Specimen Collection

Redwood Toxicology Laboratory provides suggested specimen collection guidelines ONLY. It is the responsibility of individual collection agencies to adopt their own policies and procedures according to their needs in compliance with individual state and federal regulations.

Laboratory drug and alcohol test results are often used in legal proceedings. The manner in which specimens are collected and handled is very important. Specimens must be handled and controlled by collection site personnel throughout the collection process.

Directly observed urine collection is the best means to ensure specimen integrity. However, outside of probation, parole, and some drug rehabilitation environments, the question of civil rights arises. A uniform urine and oral fluid collection process, regardless of the testing environment, should be followed.


In order to maintain specimen integrity for testing, promptly ship specimens after collection. Oral fluid specimens should be tested within 14 days of collection, and urine specimens should be tested within 21 days of collection.

If an oral fluid specimen cannot be shipped within seven (7) days following collection to allow for transit time, it should be discarded and recollected. If a urine specimen cannot be shipped within 14 days following collection to allow for transit time, it should be discarded and recollected. Specimens may be shipped at room temperature.

Collection Protocol -
Site Preparation

To meet evidentiary requirements the specimen collection site must be secure in order to eliminate the possibility of specimen tampering or adulteration and to ensure the security of the collected specimens.

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Collection Protocol -
Urine Collection

While direct-observation collections provide specimens of the greatest credibility, non-witnessed collections can be effective if safeguards are in place to ensure the donor does not have access to substances which may affect test results.

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Collection Protocol -
Oral Fluid Collection

Learn how to collect oral fluid specimens for drugs of abuse testing using the Quantisal collection device.

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Collection Protocol - Specimen Verification

Learn about potential methods to adulterate urine samples for substance abuse testing.

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Collection Protocol - Problematic Collections

While most donors will cooperate fully if treated with dignity and courtesy, there may be instances when unusual events may occur.

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Collection Protocol - Specimen Disposal

After the collection and testing procedures, there may be a remainder of urine specimen left in the collection container.

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Laboratory: 800-255-2159

Products: 877-444-0049