DOA Comparison testing & lab technologies

Blood and Breath Tests: Used to detect current intoxication at the time that the sample is collected.  The sample is tested for the actual drug in question.

Urine, Hair and Sweat Tests: used to detect drug use in the recent past.  The sample is tested for the presence of chemical metabolites left over after the drug has been eliminated from the body.



Testing Technology

How Technology Works

Advantages Disadvantages
Immunoassay Tests

Color change after reaction to drug metabolite

Low cost, easy to administer, widely accepted for screening ‘negative’ results Other chemicals may produce ‘false positives’ on either lab screens or on-site screens.  Chemical masking agents may reduce accuracy if no adulteration testing done.
Thin Layer Chromatography

Color separation of chemical components; capillary action establishes a distinctive pattern for each drug.

 Low cost, easy to administer, test for multiple drugs Other chemicals may product ‘false positives’, low accuracy may produce ‘false negatives’, chemical masking agents may reduce accuracy and minimize chance of detection.

Gas Chromatograph/ Mass Spectrometer(GC/MS)

High-tech color analysis and chemical structures

Very accurate, can detect all drugs and masking agents; when performed correctly there is no chance of a confirmed false positive High cost, takes longer for results, requires highly trained staff and sophisticated laboratory.  Should always be used to confirm any suspected “positive” screened result using other technologies.



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