Benefits of Drug Testing after Addiction Treatment

Benefits of Drug Testing after Addiction TreatmentThroughout the recovery process, addicts learn about the disease of addiction and how to cope with it. They learn to identify what issues serve as triggers for drug use and how to deal with those triggers. Because so much is learned in recovery, addicts may feel deep guilt when they relapse. They might feel they are too weak to overcome addiction or that they have let everyone down. Often, this guilt prevents addicts from reporting relapse and seeking the help they need once again. For this reason, it is important to utilize certain available strategies to detect when relapse has occurred. Drug testing can be one of the most concrete ways of detecting when substance use has occurred.

For many, simply the knowledge of knowing that drug use may be detected can be enough to discourage use of the drug. Addicts may feel that if others find out about their relapse, there will be consequences. Knowing that they will be caught using drugs can be a good incentive for addicts to say no to the drug.

Types of Drug Tests

There are numerous forms of drug testing available, though certain methods may be more complex than others. A person can be tested for drug or alcohol use through blood, urine, and hair. Sometimes, addiction treatment programs offer drug testing. Other times, addicts and loved ones must seek out drug testing through an outside source. There are different benefits and negative aspects to each of these forms of drug testing.

Blood testing is not an incredibly common form of testing used to detect drug use. Blood tests can be used to determine if and how much alcohol or drugs are currently in the bloodstream. These tests can also be used to detect the present use of most substances, including alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and nicotine. The largest downside to blood testing is the invasiveness and unpleasantness of the process.

Urine testing is much less invasive than blood testing and can show drug use even after the effects of the drug have worn off. Certain residues remain present in the urine once the drug has been metabolized. Urine can be tested to determine the presence of the drug or its metabolites to indicate drug use. Like blood tests, urine tests can detect the use of several substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, nicotine, and amphetamines.

Hair testing is beneficial mainly in determining the use of a drug for a large period of time. Residues from drugs remain in the hair for about 90 days, allowing for less frequent drug testing. However, this form of testing does not indicate current impairment and does not reveal alcohol use. It can be used to detect the use of cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine.

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