Living with Chronic Pain

Urine Screening


A urine screening is used to detect drugs in the body. Toxins and certain other waste products are filtered from the body's blood by the kidneys, which produce urine. Therefore, urine screenings are a valuable tool for identifying the presence of drugs in the body.

Urine screenings are the most common method used to test for drugs and are often used in the health care field, the workplace, correction centers, and sports-related careers. Drugs that are detected from a urine screening include, but are not limited to, cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, PCP, marijuana, methadone, opioids, and methamphetamines. Urine screenings help health care providers detect substance abuse. Physicians often use urine screenings to ensure the people they are treating are taking the correct dosage of prescribed medications, not combining them with other inappropriate medications or substances, and not using medications not prescribed by them.

Before taking a urine screening test, people should be informed of what the test is screening for, why they are required to take it, and how the results will be used. Any questions should be answered by the technician or other medical professionals. In order to obtain a proper urine sample, the hands should be properly washed with soap and water and thoroughly dried before collecting the urine. The genitals should also be properly cleansed, usually with a disposable wipe. As urination begins, a small amount of urine should fall into the toilet bowl before placing the specimen cup in the urine stream. A moderate amount of urine, usually 45 milliliters or more, is needed for proper testing. A lid should then be placed on the specimen cup and given to the technician collecting the sample.

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