Here’s a list of the commonly most asked questions to SureScreen
Search FAQ's
What should I be testing for?

With a wide range of tests, the choice of combination isn’t always straight forward. The 6 most commonly abused drug types are:

  • Amphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cannabis (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Methamphetamine

So we would recommend these to begin with if you are unsure. Both oral fluid tests (impairment/recent use) and urine (recent use/habitual use) cover these 6 drug types.

Many customers opt for a 10DS Multipanel or Integrated Cup urine test which is great for screening a wider range of drug types. It will detect the 6 drugs listed above, as well as:

  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Phencyclidine
  • Tricyclics

Specific situation may require testing for a certain drug types, for example, drug treatment customers should include methadone, so we have a large range of other drug test parameters available.

What precautions should I be aware of when conducting screening?

In most instances you will need to complete a donor consent or chain of custody form to gain consent from the donor to conduct the test. At this point, you’ll need to positively identify the donor. They may already be known to you, but if not then the most suitable method of identification is photographic ID – you need to ensure that the person you are testing is not a substitute, sent in to make sure a result is negative.

Whilst filling out the form, there is the opportunity for the donor to declare any medication they are taking. In some rare cases medication that metabolises in the same way as an illicit drug type can cause a positive result on a drug test, so it is best practice to declare medication at this stage. If the test did prove non-negative, the donor would have some explaining to do – so being open about it is best.

When conducting an oral test, it is best practice for the donor to have had nothing by mouth for 15-20 minutes before screening, to ensure that the saliva has no contaminants. This includes smoking.

When conducting urine screening, there are a few precautions to make sure that the sample isn’t diluted or adulterated by the donor during testing.

Best practice is to prepare the cubicle by removing any cleaning fluids, air fresheners and the toilet brush. Where the cistern lid is not fixed down – drop a toilet dye tablet in and flush the toilet. Where the cistern lid is fixed – drop a toilet dye tablet into the toilet bowl. Ensure that any taps out of view are secured/taped up/water cut-off, and ask the donor to remove any outer clothing and hats etc, and have them empty their pockets to eliminate any substitution of samples occuring.

The integrated cup and our collection cup both feature temperature strips and this should be observed, once the sample has been produced, to ensure that the urine is of body temperature. Outside the range of 32-38OC is questionable, and the sample could have been diluted in an attempt to mitigate a non-negative result.

If you have reasonable doubt, you can conduct an adulteration test on the sample to see if it has been tampered with.

What is drug testing?

Drug testing is the process conducted on a sample of oral fluid or urine with a ‘rapid test’ to detect the presence of drug metabolites; which indicate recent use for a wide range of drug types, both legal and illegal. In most cases testing is carried out to identify if drug use has happened recently, and if so, this increases the risk of that individual at work.

Testing can also be carried out to monitor an individual’s abstinence from a drug or medication, but also to prove that someone is using a medication correctly.

What happens if I have a non-negative?

When conducting testing, occasionally you will have a positive result. We call these results non-negative because the test has recognised a substance in the sample, but we don’t know at this stage if the result is due to medication or the presence of illicit drug metabolites.

In this situation a fresh sample needs to be sent to the laboratory to confirm the substance found. In our report we identify the positive compound and its concentration level, so you can make an informed decision about the follow up process with the donor.

Our lab confirmation kit contains everything you need to maintain the integrity of the sample, known as chain of custody, between collection and confirmation.

Turn-around times for confirmation testing is typically 3-5 days.

Available for oral fluid and urine.

Why should I have drug testing in place?
  • As a deterrent to drug and alcohol use
  • Duty of care
  • Welfare of employees
  • Protect reputation
  • Safety – employees under the influence are more dangerous, and more susceptible to accidents
  • Requirements of sub-contractors
Why are there 2 different cut-offs for opiates?

The family of opiate drugs contains both heroin and synthesised opium derived medication such as codeine and morphine. In some cases an individual will be taking medication for pain management and a higher dose could give a false positive for opiates.

It is important to differentiate between pain medication and heroin, and also to reduce the amount of false positives that can arise from medication. To achieve this we have two different sensitivities of opiate test.

The test labelled Morphine, or MOP with a cut-off of 300ng/ml, will detect some higher levels of prescribed medication, abused medication and heroin.

The test labelled Opiates, or OPI, with a cut-off of 2000ng/ml, will detect abused medication and heroin.

What should I have in place before I begin testing?
  • You should have a drug and alcohol policy detailing the following:
    • The need for screening
    • What drug types you are screening for
    • How you are conducting the screening
    • What happens if the result is non-negative (positive)
    • Support of the employee, for example rehabilitation
  • Decide on the product which suits your situation the best
  • Stock of product, and confirmation kits
  • Education and awareness that screening is in place, directed at the workforce
Oral fluid or urine?

When we are conducting drug testing, we are looking back in history for the evidence of drug use.

When we are testing to see if someone is impaired, or has used drugs very recently, we should be testing oral fluid. Saliva is a partition of blood and so if drug is in the bloodstream, it is having an effect on the brain, and therefore impairing the individual. In this case, we are looking for the remnants of drugs, called metabolites, in the saliva.

When we are testing to detect habitual use, then we should be testing urine. Once the drug has left the bloodstream, the remnants need to be excreted by the body. When testing the urine, we are looking for the metabolites in urine.

For further information please refer to our Technical Bulletin on retention times, available here.

How long does a drug stay in the system?

There is no simple answer to this question, since different drug types take a varying amount of time to leave the body. This is due to variance in the initial amount taken, the metabolism and activity of the individual, the half-life of the drug, and a few other factors.

Typically drugs can be detected in oral fluid for up to 3 days and drugs can be detected in urine for 8 days.

For further information please refer to our Technical Bulletin on retention times, available here.

Do poppy seeds cause a false positive on the opiate test?

Poppy seeds are part of the opiate family, and excessive consumption could cause a false positive on the Morphine test, but when using the less sensitive Opiates test, poppy seeds shouldn’t be a problem.