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General Questions

About WOLFE

Instant Drug Testing

Lab Services

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General Questions

When can drugs be detected, and how long do they stay in someone’s system?
The following chart gives approximate detection periods for each substance by specimen type.

The window of detection depends on factors such as – class of drugs, amount and frequency of use, along with the metabolic rate, body mass, age, overall health, and urine pH of the user. For ease of use, the detection times for metabolites (byproducts of drugs once metabolized by the body) are incorporated into each parent drug. For example, heroin and cocaine can only be detected for a few hours after use, but their metabolites can be detected for several days in urine. In this type of situation, we report the detection times of the metabolites.

Substance

Urine

Oral Fluid

Hair

Alcohol

6 to 24 hours

12 hours

Not Available

Amphetamines
(except Methamphetamines)

1 to 4 days

12 hours

Up to 90 days

Methamphetamines

1 to 4 days

1-3 days

Up to 90 days
MDMA (Ecstasy) 1 to 3 days 25 hours Up to 90 days
Barbiturates
(except Phenobarbital)
1 to 7 days Not Available Not Available
Phenobarbital 3 to 4 weeks Not Available Not Available
Benzodiazepines*

Therapeutic use: up to 7 days

Chronic use (over one year): 4 to 6 weeks

Not Available Not Available
Marijuana/THC 3 to 7 days

Up to >30 days after heavy use and/or in users with high body fat

24 to 30 hours Up to 90 days
Cocaine 2 to 5 days with exceptions for certain kidney disorders 2 to 5 days Up to 90 days
Codeine 1 to 4 days 12 to 24 hours Up to 90 days
Morphine 1 to 4 days 1 to 3 days Up to 90 days
Heroin 1 to 4 days 1 to 2 days Up to 90 days
Methadone 1 to 4 days Not Available Not Available
Propoxyphene 1 to 2 days Not Available Not Available
Propoxyphene Metabolite up 4 weeks Not Available Not Available
Oxycodone 1 to 3 days 12 to 24 hours Up to 90 days
PCP (Phencyclidine) 3 to 7 days for single use

Up to 30 days in chronic users

1 to 3 days Up to 90 days
Cotinine
(tobacco metabolite)
2 to 4 days Not Available Up to 90 days

*The length of benzodiazepine positivity is more a function of the metabolite than the length of use. Diazepam/chlordiazepoxide/chlorazepate have nordiazepam (a.k.a.; desmethyldiazepam) as a metabolite. This metabolite has a 3 day half life and thus is detectable in urine for up to 3-4 weeks. The rest have either no active metabolites, or metabolites with short half-lives (equal to or shorter than the parent drug).

How are drugs categorized?
Drugs of abuse represent a variety of substances having different activities in the body, but they all have one activity in common. That is, they are psychoactive. This means they affect the mental and physical responses of an individual. In general, drugs of abuse fit into one of three categories: Stimulants, depressants and psychedelics.

What are the street names for common drugs of abuse?
Although nicknames for drugs change frequently, below is a list with commonly used slang terms:

Amphetamine (AMP)

Speed, amp, bennie, black beauties, chalk

Methamphetamine (mAMP)

Crystal, meth, ice, glass, speed

Cocaine (COC)

Coke, snow, flake, crack, blow, rock

Marijuana (THC)

Pot, weed, herb, bud, MJ, doobie, reefer, joints, blunts, grass

Phencyclidine (PCP)

Angel dust, sherms, star dust, magic dust

Opiates (OPI)

Horse, smack, hairy hombre, H, scag, jones

What are the typical drugs of abuse in the workplace?
Marijuana, cocaine and alcohol are the three most common drugs to be used on the job. Amphetamines and methamphetamines rank fourth, and they can be a problem in organizations employing large numbers of unskilled laborers. In some places in the United States, heroin, ecstasy and PCP can pose significant problems.

Marijuana, hashish and hashish oil are substances obtained from dried parts of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. It is usually consumed by smoking a marijuana cigarette, also called a joint, although occasionally it is ingested in food or imbibed in tea or other drinks.

