Drugs of Abuse is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Davis’s Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests Online, powered by Unbound Medicine, provides nurses and students access to 400+ test monographs containing reference ranges, indications, patient preparation and result interpretation. Explore these free sample topics:


-- The first section of this topic is shown below --


  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Ethanol (Alcohol)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabinoids
  • Phencyclidine

Amphetamines, cannabinoids (THC), cocaine, ethanol (alcohol, ethyl alcohol, ETOH), phencyclidine (PCP), opiates (heroin).

Common Use:
To assist in rapid identification of commonly abused drugs in suspected drug overdose or for workplace drug screening.

For ethanol, serum collected in a red-top tube; plasma collected in a gray-top (sodium fluoride/potassium oxalate) tube is also acceptable. For drug screen, urine collected in a clean plastic container. Gastric contents may also be submitted for testing.

Workplace drug-screening programs, because of the potential medicolegal consequences associated with them, require collection of urine and blood specimens using a chain of custody protocol. Analysis is performed in laboratories that are specially certified to perform workplace drug testing. The protocol provides securing the sample in a sealed transport device in the presence of the donor and a representative of the donor’s employer, such that tampering would be obvious. The protocol also provides a written document of specimen transfer from donor to specimen collection personnel, to storage, to analyst, and to disposal.

Normal Findings:
(Method: Spectrophotometry for ethanol; immunoassay for drugs of abuse)

Ethanol: None detected

Drug screen: None detected

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --