Abuse -- Prolonged, persistent, or sporadic excessive drug use that is inconsistent with or unrelated to accepted medical practice.

Accuracy -- The ability of a testing method to consistently produce the true identity or quantity of the measured substance.

Addict -- A person who cannot resist a habit, especially the use of drugs or alcohol, for physiological or psychological reasons.

Addiction -- A compulsive physiological need for a drug.

Adulteration -- The addition of foreign material to a specimen so that it will invalidate a test.

Agglutination -- The process of particles forming from the binding of antibody and latex-coated drug metabolite. Agglutination occurs with a negative urine specimen.

AIDS -- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome. A viral disease that damages the body's immune system, making the infected person susceptible to a wide range of serious diseases. May also involve neurologic symptoms. One means of transmission of the virus causing AIDS is associated with injection drug use.

Aliquot -- A portion of a specimen used for testing.

Amobarbital -- A moderately long-acting barbiturate used both to sedate and to control convulsions.

Amphetamines -- A class of drugs that have pronounced stimulant effects on the central nervous system. Street names include "speed," "uppers," "bennies," "pep pills," and the so-called designer drugs (such as Ecstasy).

Analyte -- Substance to be measured.

Antagonist -- A drug that blocks or counteracts the effect of another drug.

Antibody -- A substance that binds to a specific drug or drug metabolite.

Antidepressant -- A major classification of drugs used medically to improve mood in severely depressed patients. Included are the tricyclic compounds, Amitriptyline (Alluvial) and Imipramine (Trofranil). These are rarely used for nonmedical purposes, as they have little immediate pleasurable effect on normal mood states.

Antigen -- A substance, alien to the body, that triggers the formation of an antibody.

Barbiturates -- The largest and most common group of the synthetic sedative/hypnotics. In small doses, they are effective tranquilizers used in sedation and in relieving tension and anxiety. In larger doses, they are used as hypnotics (sleep inducers). When large dosages are not followed by sleep, signs of mental confusion, euphoria, and even stimulation may occur -- effects that are similar to those of alcohol.

Barbiturates often are used or abused "recreationally" by people seeking similar effects to those produced by alcohol. Barbiturates also are used in combination with, or as a substitute for, other depressants, such as heroin, and often are taken alternately with amphetamines, because they tend to enhance the euphoric effects of amphetamines while calming the nervous states they produce.

Barbiturates are classed by their clearance time as long acting, intermediate acting, short acting, or ultrashort acting. The ultrashort (Thiopental) are generally used as anesthetics. The most commonly abused are the short-acting agents such as pentobarbital (Nembutal), secobarbital (Seconal), amobarbital (Amytal), and the seco-amobarbital mixture known as Tuinal. In large dosage, they cause severe poisoning, deep comas, respiratory and kidney failure, and death. Slang names include "rainbows," "blue devils," "reds," "yellows," "yellow jackets," "blues," and "blue heavens."

Benzodiazepines -- A class of drugs used as antianxiety tranquilizers. Some are used to treat muscle spasms, convulsions, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The most common side effects are drowsiness, confusion, and loss of coordination. In combination with alcohol or barbiturates, these effects are addictive. Included in this class are chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), oxazepam (Serax), and chlorazepate dipotassium (Tranxene).

Benzoylecgonine -- The principal metabolite of cocaine found in urine and used for detection and evidence of cocaine use.

Blind testing -- The practice of knowingly submitting urine specimens containing drugs to determine laboratory accuracy.

Bluing agent -- A chemical used to color toilet tank water blue.

Butabarbital -- An intermediate-acting barbiturate used in sedative preparations.

Butalbital -- A barbiturate used in various sedative preparations.

Cannabinoids -- The constituents of marijuana (Cannabis sativa).

Case management -- An individualized plan for securing, coordinating, and monitoring the appropriate treatment interventions and ancillary services necessary to treat each offender successfully for optimal justice system outcomes.

Chain of custody -- The policies and procedures that govern collection, handling, storage, transportation, and testing of a urine specimen and dissemination of test results in a manner that ensures that the specimen and the results are correctly matched to the person who donated the specimen and that the specimen is not altered or tampered with from the point of collection through the reporting of test results.

Chromatography -- A procedure used to identify substances, such as drugs of abuse, in urine. The substance is separated or extracted, allowed to move or migrate along a carrier, and then identified.

