What Do BAR Drug Tests Screen For?

We’ve all been there, when you’re filling out an application and it says that you’re going to be subject to an employee drug test. Included is something called a BAR screening, but what is that? BAR drug testing is the screening of certain metabolites within the urine called Barbiturates. Barbiturates are nervous system depressants which slow the breathing and relax the body. Usually in pill form they are prescription by a doctor for anxiety, pain, and sometimes convulsions. They are utilized in various forms of anesthetic for both medical and recreational purposes by drug abusers.  Once taken a person becomes thoroughly relaxed and enters into a euphoric and trance like state for hours.

Barbiturates and other similar depressants have a relatively high rate of addiction and dependence, second only to narcotic and opiate pain killers. Testing for these drugs is not as common as marijuana drug tests and is normally given when a business or parent suspects a specific addiction may be taking place. In the past, Barbiturate drug testing for these legally prescribed pills would have gone unnoticed, but with increased abuse and addiction comes more innovating screenings. To be tested a person must submit a urine sample, this sample is then analyzed by either a lab technician or a simple test strip if using a home drug testing kit.  The test targets specific Barbiturate (BAR) leftovers, called metabolites. These metabolites are what remain after a consumed drug is broken down and excreted by the body. Each drug has a different process for being broken down and thus has a different metabolite.

Names of medications that contain Barbiturates are pentobarbital and Phenobarbital. If you are subject to a Barbiturate drug test and then screen positive be prepared for the consequences. Without a legal prescription you can be subject to a variety of punishments and or rejections. On average Barbiturates stay in the body and urine stream between 4-10 days. Blood work and hair drug testing can detect the presence of barbiturate abuse for a longer period of time; 14 and 30 days respectively.


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