What are the Australian cut-off levels for drug tests and what do they mean to me? January 15 2014

Class of Drug

Cut-off Level µg/L (urine)

Opiates

Amphetamine type substances

Cannabis metabolites

Cocaine metabolites

Benzodiazepines

300

300

50

300

200

 

Nice numbers, but what do they mean?

Firstly, the µg/L sign symbolizes micrograms/litre. Drug testing normally involves establishing the concentration of a drug above a certain level rather than just finding the presence of the drug. Interestingly, not many people are aware of this! A “cut-off” is the concentration of a drug at or above which is deemed positive by a laboratory analysis for that drug. Cut-offs are set for laboratory standardisation purposes, the detection period and to exclude defences based upon passive inhalation.

Determining your likely toxicity level is by no means an exact science. People often fall into the trap of just looking at a detection period table and expecting that the time period stated in the table will apply to them. Everybody is different — your situation will differ from others. The time taken to clear naturally from toxins will varely greatly dependent upon the length of exposure to toxins, body fat ratio, general health, lifestyle, strength of toxin, route of administration and many other decisive factors. PassMyDrugTest.com.au have made things as easy as possible for you with an inbuilt calculator to give you an idea of how likely you are to be above, at or below the Australia cut-off levels for drug tests

Drug testing Cut-off levels can be different between Organisations

Some organisations reserve the right to adopt different cut-off levels for various drug classes. This means that anybody purchasing a home test kit should check the relevant cut-off level that might apply before selecting a particular test. Naturally it can be a waste of time and money relying upon a test kit if it uses a different cut-off level to what is actually applied in a policy. In saying that, we have yet to find a reported case in Australia that does not follow the cut-off levels as provided for in the Standards.

Interesting fact

The cut-off levels are not exactly the same between countries, for example the opiate cut-off level for urine testing in the United States is 2000ng/ml whereas the cut-off level in Australia for the same drug is 300ng/ml. This is a fairly dramatic difference (US is 666% higher than Australia).

If you’re interested to know more you can read the Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 4308:2008). You will most likely be required to pay a fee for a copy of this document. Remember, you can always use the contact us if you have any questions.