What is a Urinalysis Test?

The most widely used and accepted form of employment drug testing is a Urinalysis Test. Companies look to prevent potential and current employees from using illegal drugs by drug testing both prior to and during employment, with consent from each employee to follow said company’s drug policy.

Urine drug testing is the only testing method approved for federally-mandated testing, and allows employers to detect recent drug use for a large variety of illegal drugs. The urinalysis test process is also the least invasive, least expensive, and most legally acceptable form of employment drug testing.

Although Urinalysis drug tests do not necessarily show that the person being tested is under the influence, it does show that drugs are still in said person’s system. This is beneficial in the initial hiring process, to avoid potential employees that have used drugs from being hired, as well as on a random or periodic test schedule to deter current employees from using illegal drugs.

There are different levels of tests that can be done to test for different types of drugs, but urine screening is capable of showing drugs in the system during a “detection window”. This window varies based on each specific drug, which is why companies practicing pre employment conditional drug testing require new hires to submit a drug test within 24 hours.

What Will a Urinalysis Test Show?

This is a list of how long specific drugs will remain in a person’s system, that would trigger a positive Urinalysis test. (general guideline, subject to changes based on a variety of factors.)

  • Alcohol – 1 oz. for 1.5 hours
  • Amphetamines – 48 hours
  • Barbiturates – 2-10 days
  • Benzodiazepines – 2-3 weeks
  • Cocaine – 2-10 days
  • Heroin Metabolite – less than 1 day
  • Morphine – 2-3 days
  • LSD – 8 hours
  • Marijuana – casual use, 3-4 days; chronic use, several weeks
  • Methamphetamine – 2-3 days
  • Methadone – 2-3 days
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) – 1 week


ESS can provide pre employment testing anywhere in the United States. A Urinalysis test can provide a quick and easy verification of the integrity and honesty of your potential new hires.

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