Cocaine is a white powder extracted from the leaves of the coca plant, grown primarily in South America. The drug is consumed by sniffing, by inhalation or smoking, or by intravenous injection. A crystallized form of cocaine base (crack) is inhaled by smoking the ignited vapors in small glass pipes.

Heroin is a white to brown powder or gummy substance derived from the opium poppy. It is injected into a vein, sniffed or smoked.

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a chemical that can be made cheaply in clandestine laboratories. It is usually smoked on a cigarette, but can be sniffed or injected.

Amphetamines are part of a class of drugs including benzedrine, biphetamine and dexedrine. Methamphetamine, a potent stimulant of the amphetamine class of drugs, is usually illicitly manufactured and sold in powder, liquid or tablet form. It is normally mixed with various cutting agents (with varied purity), and it is the most commonly abused member of the amphetamine family.

Methamphetamine (mAMP) is a psychoactive stimulant also known as meth, crystal meth, metamfetamine, dextromethamphetamine, methylamphetamine, N-methylamphetamine, desoxyephedrine).

Ecstasy (MDMA) is en entactogenic drug within the phenethylamine and amphetamine families that can induce euphoria, diminish anxiety and depression and bring about a sense of intimacy with others.

Sold in head shops and on the Internet with claims of being legal and safe alternatives to marijuana, new products known as K2, fake weed and spice incense have been discovered by substance abusers as ways to get around pre-employment and random drug tests for marijuana.

Containing a synthetic cannabinoid called JWH018 that mimics the effects of THC (the chemical in marijuana that produces the high), these products are not safe. They can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of consciousness, agitation, paranoia and hallucinations, vomiting, and damage to the central nervous and immune systems.

Although caffeine, nicotine and nonprescription drugs (including aspirin) are the drugs most commonly consumed during work hours by employees, these substances are apt to cause less direct deterioration of performance on the job. One exception documented by studies is nicotine. Long-term use of nicotine will most likely produce significant health costs to the company, since smokers have increased sick time, higher accident rates and greater Workers Compensation costs.

When should a company conduct drug testing?
To ensure a safe, drug-free workplace, companies should conduct employee drug testing at all stages of employment:
Pre-employment
Random selection for current employees
Probable cause for current employees
Post-accident for current employees
Return-to-duty for employees coming back to work after an absence

Is drug testing legal?
Overall, employers have the right to test. There are certain restrictions in some states and cities limiting who can be tested and for what reason, but generally speaking, drug testing is a standard practice in the workplace. Employers do have the right to establish a policy that requires their employees to be drug free and to implement drug testing as part of their program. During all phases of development, the company’s policy should be reviewed by legal counsel with special knowledge in litigation and liability issues regarding workplace drug abuse.

How are drug testing services defensible legally?
WOLFE has designed a single four-part chain of custody form to accommodate traditional lab testing and instant test results for urine and oral fluid testing. To simplify the collection process, we have ensured that this form is accepted at all labs that work with us.

What are the laws and regulations on employee drug testing?
Federally regulated employees must adhere to guidelines established by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Company policy largely determines the guidelines for non-DOT testing. Laws in some states restrict the use of instant testing devices.

How will my employees feel about drug testing?
Many employees support drug testing because they know that it helps maintain a safe, drug-free workplace. Employers will encounter employees who do not like the idea of drug testing, but it is increasingly accepted as standard practice.

What is a screening test?
Screening is the initial test performed on urine or oral fluid specimens to determine the presence or absence of drugs and the probable types of drugs detected. Some highly sensitive screens can be less reliable at identifying the types of drugs detected. For example, a screening test for amphetamines might be positive when certain commonly used decongestants are present. This is why it is important to remember that instant drug testing products provide only preliminary analytical test results. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used, because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

What is a confirmation test?
Instant drug testing products provide only preliminary analytical test results. A more specific alternate chemical method—a lab confirmation—must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used, because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

What is a negative drug screen result?
A negative screening test does not necessarily mean a drug or metabolite is not present in the specimen collected and submitted for testing. The result only indicates a drug or metabolite was not present at or above the threshold for the screening test employed. A negative result also indicates the specimen is negative for the drug classes tested. Other abused drugs may be present but not detected by the screening methods used.

