ASAP Drug and Alcohol Testing: Accuracy, Types, and Reasons to Test
20 October, 2023
The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) was created to address substance use disorder among military personnel. Misuse of alcohol and drugs is an issue that affects many people in society, including military personnel. ASAP drug and alcohol testing identifies those suffering from substance use disorder. Furthermore, different testing methods offer varying rates of accuracy. The most accurate screening method is the blood test. However, breath, hair, saliva, and urine tests also provide reliable results.
Military personnel are often under strict pressure and carry out heavy responsibilities. However, drugs and alcohol misuse cause significant impairment of physical and mental capabilities. They also cause addiction and health conditions like stroke, brain damage, and liver diseases. Thus, it is vital to prevent these adverse effects through education and testing. This article will present the accuracy, testing types, and reasons for the ASAP tests.
ASAP Drug and Alcohol Testing: Accuracy
To ensure the accuracy of ASAP drug and alcohol testing, it is vital to use a reliable testing service. Samples have specific detection windows. This makes it crucial for testing to occur within that timeframe. Furthermore, personnel must follow strict protocols and proper collection methods to avoid sample tampering.
Additionally, the type of test used will affect the accuracy of the results. Some tests are more prone to false positives and negatives than others. Generally, it is advised to diversify the screening methods to get more accurate results. For example, they may use urine or breath tests for preliminary procedures. Then, they may follow with a blood or hair follicle test.
Lastly, the amount and type of substance consumed will affect the test results. Some substances stay in the body longer than others. Furthermore, there are also individual factors dependent on the person that affect how their body metabolises substances. It is important to take all the steps necessary for an accurate result. Doing so ensures fairness and prevents innocent people from punishment.
Factors that Affect How Long Substances Remain in the Body
Several factors affect how long substances remain in the body. Here are some of them:
- Amount and type consumed: higher consumption takes longer for the liver to metabolise.
- Age: teenagers and elderly people process alcohol and drugs more slowly.
- Body type: lean body types metabolise substances more quickly than other body types.
- Health condition: those with kidney and liver problems have a lower metabolic rate.
- Tolerance: higher tolerance leads to a quicker substance elimination rate.
- Substance interaction: combining drug and alcohol consumption makes it harder for the liver to metabolise the substances.
- Food: consumption of food may aid in faster ethanol elimination.
ASAP Drug and Alcohol Testing: Types of Test
There are several methods used in ASAP drug and alcohol testing. Firstly, the urine test is one of the most common screening methods. It uses urine samples to detect alcohol or drug use within 24 hours. Moreover, EtG tests extend this detection window to 80 hours. Secondly, saliva tests are often done during onsite testing. Saliva samples can retain traces of substances for up to 12 hours.
Furthermore, hair follicle tests may detect substances up to 90 days. However, these tests are more costly and do not detect use seven days before collection. This is due to the nature of hair growth. Another test is the blood test. It uses blood samples to detect substances for up to 12 hours. This is the most accurate test, often used in legal proceedings.
Lastly, breath tests are used for quickly measuring Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels. These use semiconductor or fuel cell sensors to form chemical reactions with the ethanol in the breath. This can detect alcohol use for up to 24 hours.
Procedures for Getting Test Samples
Some collection methods for tests are more invasive than others. Saliva samples are collected using swab sticks placed under the tongue or inside the cheeks. For breath tests, people blow into breathalysers to provide breath samples. They must continue until the device signals it is finished taking samples.
Meanwhile, hair follicle tests require collectors to gather 100-200 hair strands from the scalp. They may also use body hair, but hair from the head is preferred. Lastly, medically trained professionals get blood samples using needles. They may draw blood from the arm or collect the samples by pricking a finger for PEth tests.
Reasons for ASAP Drug and Alcohol Testing
The purpose of ASAP drug and alcohol testing is to strengthen the overall fitness and effectiveness of military personnel. It is vital to conduct screenings to combat substance use disorder. These tests allow them to identify those who are suffering from substance abuse. This helps early intervention efforts and provides data that helps treatment. Furthermore, they may learn information that will help them implement more policies to prevent drug and alcohol misuse.
Additionally, it allows them to ensure the well-being and readiness of personnel. Regular testing deters substance use and improves productivity. Alcohol and drugs impair the physical and cognitive abilities of an individual. It lessens their vision, judgment, and coordination. Furthermore, it makes them more prone to risky behaviours that endanger them and others.
Lastly, it shows that substance abuse is not tolerated within the military. Military personnel are tasked with the crucial job of maintaining peace and order. Thus, all personnel must be fit for such vital tasks.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
Several symptoms may occur due to substance abuse. Firstly, the person will experience a constant craving for alcohol or drugs. This leads to the person developing a tolerance. This makes them consume more of the substance to gain the same effects. Unfortunately, this results in overconsumption, leading to coma or death.
Furthermore, people with substance use disorder will experience withdrawal symptoms. It will start when they lessen or stop the intake of the substance. This includes mood instability and irritability, which strains work and personal relationships. Lastly, these individuals will indulge in risky behaviours and fail to fulfil obligations at home or work.
ASAP drug and alcohol testing identifies military personnel suffering from substance use disorder. This test allows them to get treatment and support to recover. Furthermore, it helps them avoid adverse health effects from drug and alcohol overconsumption. These effects include anxiety, depression, heart disease, stroke, and liver damage. Moreover, this program provides education, testing, and treatment for the betterment and readiness of military units.
To ensure the accuracy of the tests, it is vital to select diversified screening methods. It is also essential to get reliable testing providers. Moreover, people benefit from knowing the symptoms of substance misuse. This may help them identify it in themselves or others. Some may benefit from having personal breathalysers to monitor their alcohol intake. BACtrack breathalysers are reliable devices that provide accurate results. Furthermore, they are convenient and easy to use in various settings.