Illicit substance use among children and adolescents is a major health concern in our society. Increasingly, pediatricians are confronted by parents requesting that their children be tested for illicit drugs. Pediatricians and other practitioners, therefore, should be knowledgeable about drug testing techniques and understand how to interpret the results. Likewise, the legal and ethical issues surrounding drug testing should be evaluated thoroughly.

The four urine drug screening tests used most commonly are: radioimmune assay (RIA), enzyme-multiplied immunoassay test (EMIT), fluorescent polarization immunoassay (FPIA), and latex agglutination test (ONTRAK). According to Schwartz, these newer, more sensitive immunoassay tests essentially have replaced the older, conventional thin-layer chromatography methodology, which required larger sample sizes and longer turn-around times.

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