What is a positive or non-negative drug screen result?
A drug screen result that is positive or non-negative indicates that a drug or metabolite may be present in the specimen. This should be confirmed by additional testing.

A drug screen result that is confirmed positive after initial screening indicates drug use but is not an indicator of impairment, intoxication or frequency of drug use. Detection of drugs or metabolites identifies drug use. A conclusion of drug abuse requires consideration of other factors such as behavior, recent drug prescriptions and repetitive testing.

What is the preferred method for confirmation of postive or non-negative results from initial drug screens?
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used, because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

What types of specimens are used in drug testing?
Urine, oral fluid, hair, and blood are four of the most commonly used methods to detect drug use. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, urine is a very reliable established method of detection. Since the kidneys are the primary route by which drugs and their metabolites are excreted from the body, drugs are easily detected in urine.

However, the most recent industry consensus is that oral fluid is better than urine for drug testing because it is easier to collect in any environment and more difficult to adulterate, it correlates with blood level concentrations, and is a strong indicator of recent use.

Hair testing provides a longer window of detection, but is a more costly option that requires a more complicated collection process.

What is the purpose of the chain-of-custody form?
The chain-of-custody form documents the transfer of the specimen from the time of collection through the process at the laboratory. This procedure has proven effective in preventing tampering or switching specimens. The chain-of-custody form is an important legal safeguard, since the chain-of-custody is the area of drug testing most often challenged in court.

What do sensitivity and cutoff mean in drug testing?
The ability of any test to detect low levels of drugs has an inherent limit. The concentration of a drug in the urine sample, below which a test can no longer be considered reliable, is the sensitivity limit. The cutoff point is the concentration limit that will actually be used to test the samples. Any sample testing below this level is considered a negative. Manufacturers of commercial urine screening systems set cutoff limits of their tests well above the sensitivity limits to assure accuracy and reliability, and to minimize the possibility of a negative sample giving a false positive result.

What is a medical review, who performs it, and why?
Tests confirmed positive at the laboratory should undergo the medical review process to rule out the possibility of a prescription medication or other legitimate reason for the positive result. We will interview the donor to gather prescription information. If the donor is currently under a doctor’s care with a valid prescription in their name, the test will most probably be reported back as a negative. It is highly recommended that a medical review be performed on any positive test involving a current employee, such as those who are part of a random selection program. The medical review officer is the balancing force, protecting employee rights, pursuing accurate information and watching out for the safety of all involved.

Can drug tests be beaten?
It is possible, but the odds are very low. The science of drug testing has become more sophisticated in recent years. Temperature strips, used at the time the sample is taken, assure that the sample matches the body temperature. The chance for substitution or adulteration generally is limited by the integrity of the testing process and is detectable, in most cases, at the laboratory. When professionally administered, the protocols and chain-of-custody procedures of drug testing are not susceptible to tampering or deception.

Is it possible for people to test positive for cannabinoids if they passively inhale marijuana smoke from those nearby?
Many managers of employee drug testing programs have heard claims from employees who test positive for cannabis that they were just in the room and inhaled passive or second-hand smoke. But those claims are undermined in a study published in May 2010 in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

The study exposed eight volunteers to passive cannabis smoke for three hours in a busy coffee shop in Maastricht, Netherlands. Beforehand, each volunteer provided a urine and blood sample. At specified intervals they provided additional urine samples up to 84 hours after exposure and blood samples up to 14 hours after exposure.

After immunoassay screening for cannabinoids and analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for THC, THC-OH, and THC-COOH, the results were clear. Although all of the volunteers absorbed THC (the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high), the post-exposure samples showed only small concentrations.

The study’s conclusions: “Because none of the urine samples produced immunoassay results that were more than the cutoff concentration of 25 ng/mL, none of the passive inhalers would be misjudged for cannabis use during a routine drug screening. If GC-MS testing would be done nevertheless, the corresponding THC-COOH concentrations were below 10 ng/mL, even after hydrolysis. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that passive exposure to cannabis smoke may only lead to trace amounts of THC in serum.”

