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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

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, or increased temperature that an emergency room doctor 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?