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Emergency and Overdose Drug Testing

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Also known as: Drug Testing; Drug Screen; Poison Testing; Toxicology Assays
Formal name: Emergency and Overdose Drug Testing

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To detect, quantify, and occasionally monitor drugs that are causing acute overdose symptoms; results from emergency and overdose testing are used primarily for treatment purposes; if results are needed for legal proceedings, then specific legal (forensic) procedures must be followed for sample collection, storage, and testing.

When to Get Tested?

When a person has symptoms such as delirium, difficulty breathing, nausea, agitation, seizures, changes in heart rhythm, characteristic odors, or increased temperature that an emergency room health practitioner thinks may be drug-related; at intervals to monitor a drug overdose

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm, a urine sample, or sometimes a breath sample; rarely, saliva or another body fluid

Test Preparation Needed?