apparent difference is that the MAST is used to assess one’s dependence on alcohol while then DAST focuses more on one’s abuse of illicit drugs other than alcohol.

2. DAST refers to drug abuse in two ways4 

One such way is its reference to the use of over-the-counter drugs in excess of what has been prescribed by doctors. Another is the fact that drug abuse can also be one’s non-medical use of these drugs. As you assess your use of these drugs, you basically have to look back to the past 12 months to determine whether you have been abusing these substances or not.

3. Scoring of DAST depends on several factors5 

While the entire DAST questionnaire is supposed to get a score of 1 point each for every ‘Yes’, there are certain items within the exam that will require a different pointing system. In the original 28-question self-report, all items answered with a ‘Yes’ are given a point each except for questions 4,5 and 7 where a ‘No’ is given 1 point each instead. In the more updated version, however, all items with a ‘Yes’ are given a point each except for items 4,5, and 6 where a ‘No’ is given a point each.

 4. Interpretation of DAST will depend on the scores6

For the DAST original version, a cutoff score that ranges between 6 and 11 is given. These ones are classified as optimal with regards to screening the probability of substance use disorders. When a patient is found out to have a score of 12 and above, then he will be classified to have specific substance abuse problems.7

DAST-20, on the other hand, is interpreted according to the following results. For a point of 1-5, the respondent is considered to have low severity of drug abuse and would only require brief intervention. In the case of those who have scored 6-10, the condition is considered intermediate and would require intensive outpatient intervention. Those scoring between 11 and 15 are under substantial severity while those with a score of 16-20 have severe drug abuse. Both categories – substantial and severe- require intensive intervention.

 5. There is another version for DAST8

Apart from the original DAST which contains 28 questions and that of the DAST-20 that contains 20 questions, there is also another variation for DAST. This one is called DAST-10. As the name implies, expect this version to contain only 10 questions answerable by a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’.

This version comes with a different scoring and interpretation too when compared to the other two versions. In this case, all questions are given a point each for a ‘Yes’ except for question number 3 where one point goes to a ‘No’. Interpretation wise, a score of 1-2 is considered low and requires either monitoring or re-assessment at a later date. A score of 3-5 is considered moderate and would require further investigation. Those falling under the 6-8 score (substantial) and 9-10 (severe) will then be undergoing intensive assessment.

6. DAST is one of the tools you can make use of if you want to know whether you have a drug problem or not.9

DAST can help you change your lives for the better in your attempt to determine whether you are indeed facing a drug problem or not. You can use the tool to specifically focus on aspects of drug use and not alcohol use though.

7. Using DAST as a drug abuse testing tool has several advantages.10

There are many advantages of using DAST to know one’s drug dependence – whether it is classified as low, moderate, substantial or severe. One of the benefits is the fact that it is quick and is cheap to administer. Additionally, with the already available different versions of the test, more and more versions are being conceptualized to offer help by using different languages. The tool also delivers a quantitative interpretation as to the degree or severity of one’s problem and helps much in assessing what kind of treatment is needed for the patient. The drug abuse screening tool has been used for several populations and settings and with this, it has continued demonstrating reliability and validity.

8. It comes with limitations too.11 

While there are advantages when it comes to using DAST in detecting one’s dependence over drugs, it cannot be denied that there are certain limitations attached to the tool too. One is the fact that the items therein are too obvious thus giving respondents the chance to fake results. The scores from the tool may also be misinterpreted and can be in danger of giving too much emphasis on the patient who has undergone the assessment.

9. It can be administered in a number of ways.12 

There are different ways by which DAST can be administered on patients. One is the usual questionnaire type where one can get an application form and answer questions accordingly. It is considered ideal for assessing a large population of respondents. Some experts would also use an interview type of DAST to assess their patients. This is more of a one-on-one assessment. Of course, computerized versions are easily downloadable through the Internet. This is where the self-test comes in. In all these forms of administration however, it is strongly suggested that DAST should not be given to individuals who are either undergoing drug withdrawal or are currently under the influence of drugs.



FAQs on DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing

January 27th, 2015

In the publication “What Employees Need to Know about DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing”1, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) aims to help employees address their safety concerns regarding workplace drug and alcohol testing in line with what has been required by certain parts of the DOT Agency regulations. Reading through this handbook, one will find out about all the answers to many of their questions regarding drug and alcohol testing in DOT.

In relation to this, here are some FAQs on DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing.

Q: Why is DOT drug and alcohol testing important in the first place?

