5 Most Common Types of Drug Tests in the US

There are many ways to test a person for drugs, and this information can be helpful in many situations. Many employers test their potential candidates before giving them an official offer. This can be done to make sure they are hiring someone that is safe and legally able to handle their responsibilities. Other people may test a roommate or someone they know, depending largely on the circumstances. This article will cover five easy ways to accomplish this task.

Mouth Swab Drug Tests

A mouth swab is perhaps one of the easiest methods that can be used to test for the presence of drugs. This method is great because it is less invasive and you are able to directly observe the collection, which leads to less tampering with the results. A common misconception regarding mouth swab drug tests is that the swab simply collects remnants of a substance that has just been consumed and is mixed with saliva. In reality, a mouth swab drug test collects and analyzes metabolites, which are the byproduct the human body metabolizing drugs. However, this method only detects drugs that have been used within the last 24 hours.

Urine Drug Tests

The sample collection for a urine test must be closely observed because it is one of the easiest tests to manipulate. There is also the possibility of the person having a “shy bladder” and they will not be able to provide you with a specimen. Urine samples can provide you with information on drugs used within the last few weeks and possibly up to a month’s worth of history.

Blood Drug Tests

A blood test is probably one of the most invasive techniques, and it requires a cooperative patient to get an accurate sample. It also increases the risk for infection and has a fairly short detection time, usually only sensing drugs used in the last few hours.

Hair Drug Tests

Drug tests that use hair samples can collect information from years in the past, making them a reliable source, however, they can not detect usage that has occurred recently. One issue with this method is that accuracy can be compromised due to hair color because drugs bind tighter with darker hair pigments.

Breath Sample Drug Tests

A breath test is something commonly used for alcohol detection of potentially intoxicated drivers since driving while intoxicated is danger and illegal. It is a quick and easy method to use with results that are easy to verify and document. A drawback of this is that results can only validate a few hours worth of usage.


These five methods are not the only ways that can be used to test for drugs, but they are some of the more common ones you may have heard of. Take this into consideration the next time you need to perform or receive a drug test. Worried you won’t pass? Check out 2018’s best detox drink here.

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