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Definition - What does absorption mean?

Absorption, in medical terms, is the act of a substance being taken into the body through the bloodstream and then being distributed to the body's tissues. Absorption can be measured by rate, or the amount of time, a substance takes to be absorbed. When drugs and alcohol are introduced into the body, the absorption rate varies depending on the route of administration, such as injection, ingestion, or inhalation. The original substance can affect the absorption rate as well. All of this can have an impact of alcohol and drug testing timeframes and types of testing needed.

SureHire explains absorption

Absorption of substances such as drugs and alcohol vary greatly in the body based on a number of factors. The rate of absorption can differ by route of administration, with inhalation and intravenous injection being the most rapid, and ingestion being the slowest, absorption. Other factors can affect absorption rates with alcohol and drugs that are ingested, such as weight, whether the drugs or alcohol were consumed with food or on an empty stomach, gender, and the specific drug or alcohol introduced into the body. All of these factors are considered in the guidelines and instructions included with each type of drug or alcohol test.

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