Services / Drug and Alcohol Testing Services

GHB & Fentanyl Drug Testing

SureHire offers add-on testing for GHB and fentanyl to any of our urine lab testing programs, as these substances both require special handling to detect their unique chemical properties.

What is GHB?

GHB has increased in popularity over the past decade, both as a “date rape drug” and a party drug, and has become a serious health and safety concern at the workplace. GHB (or gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is a powerful synthetic neurotransmitter and psychoactive drug that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. Traces of GHB are naturally present in the human body and the chemical compound can also be found in trace amounts in certain foods, such as animal meat and red wine.

The average dose of GHB is 1-5 grams. Once taken, GHB begins to take effect in less than thirty minutes, with the effects lasting up to eight hours depending on the dosage and purity. Small doses slow the normal functioning of vital organs and reduce motor coordination and balance. At large doses, GHB can result in a coma-like sleep that may lead to death.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid or “narcotic” medication estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Although it has become a popular street drug, it is also available as a prescription used to treat chronic pain. Its use is on the rise nationwide and was declared a public health emergency in British Columbia in June 2016.

Similar to other opioids such as heroin and morphine, fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, which control pain and emotion. Fentanyl use causes a rise in dopamine levels producing a state of euphoria and relaxation, which is why some choose to use it recreationally. When used under the supervision of a physician, opioids can effectively relieve pain and improve function. However, some side effects include drowsiness, confusion, nausea, and respiratory difficulty and, in extreme cases, fentanyl use can lead to coma or death.

Fentanyl can escape detection on many standard drug tests. A person who has taken fentanyl will not test positive for opiates on most drug tests, since fentanyl is synthetic and has different chemical properties from most opiates. Quantitative results (exact levels) for fentanyl can be provided only through laboratory testing. SureHire offers lab-based urine tests for fentanyl, and express based testing will be available in the near future. 

Please ensure that, when providing directions for drug testing, you specifically request fentanyl and/or GHB lab testing if there if a chance these drugs are being abused in your workplace.

Types of Tests

SureHire offers the option to request lab-based testing for GHB and fentanyl, either as a standalone test or as an add-on to any other urine testing (5, 7 or 12 panels). Selecting a urine testing option with a greater number of panels allows SureHire to provide results for a wider variety of substances. Express based testing will be available soon for Fentanyl! 

More information on SureHire's workplace urine drug testing can be found here.

Understanding the Results

Typically, if an employee tests positive for a drug, it has been present in their system for less than the period of the drug's half life. However, the subject's hydration level, frequency of drug use, and how the drug was administered can all effect how long a drug's presence is detectable in a biological sample. It is important to note that GHB has a very short half-life and can be detected in the urine for only 12-24 hours after it enters the bloodstream.

If a positive result occurs, a Medical Review Officer will contact the donor for further questioning. It is important that an employee undergoing urine drug testing complete an accurate history of all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal drug use prior to the time of the sample collection. Certain substances, over-the-counter, or prescription drugs may result in false positives due to cross-reactivity with other substances, although drug testing has evolved greatly over time to avoid this. The donor may been required to provide proof of a valid prescription if a positive result occurs.

Initial screening drugs tests may infrequently result in "false positive" results, although confirmatory lab-based testing greatly lessens the chances of a false positive—to the point of virtually eliminating the risk.

The abuse of fentanyl and GHB can be extremely dangerous. Both have the potential to result in a coma-like sleep that may lead to death. Due to their synthetic nature, these substances may go undetected in a standard test for opiates due to their unique chemical properties. Adding workplace testing for fentanyl and/or GHB could potentially be life saving.

Legal Implications

All employees have the right to a safe work environment, a right which is protected by federal and provincial occupational health and safety legislation. Employers are required to take all reasonable precautions to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. Drug abuse puts your entire job site at risk, and drug testing can be a helpful tool in identifying problems before an accident occurs.

For more information on employer responsibilities and the legal implications of failing to provide a safe work environment, please contact the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

Booking

Booking a GHB & Fentanyl Drug test is simple. Get in touch with us:

Our Contact Centre Agents can assist you with finding the most convenient location within our extensive Canada-Wide network of faciltiies. 

Turnaround

Express Based results are available by the end of the business day, whereas Lab Based results can take up to 2-5 business days. All results are posted in SureLink, SureHire's online results portal where a notification will be sent out to the appropriate individual(s) when the result is ready. 