Class of drugs -- A group of drugs with a related chemical structure.

CNS -- Central nervous system.

Cocaine -- An alkaloid refined from the cocoa plant that acts as a powerful short-acting stimulant and is pharmacologically similar to amphetamines. Its effects include euphoria, restlessness, excitement, and a feeling of well-being. Slang names include "coke," "flake," "star dust," and "snow." Freebasing, a process of converting cocaine into a form that can be smoked (usually called crack), involves heating with either lighter fluid or other solvents.

Codeine -- An alkaloid of opium extracted from morphine. Codeine's effects resemble those of morphine but with only one-sixth to one-tenth of the analgesic action. Codeine is commonly found in cough medicine and minor prescription pain relievers.

Collection site -- The place where individuals present themselves for the purpose of providing urine specimens to be analyzed for illegal drugs.

Concentration -- Amount of a drug in a unit volume of biological fluid, expressed as weight per volume. Urine concentrations are usually expressed either as nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), as micrograms per milliliter (µg/ml), or milligrams per liter (mg/l). (There are 28 million µg in an ounce, and 1,000 ng in a microgram.)

Confirmation test -- A second test used to confirm positive results from an initial screening test. A confirmation test is made by a method more specific than a screening test and provides a greater margin of certainty.

Crack -- Freebase form of cocaine (cocaine hydrochloride) that is usually smoked. Freebase refers to the absence of inert ingredients used to cut cocaine.

Cutoff level -- The concentration of a drug in urine, usually in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), used to determine whether a specimen is positive (at or above the cutoff level) or negative (below the cutoff level) for the drug in question.

Drug abuser -- An individual who uses illegal drugs or legal drugs in excess.

Drug addict -- An individual who is unable to discontinue use of drugs.

Drug screen -- Testing a specimen for the presence of drugs. A full screen tests for the presence of all categories of drugs. A partial screen tests a specimen for the presence of only those drugs that were found in a particular individual's initial full drug screen or are the most prevalently abused drugs in the local area.

Drug substance -- An illegal drug or the metabolite of the drug that appears in urine and can be identified by drug testing.

Drug testing -- In this document, drug testing refers solely to urinalysis and not to any other form of analysis such as blood, hair, sweat, or voice inflection.

EIA -- Enzyme immunoassay. An immunoassay procedure used to identify drugs of abuse in urine by attaching an enzyme tag to the drug in question.

Elimination -- The process by which drugs and metabolites are removed from the body.

Exigent circumstances -- Unusual or irregular circumstances requiring urgent and immediate intervention.

External testing -- The testing of urine specimens by professional technologists or technicians at a commercial laboratory located away from probation or parole facilities.

False negative -- Report that a drug or metabolite has not been detected when the drug or drug metabolite is present in the specimen.

False positive -- Report that a drug or metabolite has been detected when the drug or drug metabolite is not present in the specimen.

FPIA -- Fluorescence polarization immunoassay. An immunoassay procedure used to identify drugs of abuse in urine by attaching a tag that glows or fluoresces to the drug in question.

GC -- Gas chromatography. A method that uses gasses to separate drugs and metabolites to detect drugs in a specimen.

GC/MS -- Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A specialized form of gas chromatography used in conjunction with mass spectrometry. GC/MS is considered the method of choice for the unequivocal identification of a drug.

Hallucinogens -- A major classification of natural and synthetic drugs whose primary effect is to distort the senses. These drugs can produce hallucinations or experiences that depart from reality. Included in this classification are lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA, MDMA), mescaline, peyote, PCP, and psilocybin.

Heroin -- A semisynthetic opiate derivative used in a variety of cough and cold preparations. Its abuse potential is between that of codeine and morphine.

HIV -- Human immunodeficiency virus. The term "HIV" has been internationally accepted in the scientific community as the appropriate name for the retrovirus that is the causative agent of AIDS.

HPLC -- High-performance liquid chromatography. A method that used liquids to separate drugs and metabolites to detect drugs in a specimen.

HPTLC -- High-performance thin-layer chromatography represents a specialized form of TLC developed for drugs that appear in low concentrations in urine.

Hydromorphone -- A morphine derivative used as a narcotic or hydrochloride analgesic. Like morphine, it is addictive but is 5 to 10 times more toxic. Sold under the trade names of Dilaudid or Hydromorphone.

