Confirmation Test

Last Updated: August 7, 2018

Definition - What does Confirmation Test mean?

A confirmation test refers to a lab procedure conducted after an initial screen of a submitted sample (commonly urine, hair, blood, breath, or oral fluids) indicates positive results of drug metabolites in the system. The confirmation test is a practical measure that employs advanced technology, such as gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry, or GC-MS, to collaborate initial positive results or contradict them.

WorkplaceTesting explains Confirmation Test

A confirmation test refers to a laboratory procedure utilizing advanced technology to assess the validity of an initial drug or alcohol screening test that indicated positive results for the presence of drug metabolites or alcohol in a specimen. Initial screens are cursory examinations that merely indicate the presence of drug metabolites in the system absent of any conclusive identification of a controlled substance, which can sometimes bear false positives due to ingestion of prescribed medication or over-the-counter agents.

The confirmation test is performed by a certified lab technician who examines the sample and determines if the chemical compound detected is a controlled or prohibited substance and whether it exceeds the regulated cutoff level. A confirmation test often encompasses the use of gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry, or GC-MS, to definitively identify the biochemical nature of a drug metabolite and correlate that data to the positive results found in the initial screen.

This second step of testing is vital in preventing actions based on false positives and maintaining confidence in the drug and alcohol testing processes.

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