FAQs

How are diluted samples handled?

Diluted urine samples do not offer an accurate drug test reading as they contain too much water for the tester to detect drug metabolites. If the provided sample is dilute, the subject will be instructed to return to the waiting room and provide as many samples as necessary until their sample becomes concentrated enough to test properly.

Will employees receive their results?

If your company has ordered Urine Drug Testing, you own your test results. Therefore, SureHire does not disclose results to employees unless you instruct otherwise.

The abuse of fentanyl and GHB can be extremely dangerous. In addition to other serious side affects that could affect the safety of you and your coworkers, both of these drugs have the potential to result in a coma-like sleep that may lead to death. If your employer is testing for fentanyl and/or GHB, it could potentially be life saving. These substances are detected through a lab-based urine test, which is commonly called a "piss test".

What to Expect

Upon entering the facility, you will first be required to present some form of government-issued photo identification when you come in for your appointment. If you are coming in for a private appointment, payment must be made via credit card while booking your appointment over the phone. You may also have the option to pay via credit card at any Power Centre facility in Alberta only. 

Once your ID is verified, you will receive paperwork to fill out. This paperwork includes an authorization allowing SureHire to perform the test and provide the results to your employer/potential employer. If you are coming in for a private test, the form will have a spot where you can indicate where you would like the results to be sent. You will also have a short form to fill out indicating your contact information and any prescription or over the counter drugs that you are currently using.

Once your paperwork is submitted, you must not leave the testing facility until testing is complete. If you choose to leave the testing facility, it will be indicated as a refusal to test and considered a fail.

How to Prepare

  • Bring your government issued photo ID (driver's licence, passport, military ID, etc.)
  • Abstain from using illegal drugs
  • If you are taking a prescription medication, know the name of the medication you are taking. You may also bring a list of medications that you may be taking to note on your paperwork.
  • Do NOT drink excessive amounts of water prior to a drug test. Your typical level of water consumption is recommended. Drinking excessive amounts of water may cause your urine to be too diluted to test.
  • You will be required to provide a sample of urine within 3 minutes of entering a private, single toilet bathroom. If you flush the toilet after providing the sample, it will be considered invalid.

Once you have provided a sample, the tester will ensure it meets our collection criteria. If the sample is acceptable, the tester will split the sample in front of you, fill out a Chain of Custody, and securely package the sample to go to the laboratory. Lab results typically take 2-5 business days.

If your sample does not meet our collection criteria, you will be instructed to return to the waiting room until you can provide an acceptable sample. You will be given up to three hours to provide a valid sample.

If your drug screen is confirmed positive, you will be contacted by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO will contact you with the information you put down on your intake form. Ensure that this information is correct. It is the responsibility of the MRO to determine whether the positive drug screen was due to legitimate prescription drug use or if it is due to illegal drug use or prescription drug misuse.

Know Your Rights

It is the responsibility of your employer to ensure a safe workplace for you and your coworkers. If you or another member of your team is under the influence of drugs and alcohol while at work, the user's judgement or physical ability could be impaired, which could lead to serious safety risks. Therefore, workplace urine testing is meant as a tool that some companies use to help protect their employees.

Reasonable Suspicion or Post Incident drug screening may be used if a workplace accident takes place or if your employer has suspicion that one or more employees may be abusing drugs. Please refer to your employee handbook or Human Resources (HR) department for more information on what drug testing policies you agreed to when you were hired.

Some companies offer employee-assistance programs to support substance-abuse treatment, but many companies are not tolerant of this issue and it may result in termination from employment. Information on your employer's tolerance of substance abuse can also be found in your employee handbook or by contacting your HR department.

FAQs

Why can't you accept a diluted sample?

Diluted urine samples do not offer an accurate drug test reading, as they contain too much water for the tester to detect drug metabolites. If your sample is dilute, you will be instructed to return to the waiting room and provide as many samples as necessary until your sample becomes concentrated enough to test properly.

Why can't you tell me the results?

The company that you are testing for owns your test results. Therefore, SureHire can disclose your results only to the company unless instructed otherwise. You may approach your company if you have any questions or concerns about your drug test results.

How can I prepare for my urine test?

Be sure to bring your government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.) and abstain from using illegal drugs. You will also need to know the names of any prescription medications you are taking as you will have to note these on your paperwork.

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