Urinalysis and Drug Testing in Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Edited by Living Sober

Last updated February 12, 2009


Drug testing is a major part of the treatment experience and is done to monitor a client’s sobriety and abstinence. At Northbound in Orange County, we also do it as a means to be compliant with legal obligations for clients that are here on probation and have alternative sentencing.

Our test is a self-contained urinalysis-screening device that detects the presence of drug metabolites in minutes, using SAMHSA cutoff levels.

When drugs are taken in any form, traces end up in the urine within a very short time. Depending on the drug taken, they will remain in the urine for days or weeks. This form of urinalysis is 99% accurate when the sample has not been adulterated.

For those tests in question, the sample is shipped out for more specific testing. The efficacy of urine testing can be debatable at certain times due to cheating. It has been reported that sample substitution and adulteration occur, and both are effective methods of avoiding would-be positive tests however, at Northbound we are vigilant about monitoring clients when test, diluted tests and sending in samples suspected of adulterants such as detox drinks. Adulteration tests analyze the properties of the urine to identify if the sample is abnormal. Such properties include the pH and specific gravity of the urine. They also test the level of creatinine, nitrite, glutaraldehyde, specific gravity, bleach and pyridinium chlorochromate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *