Have you ever wondered what a toxicology screen does and what drugs or substances are being tested for? Many people question what to expect from a toxicology test. Toxicology screening is sometimes referred to as drug testing. This type of test is performed to detect drugs or drug by-products in biological samples such as urine, blood, or saliva.
A toxicology test will also determine the amount of the substance present in the sample. Drug testing can be done on both humans and other living organisms, depending on the type of test. There are four main types of toxicology testing: medical, employment policies, professional athletics, and forensic analysis. Toxicology tests may be more well-known as a part of the autopsy process or forensic investigations.
However, toxicology testing is a key component for doctors to create a well-informed treatment plan for many patients, including those recovering from opioid addiction. It can be used to detect and track drug abuse as well as assess intoxication or overdose.
The CDC reports that the opioid crisis in the United States is a growing epidemic. Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a critical health issue, and over a hundred Americans face fatal overdoses every day.
Toxicology testing provides detailed data about the medication or other substances in a patient’s system, allowing doctors to monitor and track substance abuse and compliance with a treatment plan. This helps doctors with a more precise picture from which they can develop ongoing therapy and treatment as well as safe use of any necessary prescriptions.
Often, a urine sample is often used for toxicology tests, but a blood sample can offer a more accurate analysis. Hair samples have also been known to use as a sample in drug screening. Regardless of what type of sample is collected, the sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination and to provide the results.
When it comes to working with patients who are looking to recover from drug addiction, there may be a lot of anxiety, shame, or hesitation when working with their doctor. Quality physicians and clinics will want to provide patients with the best care and experience possible, so there are better chances for positive outcomes.
It’s important for patients to know that the toxicology test–or tox screening–process isn’t scary, and it is like many other tests they receive when visiting the doctor.
Toxicology tests require collecting a blood, urine, or saliva sample to be sent to a lab for analysis and a full report.
By determining what substances or chemicals are present and getting a more detailed understanding of how a patient’s body is functioning, doctors can use the results from a toxicology test–as well as other factors–to develop a better treatment plan and course of action for their patients.
Toxicology testing offers doctors the opportunity to enhance the level of care they provide their patients and create personalized plans and recommendations. Not only will patients have a more effective and pleasant overall experience with personalized or precision medicine, the chances of positive outcomes for them are greatly increased.
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