Laboratory History & Experience
Friends Medical Laboratory Inc. has served the community for over 40 years as a leading drug testing facility. It began as a research project to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of detecting Heroin use in a narcotic addiction program through analysis of biological urine samples. From its inception in 1963, Friends has grown to be one of the largest exclusive drug screening laboratories in the country serving the business community, treatment facilities, criminal justice programs and professional sports.
In the 1960’s with the increasing public awareness of the drug abuse problem, there was a corresponding growth in drug treatment programs. All of these programs had a vital need for lab testing to detect illicit drug use and medications taken. Friends became a resource for many of these programs both locally and nationally. As a result, the lab was requested by the National Institute of Mental Health to provide drug screening in their administration of NARC aftercare programs.
The laboratory continued in the 1970’s to provide quality, research oriented laboratory services to many programs. In the face of what became a highly competitive field, Friends stubbornly refused to compromise on quality while always keeping the testing cost affordable to all. It was during these years that the lab’s research forged ahead to the new trends in abuse. Tests were designed by Friends to detect Benzodiazepines, Methaqualone, PCP and Marijuana. Friends was involved in participating in drug abuse seminars throughout the country, many times sharing procedures with colleagues in the field.
In the 1980’s the drug epidemic of the 1960’s and 1970’s surfaced as a new crisis for American businesses. Friends was fortunate to be directly involved in the nation’s renewal of public awareness of drug abuse and continues to service the needs of many corporations through our affiliate Friends Multi-Services Inc. Working together, we can assist a company in assuring that they maintain a drug free workplace.
In the late 1980’s Friends moved from the original location in Catonsville, Maryland to our present location on U.S. Route 1 in Arbutus, Maryland. With added parking and a close proximity to BWI Airport, the lab became poised to continue its quality service to its clients.
A new type of drug testing was introduced in the 1990’s. Again, Friends forged ahead with laboratory based “Oral Fluid” testing. This offered an alternative type of testing for our clients where urinalysis testing is not possible. Drugs possibly tested with this methodology include Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Buprenorphine, etc.
We have started off the new century with the addition of some more advanced tests. These include: Buprenorphine (oral & urine), and EtG (Ethylglucuronide) the metabolite of Alcohol.We also began detecting Clonazepam as part of our full Benzodiazepine screen.
With continued commitment to customer service, a long history of technical experience and a keen perspective in the changing needs of the drug testing community, Friends aims to continue to be a leader in the field through the 21st century.