What Type Of Drug Test Does CPS Use?

Dealing with Child Protective Services (CPS) is a nightmare as being a parent. Just one positive result and you are miles away from your kid. So when it happens, no one can protect you from their laws. However, you must be wondering about what type of Drug test does CPS use if you are recently dealing with CPS.

CPS aims to ensure child safety, but testing also raises privacy concerns. There’s an ongoing debate around mandatory testing and whether it truly serves the child’s best interests. 

With so much at stake – parental rights, family separation, and child welfare – it’s critical to have an open discussion about CPS drug testing policies. You should also hire a lawyer in order to know your legal rights.

In this article, we will answer the questions related to CPS drug testing and what one should do when dealing with this situation. So keep reading.

Note: I am here only to provide useful information and this article is not your legal advice.

What Type Of Drug Test Does CPS Use?

CPS, or Child Protective Services, typically employs two types of drug tests: urine and saliva tests. These tests are used to determine if a parent or caregiver is using drugs that may endanger the well-being of a child.

What Type Of Drug Test Does CPS Use?

Urine Drug Test:

A urine drug test, also known as urinalysis, is a common method used by CPS. It’s a straightforward and non-invasive way to detect the presence of various substances in the body. Urine tests can reveal drug use over different time spans, depending on the substance in question.

Here are some of the drugs CPS may look for in a urine test, along with their approximate detection times:

DrugDetection Time
MarijuanaUp to 30 days
Cocaine2-4 days
Amphetamines2-4 days
Opiates (e.g., heroin)2-4 days
Methamphetamine3-5 days
BenzodiazepinesUp to 3 weeks
MDMA (Ecstasy)2-4 days
Barbiturates1-3 weeks

Saliva Drug Test:

Saliva drug tests, also called oral fluid tests, are another method CPS may employ. These tests are quick and can detect recent drug use.

Some drugs that CPS may check for in a saliva test, along with their detection times:

DrugDetection Time
MarijuanaUp to 24-48 hours
Cocaine1-2 days
Amphetamines1-3 days
Opiates (e.g., heroin)1-2 days
Methamphetamine1-3 days
Benzodiazepines1-2 days
MDMA (Ecstasy)1-2 days
Barbiturates1-2 days

However, the detection times can vary based on several factors, including the frequency of use, metabolism, and the specific test’s sensitivity.

What Will Happen When Someone Fails the Drug Test?

When parents fail a drug test conducted by Child Protective Services (CPS), several potential outcomes can occur. However, it depends on the specific circumstances and the agency’s policies. Here’s what may happen:

  • Investigation Continues: Failing a drug test does not automatically result in the removal of a child from their parents’ care. However, CPS will likely continue its investigation to gather more information and assess the level of risk to the child.
  • Safety Plan: CPS may require the parents to implement a safety plan. This plan could include conditions such as regular drug testing, participation in drug treatment or counseling programs, and supervised visitation with the child to ensure their safety.
  • Reevaluation: Parents who fail a drug test may have an opportunity to retest after a certain period. This reevaluation could determine if the parent has made efforts to address their substance abuse issues.
  • Court Involvement: If the drug use is deemed a significant risk to the child’s safety and well-being, CPS may seek court involvement. This could lead to legal proceedings, including dependency or neglect hearings, where a judge will decide the best course of action for the child.
  • Services and Support: CPS may offer or require the parents to participate in services such as drug rehabilitation, parenting classes, counseling, or therapy to address the issues that led to the failed drug test.
  • Temporary Removal: In cases where the child’s safety is at immediate risk, CPS may place the child with a relative, foster family, or in temporary protective custody. However, the parents work to address their substance abuse problems. Reunification with the child will depend on the parents’ progress.
  • Permanent Removal: In extreme cases where parents continue to pose a risk to the child’s safety despite interventions, the court may decide that it’s in the child’s best interest to terminate parental rights. So it will lead to adoption or permanent placement in the foster care system.

A Positive Drug Test Can Bring Charges of Felony

There is not only one issue that you will face when you test positive but there are many. One of the major crimes is a felony charge. You should know that if you are using drugs in a home where children are living, you are committing a felony.

Yes, you read it right, you are now also going to get charges of a felony when you are using drugs in the presence of kids at home.

In the United States, 19 states have enacted laws that classify the act of manufacturing or using drugs in the presence of children as a felony. 

Here are the 19 states:

  1. Georgia
  2. Missouri
  3. New Hampshire
  4. South Carolina
  5. Virginia
  6. Montana
  7. Kansas
  8. West Virginia
  9. Wyoming
  10. California
  11. Kentucky
  12. Nebraska
  13. Illinois
  14. Iowa
  15. Washington
  16. Ohio
  17. Colorado
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Louisiana

There are 14 US states where it is deemed child endangerment when someone possesses, uses, cooks, or distributes drugs in the presence of a child.

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Delaware
  5. Illinois
  6. Iowa
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Minnesota
  10. Mississippi
  11. Missouri
  12. Montana
  13. Washington
  14. Wyoming

Also, In 16 states, engaging in the possession, preparation, and use of any illicit substance in the presence of a kid will be considered a felony.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Hawaii
  6. Idaho
  7. Indiana
  8. Kentucky
  9. Louisiana
  10. Minnesota
  11. Mississippi
  12. New Mexico
  13. North Dakota
  14. Ohio
  15. Oregon
  16. Utah


Dealing with Child Protective Services and failing a drug test can have significant legal and personal consequences. It’s essential for parents facing these challenges to be aware of the potential outcomes and seek legal counsel to navigate the complex terrain of child welfare and drug-related issues.

Thanks for reading.

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