Chain of Custody Testing

Answers from the Lab

Chain of custody refers to a process used for toxicology testing when the results might have legal implications for the individual tested. In this test specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Loralie Langman, Ph.D., explains when chain of custody testing might be needed, and how it differs from clinical toxicology testing.

"An example of when forensic or chain of custody testing might be ordered would be if an individual is on probation or involved in a child custody case," Dr. Langman says. "Chain of custody testing is much less common than clinical toxicology testing."

The Clinical and Forensic Toxicology Lab, which Dr. Langman co-directs, performs both types of toxicology testing. "We use a variety of analytical techniques, ranging from simple immunoassay screening to highly complex, high-resolution mass spectrometry," Dr. Langman says.

Clinical toxicology testing might include urine drug screening. "The most common reason to order urine drug testing is compliance or controlled substance monitoring," Dr. Langman says. "For example, you would want to use our Controlled Substance Monitoring Panel, Random, Urine for addiction or rehabilitation monitoring. The testing is used as part of routine medical care. The end outcome for these patients is not interaction with the law."

The Clinical and Forensic Toxicology Lab has an extensive test catalog. For information about specific tests or to learn which test to order, phone 1-855-516-8404 or visit our chain of custody drug testing page.

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Robin Huiras-Carlson

Robin Huiras-Carlson is a senior marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories and a Mayo Clinic employee since 2015. Her writing focuses on specialty testing, innovation, and patient-focused initiatives.