To put it another way, the argument that passive cannabis smoke causes employees to test positive for marijuana use doesn’t hold water.

Can other medications or foods produce a positive result in someone who is not abusing drugs?
Most of the popular stories about things that trigger a positive result are based upon misconceptions. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications with high concentrations of decongestants can produce a positive result for amphetamines. Appropriate confirmatory testing will tell whether the drug detected is an amphetamine or an OTC decongestant.

 

About WOLFE

What is WOLFE’s turnaround time for lab services test results?
Times for each laboratory and collection site vary depending on geographic location and specimen delivery options. The collection site sends specimens out for overnight delivery via Fedex. Positives are typically available to begin medical review within 24 hours of lab receipt, while opiate positives can take up to 36 hours. Medical review requires the donor to be interviewed before the result is reported out as a positive.

Our cutting-edge retrieval technology provides some of the best turnaround times in our industry for obtaining drug test results.

What territory does WOLFE cover or service?
Finding a collection site is just a phone call away. Our staff routinely sets up and facilitates all testing arrangements with collection sites, working to make them convenient for you and your donors. Your organization will be equipped with all the needed collection supplies including chain of custody forms, lab packs, airbills, specimen bottles, collection instructions, and authorization forms. Customized kit packaging is available to meet your individual needs.

What kind of drug testing training and consultation does WOLFE provide?
Training is available for collectors, supervisors, and employees on topics including drug and alcohol related workplace problems, urine and breath alcohol collections, and instant testing product procedures. Our policy development services will help your organization implement sound substance abuse policies, procedures and documentation to comply with applicable regulations. When substance abuse testing programs are properly implemented and managed, everyone involved understands the issues pertaining to workplace drug testing.

How much do drug testing products and services cost?
We strive to offer an array of products and services to meet almost any budget. Whether you choose an instant product or laboratory testing with collection and medical review, your investment will provide a high return toward maintaining a safe, drug-free workplace.

 

Instant Drug Testing

How do I order drug test kits?
Call, fax, email or use our website to order through our customer service staff. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. If you would like to establish a billing account, we will be happy to send you a credit application. Our payment terms are net 30 days.

Should we use instant drug testing products or lab services?
All testing should involve a combination of services. Even when using instant drug testing products, non-negative results should be confirmed by an accredited laboratory.

Using instant drug tests for initial testing or using a laboratory for the initial screening are both acceptable approaches. The WOLFE sales team will evaluate a number of factors to help determine the approach best suited to your business. These factors include:

  • Federal and state regulations
  • Your facilities
  • Degree to which you expect your HR and Supervisory staff to be involved in the process
  • Specific goals for your Substance Abuse program

These same factors will help us determine the best collection methodology, type of specimen to use for testing, and which of WOLFE’s various services will help you achieve your goals.

If you would like more assistance with this question feel free to fill out our Instant Drug Testing questionnaire here or contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991

How accurate are instant drug testing kits?
Our products are very reliable. Most have passed the rigorous regulations of FDA approval. We will supply detailed performance statistics upon request. It is always best to send any non-negative specimens to be confirmed at a laboratory.

How do I confirm a non-negative instant drug test result?
If you have an employee or prospective employee whose urine instant drug test produces a positive result (technically referred to as non-negative), WOLFE can provide instant test results lab confirmation. These states require confirmation: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, New York, North Carolina and Oregon.

Remember, instant drug testing products provide only preliminary analytical test results. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Clinical consideration and professional judgment should be applied to any drug of abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used, because every specimen is a potential source for legal action.

 

Lab Services

What kind of drugs do you test for in the laboratory?
Amphetamines (AMP)
Barbiturates (BAR)
Benzodiazepines (BZO)
Cocaine (COC)
Ecstasy (MDMA)
Marijuana (THC)
Methadone (MTD)
Methamphetamines (mAMP)
Methaqualone (MQ)
Phencyclidine (PCP)
Propoxyphene (PPX)
Opiates (OPI)


Our laboratory partners can test for a much wider range of drugs. If you are interested in testing for a specific drug or group of drugs or want to learn about all the possibilities, please contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991.

