Negative outcomes are often received within 24 hours. A non-negative screen, on the other hand, will necessitate more testing, which might take several days to a week. As with any medical procedure, there is a risk of contamination during collection of blood samples. In addition, there are factors outside of your control that can affect the accuracy of the results including but not limited to diet, exercise, medication, and alcohol use. Last, some people may be prone to producing specific proteins in their urine that would show up on tests conducted under certain conditions. These proteins come from enzymes present in normal urine that become activated by heat or acid and then break down toxic chemicals used in some plastics and pesticides.
In general, a blood or urine sample will be processed by laboratory technicians who are trained to perform these tests. It's important to remember that each laboratory uses its own standards for what constitutes a positive result. Some laboratories may require two different substances in your urine at separate times before making an accusation. Others may have less strict criteria. It's best to know exactly what you're going into when you go in for testing.
You should also understand that there are sometimes delays between the time you give a sample and the time it is reported as complete. This is especially true if you give multiple samples in a short period of time.
If the initial test is negative, the results are usually communicated to the employer by a medical review officer (MRO). If the employee tests positive again, this would be reported to the MRO who would determine what follow-up tests should be conducted.
The time frame for receiving results depends on how the test was performed. If the first screen is also the only screen conducted, then the result can usually be expected within 24 hours. However, if the employee chooses to have further tests done, these can add additional days to the wait period. The only exception to this is if the second test is also negative, then the result would be available immediately after the second test is completed.
If the first screen is positive, then more extensive testing will be required to see where you stand with regard to drugs in your body. This could include:
• Blood sample: This can be done through a blood vessel in the arm or in some cases, through a vein in the leg. These samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. Results are available in 3-5 days depending on the facility and type of analysis performed.
• Urine sample: This can be done through a catheter inserted into the bladder.
How long does it take for the unit to receive the results of the tests? Negative findings are typically provided on the program managers' online site within 1-3 days after specimen receipt at the lab. Positive findings are typically presented on the portal within 3–5 days of specimen receipt at the lab. Staff members can access their results directly from the website.
Results for individual tests can sometimes take longer than noted above, especially if there is some question as to the interpretation of the finding. For example: A staff member might request an additional laboratory test for confirmation of a positive result. Sometimes these confirmatory tests take several weeks to months to get back.
In general, though, if there's no question about the finding, then you should hear back from the Army soon after you log into your private account on the Drug Testing Program Manager's website.
Normal Negative Tests are typically reported within 24–48 hours of being submitted to the laboratory for examination. Positive or canceled tests are typically reported by the laboratory within 5-7 business days of receipt for processing. Special requests such as drug screen results on weekends and holidays may take longer.
Results from urine drug screens should be interpreted with caution in athletes who use drugs through natural means (e.g., plants, minerals). The presence of these substances in urine indicates that they were active in some form in the body but not necessarily at the time the sample was collected. These drugs can still be present in the body if they were used recently or administered by injection. It is also possible for drugs to be present in the body without being detected by standard screening methods. For example, marijuana metabolite levels may be below the limit of detection for traditional drug tests but could potentially impact an athlete's performance if they were using it recently.
Drug testing laboratories vary in their ability to detect different drugs. Some labs can detect certain opioids for several days after they have been taken, while others cannot. There are also differences between sports in terms of which drugs they can detect. For example, baseball has more opportunities to fail a test due to its many games over several days, while tennis has only one event per day for approximately three hours. Finally, there is a difference between positive tests and prohibited substances.