Drug testing can be complex, and many terms and definitions are essential to understand. Here is a glossary of terms related to drug testing:

  1. Adulterated Specimen: A sample that has been tampered with by adding unnatural substances or foreign items to cheat a drug test.
  2. Accession Number: A unique identifier assigned to a sample for tracking and identifying it during testing.
  3. Alcohol Confirmation Test: A test conducted with an Evidential Breath Testing Device to measure alcohol concentration.
  4. Alcohol Screening Device: A tool for saliva or breath alcohol testing approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  5. Alcohol Screening Test: A test that analyzes urine, saliva, or breath to detect prohibited levels of alcohol.
  6. Alcohol Testing Site: Designated locations where samples can be submitted for alcohol testing.
  7. Blind Specimen: A control sample with a concealed identity used for quality control.
  8. Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC): The amount of alcohol in breath, measured in grams per liter.
  9. Collection Container: A container that holds urine, saliva, or body fluids for drug testing.
  10. Collection Site: A location where subjects provide samples for analysis.
  11. Collector: The person who collects, inspects, and fills out the Chain of Custody form for subjects at the collection point.
  12. Confirmation Test: A test that follows an initial immunoassay test to confirm drug or metabolite presence.
  13. Confirmed Drug Test: A laboratory result from a confirmation test sent to a Medical Review Officer.
  14. Consortium/Third Party Administrator: A service provider that coordinates and provides drug testing services to employers.
  15. Control Line: A line appearing in the control section of an instant drug test, indicating test validity.
  16. Creatinine: A substance produced when muscles break down that is used to detect sample dilution.
  17. Cutoff Level: The minimum quantity of a drug metabolite required for a test result to be positive or negative.
  18. Diluted Specimen: A sample that has been manipulated to reduce drug concentration.
  19. DOT: The Department of Transportation sets standards and regulations for drug testing.
  20. DOT Drug Test: A urine drug test is required for safety-sensitive DOT staff.
  21. Drug Metabolites: By-products of drug metabolism detected in tests.
  22. Ecstasy (MDMA): A recreational drug derived from amphetamine.
  23. EtG: Ethyl Glucuronide, a direct ethanol metabolite detectable up to five days after alcohol consumption.
  24. ETS: Ethyl Sulfate, a non-degradable biomarker tested alongside EtG.
  25. Evidential Breath Testing Device: A device approved by the NHTSA for breath alcohol testing between 0.02 and 0.04.
  26. GC/MS: Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, a test used to confirm drug presence in a sample.
  27. Immunoassay: An initial biochemical test used to detect drug presence and concentration.
  28. Initial Drug Screen: The first immunoassay test in a drug screening process.
  29. Initial Validity Test: The first test used to determine specimen interference (dilution, adulteration, or substitution).
  30. Invalid Drug Test: A test that is nullified due to interference or other issues.
  31. LC/MS: Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, a test used to confirm drug presence.
  32. LC/MS/MS: A confirmation test that combines mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography.
  33. Negative Dilute Result: A result indicating sample dilution without exceeding specific limits.
  34. Non-Negative Specimen: A urine sample indicating substitution, adulteration, invalidity, or drug presence.
  35. Normal Result: A laboratory outcome signifying a negative test.
  36. Opiate (OPI): A category encompassing illicit (heroin) and prescription (morphine) drugs derived from the opium plant, Papaver Somniferum.
  37. Paruresis: Known as a “shy bladder,” it describes individuals anxious about urinating with others nearby, posing challenges for urine drug tests.
  38. PCP (Phencyclidine): Also called “angel dust,” an anesthetic developed in the 1950s, later used as an illegal drug through snorting, smoking, and injecting.
  39. Positive Test Result: A laboratory drug test confirmed by GC/MS, indicating drug or metabolite presence.
  40. Preliminary/Presumptive Positive Drug Test Result: The initial stage where a saliva or urine specimen tests positive, requiring further lab analysis due to potential false positives from over-the-counter medications or foods.
  41. Primary Specimen: The sample initially checked by the lab for drug traces and used for validity testing.
  42. Specific Gravity: The urine-to-water density ratio that typically ranges between 1.010 and 1.025 in drug testing.
  43. Specimen Container: A sealed container used to transport specimens from the collection site to the laboratory.
  44. Split Specimen: A sample divided into two or more portions to ensure result integrity. If the first portion is positive, the other can be tested to verify the result’s accuracy.
  45. Substituted Specimen: A specimen from someone other than the intended subject, potentially different urine or another substance.
  46. Temperature Strip: A strip used to check if the urine’s temperature falls within the normal range. Tampered urine will not meet the temperature range (90-100°F or 32-38°C).
  47. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, detected in drug tests.