1. Analytical approach - The AlphaTox Method

Toxicology Associates, Inc. would like to announce a more accurate, cost- effective method for drug testing. This moderate cost, high quality method, called AlphaTox, was developed mainly because of its increased accuracy and sensitivity. These qualities are not achievable using the Immunoassay method, which is the initial drug screening method used by 98% of clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. We are strongly confident that by using the AlphaTox method, we can deliver results of the highest quality at all times.

  • Highly Accurate, Reliable, and Simple.

  • Moderate Cost with High Quality.

  • Highly Effective Against Adulterants.

  • Less sample volume requirements for analysis than Immunoassay method.

  • Up to 10 times more sensitive than Immunoassay method.

How it Works - AlphaTox

The AlphaTox method works by directly extracting the drug from urine. Therefore, overcoming the presence of adulterants, as well as other drugs which could potentially cause a false positive result. The more commonly used toxicology method, Immunoassay, does not extract the drug from the urine, allowing interaction with adulterants or other drugs which may cause incorrect test results. Another problem with Immunoassay is that large quantities of the drug must be present in the urine for the test to detect the drug. AlphaTox requires a much lower amount of the drug for the drug to be detected.

In reference to table 1, the AlphaTox method indeed has a much higher sensitivity than the Immunoassay. What does this mean? Take the limit of sensitivity of Cocaine, for example. The Immunoassay limit of sensitivity is 300 ng/ml, whereas the AlphaTox limit of sensitivity is at 50 ng/ml. To illustrate further, Lisa submits a urine for a pre-employment drug test that will be performed at some drug testing laboratory in Idaho. This lab runs Lisa's drug test for Cocaine using the Immunoassay. The result revealed a level of Cocaine of 299 ng/ml. According to the limit of sensitivity of Immunoassay for Cocaine of 300 ng/ml, the result of 299 ng/ml would be considered Non-detected. However, the result of 299 ng/ml of Cocaine would be considered a positive result with the AlphaTox method. Is it safe to say that at 299 ng/ml using the Immunoassay method that Lisa is not using the drug Cocaine? Should she be considered for employment? Yes, according to the Immunoassay method, but no, according to AlphaTox method.

Again, we emphasize the critical importance of sensitivity of the method. It is the only way to determine whether or not drugs are used or abused. Another important issue to consider is that the Immunoassay method compensates. It is capable of delivering high output at Low Cost and Low Quality. The AlphaTox method on the other hand, is Moderate Cost and High Quality.


Table 1. Immunoassay vs. AlphaTox - Cutoff Levels


Amphetamines 1000 ng/ml 100 ng/ml
Barbiturates 300 ng/ml 100 ng/ml
Benzodiazepines 300 ng/ml 75 ng/ml
Cannabinoids 50 ng/ml 25 ng/ml
Cocaine 300 ng/ml 50 ng/ml
Methadone 300 ng/ml 75 ng/ml
Methaqualone 300 ng/ml 75 ng/ml
Opiates 300 ng/ml 75 ng/ml
Phencyclidine (PCP) 25 ng/ml 15 ng/ml
Propoxyphene 300 ng/ml 75 ng/ml


2. Random or Unannounced Urine Drug Screen

To some degree, random drug screen is a good way to overcome any detoxyfying substances, therefore keeping one honest. Unfortunately, there are substances or adulterant that can be added immediately in urine.  The adulterant will maintain the integrity of the urine (i.e. temperature, color, etc.), therefore, making it difficult to suspect an altered specimen.  

NOTE: If you suspect that someone is engaging in the activity of doing drugs, or a random testing is required of your employee(s), please have them take a drug test within ONE HOUR accompanied   in the bathroom with respect to gender. This would prevent them from premeditating an activity to    beat the drug test system.















Copyright 1999 [Toxicology Associates, Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 13, 2010