Immunoassay -- A procedure used to identify substances, such as drugs of abuse, in urine, based on the competition between tagged and untagged antigens to combine with antibodies. The uncombined, tagged antigen is an indicator of the drug present in the urine specimen.

Initial test -- A screening test designed to separate specimens with drugs above a certain minimum concentration cutoff level from those below that level.

Instrument test -- A chemical test using a machine that remains in a stable location and must be calibrated and adjusted regularly.

Laboratory testing -- The testing of urine specimens by professional technologists or technicians at a commercial laboratory.

Local agency -- The organization(s) legally responsible for directing the probation and drug-testing program.

Mass spectrometer -- A detection device that specifically identifies and quantifies the constituents of complex fluid mixtures. It is usually used in conjunction with a gas chromatograph.

Metabolism -- The action of enzymes to alter a drug chemically and facilitate its removal from the body.

Metabolite -- The product of metabolism.

Methadone -- An opioid used in the maintenance treatment of heroin dependency because it prevents heroin withdrawal symptoms and fulfills the addict's physical need for the drug.

Methamphetamine -- A central nervous system stimulant similar to amphetamine sulfate but more potent. It is a member of the amphetamine class and is preferred by habitual amphetamine users. In intravenous form, it produces an almost instantaneous onset of the drug's effect. Slang names include "meth," "speed," and "crystal."

Methaqualone -- Nonbarbiturate sedative/hypnotic that produces sleep for about 6 to 8 hours. It also produces muscular relaxation, feelings of contentment, and total passivity.

Morphine -- The principal active ingredient in opium. It is considered by some to be superior to other pain relievers.

Nanogram -- One billionth of a gram.

Narcotic -- Medically, usually refers to any drug that dulls the senses. It produces a sense of well-being in small doses and causes insensibility, stupefication, and even death in large doses.

Negative results -- Test results indicating a drug is not detected at or above the threshold of a test.

Noninstrument test -- A portable test requiring no calibration or formal instrumentation of any kind that is sometimes employed at a location outside of a juvenile probation and parole office or facility, such as a jail or an offender's home or place of employment. This methodology can also be used at any office or facility.

Offender -- Any individual placed under institutional or field supervision by a probation department, parole board, or court.

Officer -- For the purposes of this document, "officer" refers to juvenile probation and parole officers.

Onsite testing -- The testing of urine specimens within criminal justice facilities using paraprofessional technicians.

Opiates -- A major class of drugs that depress the central nervous system and are used principally to relieve pain. Examples include morphine, heroin, and codeine.

OTC -- Over-the-counter drug available without a prescription.

Oxazepam -- A tranquilizer member of the benzodiazepine class.

Oxycodone -- A semisynthetic morphine derivative used as a pain reliever. Trade names include Percodan, Percocet-5, and Tylox.

Oxymorphone -- A semisynthetic narcotic analgesic similar to morphine that produces less nausea, constipation, and respiratory depression.

PCP -- Phencyclidine. A powerful depressant used illicitly for its hallucinogenic properties. It is most often smoked after being sprinkled on parsley, marijuana, or tobacco. Side effects include agitation, irritability, extreme excitation, visual disturbances, and delirium. Slang terms include "angel dust," "crystal," "super week," "rocket fuel," and "goon."

Phenmetrazine -- A central nervous system stimulant of the amphetamine class used to suppress the appetite.

Phentermine -- A sympathomimetic amine used in attack preparations as a vasoconstrictor and bronchodilator, usually in combination with an antihistamine drug.

Physiological dependence -- A state of dependency or addiction in which one has physically adapted to a substance and often requires increasing amounts to achieve the same effect. Physical distress may be experienced upon discontinuing use of the drug.

Pipette -- A syringe-like device used to pick up and dispense a measured amount of a urine specimen.

Policy -- A high-level, overall plan that embraces the general goals of a drug-testing program. Policies provide the theoretical framework for deciding what is or is not an acceptable procedure for an agency's drug-testing program.

Positive result -- Drug detected at or above the threshold of a test.

Precision -- The ability of a testing method to perform consistently and to be free from external and internal sources of variation.

Presumed positive -- A specimen identified at or above the screening test threshold but not yet subjected to confirmation testing.