Should we use instant drug testing products or lab services?
All testing should involve a combination of services. Even when using instant drug testing products, non-negative results should be confirmed by an accredited laboratory.

Using instant drug tests for initial testing or using a laboratory for the initial screening are both acceptable approaches. The Wolfe sales team will evaluate a number of factors to help determine the approach best suited to your business. These factors include:

  1. Federal and state regulations
  2. Your facilities
  3. Degree to which you expect your HR and Supervisory staff to be involved in the process
  4. Specific goals for your Substance Abuse program

These same factors will help us determine the best collection methodology, type of specimen to use for testing, and which of Wolfe’s various services will help you achieve your goals.

If you would like more assistance with this question feel free to fill out our Lab Services questionnaire here or contact a sales team member at 800-230-2991

 

Login Questions

Why can't I login to the Wolfe Reality Link - Drug Testing Results site?
When you try to login to Wolfe Reality Link - Drug Testing results, you should be able to do this by hovering your mouse over the login menu above at the right and see the following options appear.

Please select the second option for Drug Testing Results and then you should see the next screen below. You may have to disable pop-up blockers to be able to open the Drug Testing Results web page.

If you see the above page you are at the correct location and then proceed to enter your username and password in the appropriate boxes labled and then select Log In. If you still are not able to login, please refer to the next FAQ about clearing your browser's cache and make sure you close you browser window and re-open before attempting to login again. If you still cannot login, please call us at 1-800-451-3743 and ask for the support services team.

How do I clear my browser cache?
The only way to be sure that any sensitive information is gone is to manually clear the browser cache yourself. The instructions below will assist you to ensure that your personal information stays personal.

Instructions for clearing your cache are presented below for several popular browser vendors and versions.

Internet Explorer (Version 3.x)

  • Select "View | Options..." from the menu
  • Change to the "Advanced" tab
  • Click on the "Settings" button
  • Click on "Empty Folder..."

    Internet Explorer (Version 4.x)

  • Select "View | Internet Options..." from the menu
  • Change to the "General" tab
  • Click on the "Delete Files" button

    Internet Explorer (Version 5.x and 6.x)

  • Select "Tools | Internet Options..." from the menu
  • Change to the "General" tab
  • Click on the "Delete Files" button

    Internet Explorer (Version 7.x and 8.x)

  • Select "Tools | Internet Options..." from the menu
  • Click on the "Delete..." button
  • Make sure Temporary Internet Files, Cookies and History are only checked.
  • Click on the "Delete" button at the bottom
  • Close your browser and then reopen it

    Mozilla Firefox (Version 1.0.x)

  • Select "Tools | Options..." from the menu
  • Change to the "Privacy" page
  • Click the "Clear" button next to the word "Cache"

    Mozilla Firefox (Version 3.6.x)

  • Select "Tools | Clear Recent History..." from the menu
  • Make sure Browsing and Download History, Cookies and Cache are the only ones selected
  • Click the "Clear Now" button

    Netscape Navigator (Version 3.x)

  • Select "Options | Network Preferences..." from the menu
  • Change to the "Cache" tab
  • Click on the "Clear Memory Now" button
  • Click on the "Clear Disk Cache" button

    Netscape Navigator (Version 4.x)

  • Select "Edit | Preferences..." from the menu
  • Expand the "Advanced " category
  • Select "Cache"
  • Click on the "Clear Memory Cache" button
  • Click on the "Clear Disk Cache" button

    America Online (Explorer Version 3.x)

  • Select "Members | Preferences" from the menu
  • Click on the "WWW" button
  • Click on "Advanced..."
  • Click on "Purge Cache"

    America Online (Version 4.x)

  • Select "My AOL | Preferences" from the menu
  • Click on the "WWW" button
  • Change to the "General" tab
  • Click on "Delete Files" button

    Opera

  • Select "Preferences | Cache..." from the menu
  • Click on the "Empty" button
    If that does not work... (from www.opera.com)
  • Using Windows Explorer or File Manager
  • Go to the Opera directory (default is c:\Program Files\Opera
  • Open the folder called "Cache"
  • Delete all the files in this folder