A: Safety – this is the top priority of the US DOT and for this reason, the department has deemed it necessary to put drug and alcohol testing in place throughout the agency. Part of the program is to ascertain that transportation providers across road, over land, in the air or all models employ 100% drug-free and alcohol-free operators.

Q: Who is subject to the test?

A: All safety-sensitive employees assigned under the DOT are required to undergo the test. This would include people from the: aviation department (flight crews, air traffic controllers, aircraft dispatchers etc.); commercial motor carriers who are Commercial Driver’s License holders; maritime crewmembers operating any type of commercial vessel; pipeline operations, emergency response and maintenance; railroad men; and transit department including vehicle operators, armed security, mechanics and controllers among others.

Q: What must employers provide their employees with regards to DOT drug and alcohol testing?

A: Employers are expected to provide their employees with a company policy as well as educational materials that include all the necessary explanations related to the need to undergo DOT drug and alcohol testing. This should also include how the procedure goes and how one will be able to comply with it.

Q: What particular drugs do DOT test for?

A: The DOT makes use of a specific drug testing tool, that is, urine drug testing. The urine specimen will then be analyzed with certain types of drugs or metabolites like cocaine, marijuana/THC, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine.

Q: Are there any additional specimens required for drug and alcohol testing?

A: For a Post-Accident test, blood specimen collection will be required. The same applies for Serious Marine Incident (SMI) testing.2

Q: What about using OTC and prescription drugs when performing safety-sensitive functions?

A: The use of OTC or prescribed medications is allowed provided the medicine has been prescribed by a licensed physician. The physician must also truthfully swear that the use of such medications will be safe to use by an employee in the performance of his duties.

Q: When are DOT tests performed?

A: DOT drug and alcohol testing are performed during pre-employment in most cases. However, several situations can also call for performance of a test like for reasonable cause or suspicion, return-to-duty, post-accident, follow-up and even for random purposes.

Q: How is the urine sample collected and tested?

A: Urine drug testing follows a series of three important steps including: (1) the collection; (2) testing at an authorized laboratory; and (3) a corresponding review by the Medical Review Officer of the DOT or the DOT-related agency.

Q: Who analyzes urine specimen?

A: Urine specimens are tested through HHS drug testing laboratories.3

Q: How will one know whether he underwent a private or federal drug test?

A: Federal or DOT drug and alcohol tests are performed by completing the so-called Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form or CCF.4 This form contains specific instructions as to who and how the form will be filled up. Any other drug test performed without the CCF is conducted by a private entity.

Q: How is the test being administered?

A: The DOT spearheads the test in such a manner that the test’s validity will be ensured at all times. It also reserves the confidentiality of the employee’s testing details.

Q: What should one do if he feels that he was unfairly selected for random drug and alcohol testing?

A: The first thing one should do is comply with the requirement, that is, to submit oneself to the test. From there, he can make a timely complaint on the matter. This can be done by addressing the concern through the employer’s dispute resolution office. Any complaint should be made in writing. An issue can also be coursed through DOT’s drug and alcohol program office.

Q: What happens when one tests positive?

A: He will be removed by the company official and will be restricted from performing safety-sensitive functions as defined by the DOT. He will be allowed to return to duty though provided he has dutifully completed the evaluation administered by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and has completed counseling, education or treatment for his dependence. Likewise, he should provide a negative result for drugs and a less than 0.02 alcohol test result.

Q: What are SAPs?

A: Substance Abuse Professionals or SAPs are persons who play a critical role when it comes to workplace drug testing. They take charge of evaluating individuals who have violated rules of the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. They are tasked to recommend education, counseling or treatment for concerned employees. They too can determine whether or not a person is safe to return to his safety-sensitive duty.

Q: How can one look for a SAP?

A: Employers would provide employees with a list of SAPs with their corresponding address or contact information.

Q: What happens to one’s career when he has violated the drug and alcohol regulations?

A: The DOT will not in any way take charge of the firing of the person who has found to have violated the drug and alcohol rules set by the agency. Employers have a hand on the matter and are expected to provide a course of action for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Employees though should expect immediate removal from office in case of violations.

Q: Will the results affect one’s employment history?

A: Yes, it will definitely affect employment history. This can be carried on from one employer to another most especially if the next employer is also subject to the DOT Agency’s regulations.

Q: Where can one seek help for more questions regarding these DOT drug and alcohol testing rules?

A: The Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC5) will help answer any other questions a person has when it comes to DOT’s drug and alcohol program regulations.



Facts about Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs in the World of Boxing

May 24th, 2014

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says that many athletes turn to performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids to get their competitive edge in their games. The agency noted however that these substances have drastic effects on an individual even if there are also known benefits of these drugs.

