How It Is Done continued...
If you are being tested for drug abuse, a trained person of the same sex will watch you give the sample. This is to make sure that you are providing your own urine and that you have not added anything to the sample. The temperature of the urine may also be tested to make sure that it is fresh.
The person who collects the sample will either:
- Swab the inside of your cheek, or
- Ask you to spit into a tube.
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
It is not painful to collect a urine sample. Another person may watch while you collect the sample. This may make you feel uncomfortable.
It is not painful to collect a saliva sample. Another person will collect the sample or watch you collect the sample.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. You can treat this by using a warm compress several times a day.
Bleeding can be a problem for people who have bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medicines such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin). If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is taken.
Collecting a urine sample does not cause problems.
Collecting a saliva sample does not cause problems.
A toxicology test (tox screen) checks for drugs or other chemicals in your blood, urine, or saliva.