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Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice

Part A - Clinical Governance Framework

Appendix H. Urine drug testing

Last revised: 01 Nov 2019

Urinalysis procedures

Most urinalysis procedures are carried out using gas chromatography in specialist laboratories and there is usually a delay in receiving a result. The result establishes that the drug/s is/are present but does not measure the amounts in which the drug/s has/have been taken. It can therefore be very helpful to have a supply of on-site urine testing strips that provide a basic guide to the drugs being used within a couple of minutes. This is a screening tool, it is not confirmatory, and should always be used in conjunction with clinical signs and history. False positives and negatives can occur with on-site tests, though they are rare.83