Why It Is Done
A toxicology test ("tox screen") can be done to:
- Help find the cause of life-threatening symptoms, unconsciousness, or bizarre behavior in an emergency situation. It is usually done within 96 hours (4 days) after a drug may have been taken. The toxicology test is used to find out if symptoms may be caused by a drug overdose. Both a urine sample and a blood sample may be tested.
- Test for drug use in the workplace, especially for people who are involved with public safety, such as bus drivers or child care workers. A toxicology test may also be a normal part of the application procedure for some jobs. This may be done on either a blood or urine sample.
- Test for drug use among middle school and high school students involved in competitive extracurricular activities. Such activities include athletics, cheerleading, choir, band, and foreign language clubs.
- Test athletes for the use of drugs that enhance their athletic ability. This is usually done on a urine or saliva sample.
- Evaluate the possible use of date rape drugs. This is usually done on a urine sample.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 8, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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