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How We Test Samples

Specimens are transported from the submitting units to the laboratory via the US Postal Service, private carrier (FEDEX, DHL, UPS), or hand-delivery. The accessioning department staff examines the package, specimen, and accompanying documentation, and assigns the applicable discrepancy codes. Strict chain of custody is maintained throughout specimen handling and processing. The accessioning department technician prepares an initial testing batch, pours an aliquot of each specimen into individual tubes, and transfers the batch to the screening department to conduct the initial testing analysis using immunoassay instrumentation.

If no drug is detected during the immunoassay testing, the service member’s specimen is reported as negative and the specimen is discarded. If a specimen is presumptively positive, the result is compared against data from the electronic prescription reporting system (ePRS); some drug classes may be reported as negative if there is a valid prescription documented in ePRS within the last 180 days. Specimens that are presumptively positive that are not cleared through ePRS are sequestered for confirmatory analysis using a new aliquot poured from the original specimen bottle. These specimens are tested for drug presence and concentration using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) instrumentation. The drug or metabolites must be present at or above the DOD cutoff, and all quality control and reporting criteria must be satisfied, in order to be reported as positive.

All data generated by the laboratory are subject to multiple reviews by laboratory certifying officials to ensure that all procedures have been followed and that the results are scientifically valid and legally defensible prior to uploading the results to the iFTDTL portal.

The Drugs We Test For

  • Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC metabolites
  • Cocaine metabolite
  • Amphetamine, Methamphetamine
  • Designer Amphetamines (MDMA, MDA)
  • Opioids (Codeine, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Heroin metabolite, Fentanyl, Norfentanyl)
  • Benzodiazepines (α-OH-Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Nordiazepam, Oxazepam, Temazepam)
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids 
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and metabolite OH-LSD

Our Commitment To Quality

The Navy Drug Testing Program is committed to providing scientifically valid and legally defensible drug test results in a timely manner to our customers. Submitting unit commanders require accurate and timely results to assess unit readiness and to take swift action on members when an incident of drug abuse has been determined. The Navy Drug Screening Laboratories employ numerous quality control procedures to ensure the integrity of their results. These procedures include:

  • Employee Training and Certification for all Procedures
  • Instrument and Method Validation Procedures
  • Internal Quality Control Samples
  • External Quality Control Samples
  • External Proficiency Samples
  • Multiple layers of data review
  • DoD Inspections – Three per year at each lab
  • Internal Quality Assurance Audits

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