The Difference Between a Drug Test and Drug Screening

Although it isn’t a very well known fact, there are differences between what is referred to as Drug Screening and what is known as Drug Testing. They both sounds similar, however, the methods and overall function of these tests are different. If you’re in the transportation industry, or thinking about joining the transportation industry, you may want to pay attention.

Drug screening can best be remembered by the fact that they’re fast, cheap, and easy. A screening is a fast and cost-effective method to quickly review all samples. This means that they can be highly reactive to certain metabolites found in samples. There have been some problems identified with drug screens and those usually deal with the number of false positives that occur in a certain populations being tested.

That’s why DOT regulations also provide for a failsafe in the event that a drug screening comes back as positive. This is referring to the fact that DOT regulations require a sample that has proven positive with a screening to undergo a drug testing. Drug testing uses a gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) to analyze all positive screening results. This is a very precise piece of equipment that measures the molecular size charge, and weight of the atoms in the drug metabolites. The precision of this machine is unrivaled and can detect which drug had been used recently.

We hope this has been an informative take on the difference between drug testing and drug screening.

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