Urine Analysis of Benzodiazepines

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A urine analysis can be used to detect the presence of drugs, including benzodiazepines, in a person's body. The test for benzodiazepines is part of an overall urine drug screen test that is most commonly used for pre-employment qualification, workman's compensation accidents and for legal purposes, such as probation.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs that are commonly used for the treatment of anxiety, seizures and insomnia. While they have necessary clinical indications for some psychological disorders, benzodiazepines are commonly abused and therefore part of urine drug screening.

How Is the Test Performed?

Prior to taking the urine test, a person must clean their private area with either an alcohol wipe or soap and water. Next, the urine is caught in a cup during the middle of the urination process, which is known as a "clean-catch" sample. Generally, 1-2 ounces of urine is enough for a urine test.

Laboratory Testing

Once collected, the urine sample is sent to a lab for testing. The most common detection method is an immunoassay that can determine if a person has used benzodiazepines. If the test is positive, then a follow-up test using a gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) method is completed to ensure a false positive was not detected by the immunoassay.

Detection Levels

Under federal guidelines, the laboratory test must show presence of benzodiazepines in urine above 200 ng/mL. A presence of benzodiazepines that falls below that level will result in a negative screening result for benzodiazepines.

Test Results

After lab testing is completed, the results will be stated as either normal or abnormal. A result of abnormal means that benzodiazepines were detected, which is indicative of use. If abnormal results are detected, a person may be asked to furnish proof of a prescription for a benzodiazepine or perform repeat testing.

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