Procedures -- A series of steps to be performed in a regular definite order under specified conditions.

Proficiency testing specimen -- A specimen for which the expected results are unknown to anyone in a laboratory. The results are known only by an external agency, and they are later revealed to the laboratory as an aid to laboratory improvement. The specimens may be "open" (the lab knows it is a proficiency specimen) or "blind" (the lab does not know it is a proficiency specimen).

Psychological dependence -- A mental state involving a drive to repeated or continuous drug use to achieve pleasure or satisfaction and to avoid discomfort.

Qualitative -- Chemical analysis to identify the components of a mixture.

Quality assessment -- The system used to evaluate both the analytical and nonanalytical functions of a laboratory.

Quality assurance -- Planned, systematic activities, both operational and organizational, that ensure a testing system routinely produces reliable results.

Quality control -- The routine operational procedures that a laboratory institutes to ensure that its results are continually reliable.

Quantitative -- Chemical analysis to determine the amounts of proportions of a mixture.

Random sampling (collection) -- Obtaining juvenile urine specimens for testing without the juvenile's prior knowledge of when a specimen will be requested. This means unscheduled testing and should not be confused with the classic research design definition.

Reagent -- A substance that takes part in a chemical reaction.

RIA -- Radio immunoassay. An immunoassay procedure used to identify drugs of abuse in urine by attaching a radioactive tag to the drug in question.

Safety zone -- The area of difference between the minimum sensitivity of an assay and the threshold.

Scheduled collection -- Obtaining juvenile urine specimens for testing according to an established schedule.

Screening test -- An initial test that is used to detect drugs of abuse in urine. Screening tests are less expensive and not as accurate as confirmation tests.

Secobarbital -- A short-acting barbiturate.

Semiquantitative -- A term for numerical results from immunoassay technology that is an approximation of the true quantitative result produced by GC/MS.

Sensitivity -- The ability of a procedure to detect minute amounts of substances. This describes the lower limit of detection of a drug-testing method and is expressed in concentration units. A sensitive procedure will rarely fail to detect a substance if it is present; thus, few false negative results will occur.

Specificity -- The ability of a procedure to react only with the drugs or metabolites being tested and to exclude other substances. A specific procedure is rarely positive if a substance is truly absent; thus, few false positive results will occur.

Split specimen -- A laboratory specimen that is divided and, unknown to the analyst, is submitted as two different specimens with different identifications. This is often a part of a quality control check on the laboratory.

Standard -- An authentic sample of the analyte of known purity, or a solution of the analyte of a known concentration used in laboratory quality control.

Test site -- A laboratory or other such place designated by the agency where the juvenile's urine specimens are analyzed for the presence of illegal drugs.

THC -- Tetrahydrocannabinol. The primary psychoactive compound present in marijuana.

Threshold -- A defined urine, drug, or metabolite concentration; a value at or above threshold indicates a positive result, and a value below indicates a negative result. Also called the cutoff.

TLC -- Thin-layer chromatography. A chromatographic procedure used to identify drugs of abuse in urine using a thin layer of material such as silicon as a carrier. The separated substances are dyed, and the resultant color and migration patterns are used to identify the drugs in question.

Tolerance -- A physiological state in which there is a need to increase drug dosage progressively to produce the effect originally achieved by a smaller dose.

Turnaround time -- The amount of time that elapses between receipt of a urine specimen and the availability of test results.

Urinalysis -- The chemical analysis of urine to determine the presence or absence of substances. In the criminal justice setting, the substances being determined are drugs of abuse.

Withdrawal syndrome -- Unpleasant physiological changes that occur when the drug is discontinued abruptly or when its effect is counteracted by a specific agent, such as a drug antagonist.


American Correctional Association and Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. 1991. Prototype Drug Testing Program for Juvenile Detainees. Laurel, MD: American Correctional Association.

American Probation and Parole Association. 1992. Drug Testing Guidelines and Practices for Juvenile Probation and Parole Agencies. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Black, David L. 1988. Current Issues in Drug Detection. Abbott Diagnostics Educational Services.

Bureau of Justice Assistance. 1988 (July). Urinalysis as Part of Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC) Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. 1986. Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse. Research Monograph 73. Rock-ville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Drug Identification and Testing in the Juvenile Justice System May 1998