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Express vs. Lab-Based Drug Testing

Advantages Disadvantages
Oral Fluid Express/POCT *Easily collected and can be conducted anywhere
*Same day results
*Nearly impossible to adulterate
*Minimally invasive
*Provides closest link to current impairment because of detection timelines (12-24 hours)
*Not reliable
*Does not accurately detect THC
*No historical view of donor’s drug use
*Level of the drug(s) in the system is not determined
Oral Fluid Lab Based *Easily collected and can be conducted anywhere
*Nearly impossible to adulterate
*Minimally invasive
*Provides closest link to current impairment because of detection timelines (12-24 hours)
*Tested by SAMHSA-certified lab and provides a legally defensible result
*Canadian Model recommended
*Identifies level of drug(s) in the body
*No historical view of donor’s drug use
*Increased results turnaround time (2-5 business days)
Urine Express/POCT *High reliability and validity
*More historical view of drug use (2-3 days)
*Same day results
*Can be adulterated
*Difficult to link to impairment
*Slighlty more invasive
*Testing process can be prolonged (dilute/shy)
*Level of the drug(s) in the system is not determined
Urine Lab Based *High reliability and validity
*More historical view of drug use (2-3 days)
*Same day results
*Tested by SAMHSA-certified lab and provides a legally defensible result
*Identifies level of drug(s) in the body
*Canadian Model recommended
*Increased results turnaround time (2-5 business days)
*Testing process can be prolonged (dilute/shy)
*Difficult to link to impairment
Hair Lab-Based *Detects historical drug use (1-12 months)
*Nearly impossible to adulterate because drugs cannot be masked by bleaches, shampoos or external contaminants
*Does not identify current impairment
*Increased result turnaround time (5-10 business days)
*More invasive as a minimum of 0.5 inches of hair must be collected

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