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How sensitive are drug testing kits and what are the general drug cut off levels?

Drug test kits differ in their sensitivity levels for drug detection. SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association) provides guidelines for what qualifies as a positive drug test. If a test does not give results higher than the guidelines, it does not qualify as a true "positive" test. If an immunoassay (EMIT) test gives positive results, a second Gas Chromatography (GC/MS) test must also give positive results before the test announced as "positive". Here is what SAMSHA guidelines (as of April 2004) say about drug testing sensitivity levels. For more information please visit (Open in new window: http://dwp.samhsa.gov/drugtesting/dtesting.aspx ) Initial Drug Test: The initial drug test shall use an immunoassay which meets the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration for commercial distribution. The following initial cutoff levels shall be used when screening specimens to determine whether they are negative for these five drugs or classes of drugs: Initial Drug Test Levels (NG/ML) Marijuana metabolites....................................... 50 Cocaine metabolites.......................................... 300 Opiate metabolites............................................2,000 Phencyclidine..............................................….. 25 Amphetamines..................................................1,000 Confirmatory Drug Test: A specimen identified as positive on an initial drug test shall be confirmed for the class(es) of drugs screened positive on the initial drug test using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) at the cutoff values listed in this paragraph. Each confirmatory drug test shall provide a quantitative result. When the concentration of a drug or metabolite exceeds the linear range of the standard curve, the certified laboratory may record the result as "exceeds the linear range of the test" or as "greater than or equal to (insert the value for the upper limit of the linear range)," or may dilute an aliquot of the specimen to obtain an accurate quantitative result when the concentration is above the upper limit of the linear range. Confirmatory Drug Test Level Marijuana metabolite \1\............................... 15 Cocaine metabolite \2\.................................. 150 Opiates Morphine..................................................... 2,000 Codeine....................................................... 2,000 6-Acetylmorphine \3\................................... 10 Phencyclidine............................................... 25 Amphetamines Amphetamine............................................... 500 Methamphetamine \4\................................... 500 \1\ Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid. \2\ Benzoylecgonine. \3\ Test for 6-AM when the morphine concentration is greater than or equal to 2,000 ng/mL. \4\ Specimen must also contain amphetamine at a concentration greater than or equal to 200 ng/mL.

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