Reasons, Preparation and Procedure To Conduct Urine Toxicology Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Urine toxicology testing is one type of toxicology test. Toxicology tests are meant to detect the presence of drugs in the body. In some cases, other bodily fluids such as sweat and saliva may be tested, or even stomach contents, but most often, it is blood or urine that is tested in order to determine toxicology. Urine testing is of course easier and less invasive, so it is used most often. Although people have a misconception that this is used to detect illegal drugs in screening procedures for various purposes, this is not strictly true, and screening is only one use of toxicology tests.

Why Is it Conducted?

In some cases, urine toxicology tests are used to determine whether a person uses illegal drugs. This is usually done in the workplace, particularly in jobs where intoxication could be lethal - people working in law enforcement and public safety often have to undergo toxicology tests, sometimes even as part of the application process. Professional athletes are also tested for use of banned substances of a different type, and the method of testing here is usually a urine test. In other situations, toxicology tests may be used to determine whether certain unusual and sudden symptoms of dizziness, or erratic behavior are due to ingestion of dangerous drugs. In some cases, the patient may not be conscious, so the only way of determining toxicology is through a test - although in such cases, a blood test, and not a urine test would be used. Even if the patient is conscious, he or she might not be aware of what was ingested. A urine test might be useful in such a situation.


In many situations, no preparation is necessary or possible for a urine toxicology test. However, if for example you are being tested in order to determine the cause of any mysterious symptoms, you should either avoid or note down any medications that you may be on at the time. This includes alternative treatments such as herbal supplements - these too contain chemicals that could show up in a urine test, possibly raising a false alarm.

How Is it Done?

Urine toxicology testing may sometimes need to be done in the presence of a doctor or nurse of the same sex, in order to eliminate any chance of tampering or substitution of samples. You must first clean your genitals with a swab that will be provided to you, then begin urinating into the toilet, and start collecting urine mid stream with the container provided.