Toxicology - screening for drug use

Alternative names, keywords

Drug screening, drug testing.

Samples required

20 mL plain random urine (longer detection window for most drugs compared to blood).

Occasionally, clotted blood - preferably serum without gel separator (6 mL red cap tube)* as the gel separator in gold top tubes may affect drugs in the sample.

*available from Biochemistry if no supplies in your area.

If medicolegal and/or child safeguarding issues seem likely, please use chain of evidence form and accompanying sample collection instructions. If in any doubt please contact laboratory before obtaining the samples and consider supervised sample collection requirements and consent, as set out in chain of evidence form instructions. Form and instructions can be downloaded here.


Test indications

Screening for drug use (non-acute).

Test information

  • List prescription medication and drugs which are suspected to have been taken.
  • State clinical symptoms and relevant background information.
  • Provide a contact name and number for the requesting clinician.
  • Paracetamol and salicylate will be assayed if requested on form.

Please contact laboratory on ext. 64137 to discuss full range of drugs of abuse, novel psychoactive substances and prescription and over the counter medications analysed.

Analysis carried out using a combination of immunoassay and tandem-mass-spectrometry.

Reference range

Not applicable.

Turnaround time

5 working days.


Biochemistry (Toxicology, ext. 64137)