CNN, in their article ‘Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts’ mentioned that these substances have been popular to professional athletes for many decades now. It noted that problems concerning PEDs were present as early as the 1960’s but it was only in the last 10 years that it gained prominence due to the investigation made by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as well as the facts divulged by professional athletes themselves. Together with this, the Mitchell investigation in baseball also contributed to the prominence of PEDs in sports. While these substances gained popularity in the world of sports as a whole, it pays to know how it is related to boxing.

#1 – PEDs may be used in between rounds for a boxing match. 

This issue came up in the boxing match between Marcos Maidana and Adrian Broner in December 2013. During that said fight, Broner said that the world of PEDs is quite complex accusing that Maidana won over him due to the use of a substance classified as PED. As reported in the article How a Boxer Could Use PEDs right in the Middle of the Fight, videos of Maidana ingesting a white pill circulated. That white pill was suspected as a PED.

This explains why PEDs may be used in between rounds for a boxing match. The article furthermore discusses that Maidana may have ingested a type of pill classified as PED to get him back in the game and to make him win over his opponent. It was presumed that he ingested either a beta-2 agonist or painkiller or stimulant during the said fight.

#2 – A boxer accused of using PEDs may use several reasons behind why he ingested such substances. 

He may use this as an excuse to defend himself in any case filed against him. Among reasons he may use is that he is down with a flu days before the game and he was prescribed to take antibiotics. As soon as others find out that the medicine contains steroids, although in small amounts, the boxer who was accused of taking the drug may claim that he did not know about that.

For instance, Eric Morales, a professional boxer, was cited to have used a steroid or performance enhancing drug. This was part of an article published entitled Boxing, Performance Enhancing Drugs and Contradictions. The article mentioned about the drug clenbuterol which is recommended for breathing disorders. Morales tested positive for the substance. While it is known to help with breathing, clebunterol is also mentioned as a weight-loss aid. Morales was not banned from the WBC, making the use of the drug as an excuse to treat his breathing disorders. The decision came even after the case was brought to court for further scrutiny.

#3 – There are legalities that come with the use of illegal PEDs in boxing. 

The offending fighter, those who consented to the illegal drug use and even the Anti-Doping Agency may be sued in case lawsuits may come. This has been presented in the article entitled PEDs: When the Lawsuits Come. The offending fighter and obviously those who facilitated his use of the drug may be sued. Likewise, the anti-doping agency that performed drug tests prior to the fight may also be liable.

The plaintiff, on the other hand, needs proof for his claims that his opponent has indeed used PEDs during the fight. This is at least the first fact the plaintiff should bring to mind when filing a case over his opponent who is presumed to have taken a PED to help him during the boxing match. This can be proven using a positive drug test result. Together with his presumption, he must likewise prove that there is a connection between the defendant’s use of the PED and that of the damages the plaintiff suffered during the game. Once he has proven his cause, he may claim compensation up to the extent of damage he had suffered.

#4 – There are boxers who tested positive for drugs – PEDs as well as illegal drug substances. 

This is according to Examiner.com’s ’20 Boxers who Tested Positive for Drugs’. The article listed 20 of those who were tested positive for drugs including Ray Jones, Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. among others. There are still a lot more names coming out from the list of professional boxers. Floyd Mayweather, in fact, had continuously raised issues against Manny Pacquiao’s endurance in the ring. The question of whether or not the Filipino boxing legend is into using steroids or other forms of performance-enhancing drugs remains for as long as he continues to defeat his opponents.

#5 – PEDs have both physiological and psychological effects on the user. 

Performance-enhancing drugs, like illegal drugs, bring about a lot of drastic effects to those who use them. The USADA enumerates nausea, palpitations, headaches and muscle cramps as the physiological effects and cites decreased heart rate and mood instability as psychological consequences.

PEDs are used not just by professional boxers but also by amateur athletes. If your teenager is into sports and you want to make sure he is not playing under the influence of any illegal substance, it would help to have him tested. Browse Testcountry.com to get information on how to undergo drug testing. The site has different drug testing kits that you may choose from. It also offers options to have you or your love one tested at home.

Hair Drug Testing for Mothers and Babies: How Important is It?

May 23rd, 2014

Pascal Kintz, editor of the book entitled ‘Drug Testing in Hair’, exposed the investigation made on a new-born baby with abnormal behavior patterns. This took place in 1987 where the first ever prenatal hair drug testing was initiated. The incident was prompted by a concerned family member who observed the case. From such a simple scenario, more and more hair analysis research concerning prenatal drug exposure was made. This prompts us to learn how important hair drug testing is for mothers and babies.

#1 – Hair drug testing evaluates the mother and neonate exposure to drug abuse. 

Dr. Amitava Dasgupta, author of the book “A Health Educator’s Guide to Understanding Drugs of Abuse Testing’ mentioned about the importance of hair drug testing for mothers and babies and pointed out the above reason as the topmost benefit of undergoing the hair test. According to her, this type of drug test, when performed on newborns, may help detect whether the mother was exposed to illicit drugs even months prior to giving birth. When compared to urine analysis, hair drug testing is far more efficient in that the former can only detect most recent use of the substance.

#2 – It helps counteract the effects of drug dependence on mothers. 

Karst, Valentine and Hall, author of the paper ‘Drug Testing for Newborn Exposure to Illicit Substances in Pregnancy: Pitfalls and Pearls’ published in 2011 for the US National Library of Medicine under the National Institutes of Health, mentioned that there are various effects of illicit substance exposure of mothers during pregnancy. These mothers were found to experience poor nutrition aside from a questionable overall health status which they are required to be cautious of during this delicate stage in their lives. Add to that, the researchers of the same study found out that mothers experiencing such problems were more likely to miss on prenatal visits.

This being said, we come up with another point of importance that hair drug testing for mothers and babies will deliver. From the study made above, we can conclude that such a procedure will help monitor the patient, in this case, the mother. When mothers are monitored for drug abuse through hair drug testing, it will be easier to detect unlikely symptoms that will eventually lead to possibilities of early treatment.

#3 – When a mother decides to undergo hair drug testing early on during the pregnancy, she can help save her soon-to-be born child from drastic effects of her drug use or abuse.

Karst, Valentine and Hall enumerated possible effects of illicit substance use on the newborn. The list includes low birth weight as the most usual problem seen in babies. Of course, it was specified too that the baby whose mother was exposed to drug use during pregnancy may have an unusual behavior when compared to others whose mothers did otherwise.

WebMD’s take on the issue of ‘Drug Abuse and Pregnancy’ presented developmental concerns on the part of the newborn. Such developmental issues range from birth defects to behavioral problems that are observed during early childhood. These effects may last a lifetime, warns WebMD. The website furthermore illustrated how the National Institute of Drug Abuse defines these effects that can later on be present on these kids. Among them are deficits in cognitive performance, attention to tasks and information-processing. All of these are generally important in any person’s life.

MedlinePlus, on the other hand, reiterates on the possibilities of either short- or long-term effects of drug abuse on babies born to mothers who are positive of drug abuse during pregnancy. Among such short-term effects are feeding-related issues, irritability, jitteriness and diarrhea while the long-term ones may include organ problems and fetal alcohol syndrome that brings about intellectual disability as well as unusual facial features.

Considering all the effects on the newborn, as mentioned above, it would be wise for mothers to undergo hair drug testing. Undergoing the test will somehow ease the possible consequences that the prenatal drug use may bring to the child later on in life. When the mother submits herself to the test, it will be easier for experts to devise a treatment plan that will benefit not only her but also her child.

To conclude, hair drug testing is very important. Reasons #2 and #3 focused on how hair drug testing may help lessen the effects of drug use on both the mother and the newborn baby. Reason #1, on the other hand, says that using hair over urine for analysis is better because the former helps even when mothers used drugs months prior to giving birth.

If you suspect that your loved-one is taking illicit substances while she is pregnant, you must be wary. Part of your concern is to take action and have her hair tested for the substance. You may order from a list of products from HairConfirm.com or browse through other hair drug testing kits you may find worthy of purchase over the Internet. Put this on top of your priorities if you want to protect not only the mother but also her baby.

My Account
Order Status
Contact Us
About TestCountry

Sales & Partners
Corporate Accounts
Affiliate Program
TestCountry Resources
Health & Drug Testing Information Center
Drug Slang & Street Name Search
Local Drug Testing Centers

Store Policies


Answers, comments, information, articles and opinions provided on all TestCountry related webpages are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, counseling, psychological, or other professional advice. You should not use the information on TestCountry for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, rehabilitation or detoxification from any substance abuse or adopting any treatment for a health or drug problem.

Shop By Category

BBB Accredited Business, Comodo Authentic Secure, Visa MC AMEX Discover

Same-day FedEx shipping available


"Thanks for your promptness in mailing my order and for the quality product. I will definitely purchase other items from you and will refer you to my friends. Thanks, again." (Dianne C.)

No items

Content Categories

Orange County Dept. of Education BBB DATIA CADCA