Information on GCMS Drug Testing

Drug testing is a procedure that detects alcohol, drug and other substance in a person’s body. Drug testing is commonly for employment purposes. This is because some businesses in Australia are affected by the effects of alcohol and drug abuse. That is why most employers employ a workplace policy that stipulates the need for alcohol and drug testing for employment. Such testing requires an applicant or an employee to undergo multiple or specific alcohol and drug tests to work. In cases of non-negative results, employers can require a confirmatory GCMS drug testing. GCMS means Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. This is to ensure that results are not false-positive that could directly affect an applicant or employee’s work status.    

Drug testing is an expensive procedure. Adding a GCMS drug testing will incur more expenses for such testing. However, these expenses are smaller than the possible expenses of employing an applicant or an employee with a history of alcohol and drug abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse impairs a person and can directly affect their abilities to work. Once impaired, a person can hurt themselves and others around them or cause accidents or incidents at work. This entails expenses to the employer such as medical, property damage, insurance and even legal liabilities. Thus, most employers prefer costs from drug testing to expenditures due to alcohol and drug impairment. However, employers can use breathalysers for breath tests during drug testing procedures to reduce costs. Breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia are cost-effective.  

What is GCMS Drug Testing

The “GCMS” in GCMS drug testing is known as the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. GCMS is a technique for separating chemical mixtures (the GC part) and molecularly identifying their component elements (the MS part). One of the best instruments available for assessing environmental samples is this GCMS. Gas Chromatography operates under the premise that heating a mixture causes it to split into distinct compounds. A column of hot gases and an inert gas are conveyed through it (such as helium). Mass spectrometry, which determines compounds by the mass of the analyte molecule, analyses the separated components as they flow into the column opening. A computer contains a library of known mass spectra for several thousand substances.   

In both industrial and commercial settings, GCMS is frequently used to identify volatile chemicals in chemical compounds. For instance, enforcers can utilise it in airport screening to find suspicious compounds on people or in luggage. Forensic investigators also use it to look into explosions and fires. The GCMS technique is beneficial in these investigations and drug testing since it can find even the smallest amount of a particular molecule. The “gold standard” in the sector, GCMS drug testing is the most sophisticated drug test currently available. However, because it is a rather expensive and demanding test, most laboratories utilise it primarily for confirmatory or conclusive testing.   


How does GCMS Drug Testing Works

Most initial drug testing does not employ GCMS since it is an expensive and highly demanding kind of test. However, for non-negative test results from drug tests like urine tests, a confirmatory test in the form of GCMS drug testing is employed. This type of test is most commonly done in a laboratory. Although GCMS is frequently utilised to validate the outcomes of urine drug tests, it can also validate the results of tests carried out using blood or other physiological fluids.   

GCMS drug testing works by separating the chemicals in a urine sample based on their molecular interactions with the carrier medium. Gas chromatography uses a gas carrier medium. Vaporising the sample will leave behind just particular chemicals. The mass spectrometer next ionises these substances and blasts them with an electron beam before sending them into a magnetic tube. The mass spectrometer examines the fragments inside the magnetic tube based on their mass-to-charge ratios. Analysts compare molecular fingerprints to a pre-set standard to identify each unique component.  

Breath Test vs GCMS Drug Testing

GCMS drug testing can be considered the most accurate drug testing there is, as long as the proper procedures are followed. However, due to being costly and highly demanding, most employers do not employ it during initial alcohol and drug testing. Also, there are limitations to the use of this type of test. Such limitations are as follows:   

  • The GCMS drug test is challenging to conduct and evaluate. Also, this test uses a complicated machinery needs appropriate maintenance.   
  • It takes longer to complete this test. Results are only available after 24 to 72 hours. That is after an initial examination that lasts 24 hours also.    
  • A GCMS drug test’s composition is also essential. The GCMS drug test will not be able to identify a particular drug analyte if it is not intended to detect it.   
  • This type of test is also prone to human error.   

On the other hand, there is a type of screening test that employers most commonly use in Australia that is easy, accurate and fast. Also, its costs are lower than a GCMS drug testing. This is the breath test. A breath test detects the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of a person via breath samples. This test uses a breathalyser device. This breathalyser is available at Breathalysers Australia. Also, their breathalysers are perfect for personal and workplace use.



A breathalyser is an excellent device for alcohol screening in workplace testing. If an employee has a positive drug or BAC result, the employer has an option to request GCMS drug testing. Breathalysers Australia offers original and genuine BACtrack breathalysers. For everyone’s particular need for a breath alcohol test, Breathalysers Australia has the expertise to provide the appropriate advice and product applications. The breathalysers have high calibre that only BACtrack can provide and are trustworthy, accurate, and reasonably priced. In other words, any products anyone chooses to get from Breathalysers Australia do not disappoint. Moreover, Breathalysers Australia has a wide range of BACtrack breathalysers such as:

  • Personal breathalysers – There are many different types and sizes of personal breathalysers. Small and portable keychain variants, like the BACtrack C6 or C8, are helpful on the road. Models that are bigger and more durable are great for the office, a glove box, or home.   
  • Smartphone breathalysers – One of the significant advancements in alcohol breath testing in the past ten years is a breathalyser that anyone can connect to a smartphone. A smartphone and can connect to this breathalyser via Bluetooth. A user blows into a mouthpiece that wirelessly sends data to the smartphone, where the user can check their Blood Alcohol Content result.   
  • Workplace breathalysers – In many Australian workplaces, they are using products from the Pro Series Workplace Range. These devices deliver reliable BAC results for any organisation on time.   


Most employers in Australia employ alcohol and drug testing in their workplaces. Such testing benefits employers by reducing the risk of alcohol and drug-related accidents and incidents. Some employers go to the extent of utilising a costly and high-demanding GCMS drug testing to benefit their workplace. At the same time, most employers use BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia for breath testing in the workplace. Thus, a safe workplace benefits the employers, employees, and everyone around.