Drug testing reveals information about the presence or absence of certain drugs and/or their metabolites in biological samples like urine, blood, breath, etc., by abusers. The information is essential nationwide for law enforcement agents, medical service providers, employers, schools, and other institutions to maintain law and order.
A genuine drug test (though can't assess an individual’s level of ability/inability to do a task sensibly) can provide an accurate reflection of the presence of a drug, metabolites or alcohol within the bloodstream.
Medical providers, school officials, law officers or employers can draw conclusions of an individual’s abilities to function safely supported by the extent of intoxication.
Table Of Contents:
- What are Home drug testing kits?
- Why is the Knowledge of drug testing kits essential?
- What is the drug testing kit?
- How convenient are the drug test kits to handle?
- Are home drug-test accurate?
- Eight Common substances that tend to turn your result positive
- What type of drug test do most employers prefer?
- Can CBD be detected in a drug test?
- Are drug testing kits approved by Federal and state agencies?
- Apart from the drug, what else can be tested with the drug testing kits?
- What adulterants are used by tricksters to render the drug test invalid?
- Seven reasons for the employers do the drug test
- What are the primary advantages of drug testing kits?
- Five advantages of using saliva drug-testing kits over Urine-test kits
- What are the drug testing panels?
What are Home Drug Testing Kits?
We are quite familiar with home health testing kits like thermometer, BP, sugar checking apparatus. Even small kids can measure body temperature, blood pressures, etc., in a jiffy. This shows that health monitoring kits are not only popular, but also essential and sometimes life-savers too.
Detecting a variety of drugs and drug levels (cut-off levels) at home is as easy as reading temperature, blood pressure and sugar levels.
Why is the Knowledge of Drug Testing Kits Essential?
Knowing about drugs, drug test and drug testing kits is of absolute necessity for the health-conscious citizens. I would rather say the knowledge of drug testing kits is an essential health literacy.
Drug testing kits can be used at home, office or any other place. Present-day drug kits are designed to test a variety of drugs present in an individual’s system. The kits are very convenient to handle.
The drug menace is so rampant that it costs American Economy a whopping 750 billion dollars every year, and the curve of this drug abuse graph is raising sharper making it tougher to handle for the law enforcement agencies.
Why Drug Testing?
Businesses across the United States are facing considerable losses in the form of low productivity, absenteeism, attorney charges, compensation claims, and man-hour losses. Though drug testing is not considered to be a part of business investment, it still can save the employers a lot.
Drug testing can't assess an individual’s degree of impairment or ability to perform a task safely, but it can surely detect the presence of a drug in an individual’s system or the content of a substance in the system in the form of metabolites.
Medical authorities, school officials, law enforcement officers, or employers can judge a person’s ability to perform duty safely based on the degree of intoxication.
These days, teens are abusing drugs more frequently than adults. Thanks to the influence of the Internet world. Drug testing can help to protect public safety as well as the health and safety of an intoxicated person.
As teens are more prone to drug abuse, schools and other institutions have initiated drug screening programs for the following reasons:
- To select participants for sports and other physical competitions.
- To check for the drugs that can enhance performance in sports and other related activities.
- To drug-test students who are on probation.
- To ensure sobriety in students who drive to schools.
- To reduce drug-related crime through frequent drug screening.
Substances that can be detected by Drug-Testing Kits
More than 20 types of drugs can be detected using test kits. The most common drugs that can be detected by kits are:
- Tricyclic Anti-Depressants
Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers
This calculator uses the latest research on employment costs with data input from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to calculate how much substance misuse and use in the workforce costs employers. Employers can calculate the losses they incur by visiting the following site: https://www.nsc.org/forms/substance-use-employer-calculator
Source: The National Safety council
What are the Drug Testing Kits?
Handy, convenient and easy to do drug-test objects that look like oversized cotton buds, cups, dip cards, etc., are called drug testing kits. Instruction manual, specimen transfer system and instruction cards are also supplied with the drug testing kits.
How convenient are the Drug Test Kits to handle?
Drug test kits are user friendly and very convenient to handle. Step-by-step instructions are given in the instruction manual.
Do Drug Testing Kits save a lot?
All the employees in the workplace are not drug abusers. Employers can do drug screening with the drug test kits, and only those who test non-negative can be referred to the labs for a confirmatory test. In this way, employers can save a lot. This procedure is not applicable in a workplace that employs people for safety sensitive jobs.
What is the most accurate drug test?
Though blood and saliva tests are considered 99% accurate, still blood testing is the most accurate form of testing available right now. We can rely on these tests for a short window of time, i.e., these tests tend to be valid only if a person has used drugs within the past few days.
How reliable is urine drug testing?
Urine drug testing is the most popular form of drug testing because it is faster and costs less. Its accuracy is also reliable most of the time. These tests are accurate if a person has consumed drugs within the last few days.
Can I drug test myself?
You can. Medical sciences have advanced so much that people who could read can drug test themselves, their family members, friends, or others. Drug testing kits give you complete privacy, confidentiality, and instant result. After all, the Knowledge of self-drug testing is not only a necessity, but also highly essential for one’s wellbeing at home and workplace.
Where can I get the drug test kits? Are they costlier than lab tests?
Drug test kits are available over-the-counter in pharmacies, stores and also online. They are just a phone call away. The cost of the drug testing kit is almost one-tenth of the lab test.
How to read the result on drug test kits?
All the necessary instructions are supplied with the testing kits, including cut-off levels. For example, just take off the cap and dip the test into the urine sample for 10 seconds, wait for five minutes and read the result. A person who does the drug test should exercise extreme caution while handling specimens to safeguard himself or herself against infections.
Are home drug tests accurate?
The kit-based drug testing result is almost 99% accurate. Still, certain external factors like food habits, medication/drugs, and time of the day can influence the outcome of the result.
What is a Cut-off level in a drug test?
“Cut-off level” refers to the point within which a drug test is called negative and above which a drug test is called positive. For drug screening, the cut-off mark is an essential criterion for judgment. It should be noted that negative result does not mean that a sample is drug-free, but may contain the amount of drug that is below the cut-off level.
Common substances that tend to turn the result positive
- Tonic water
- Cold medicine
- Diet pills
- Vitamin B supplements
- Poppy seed bagels
- Granola bars
- Types of Drug Tests
What type of drug test do most employers prefer?
Most employers prefer Urine Drug Test. This test will detect the presence of a drug in the system after the drug effects have ceased; however, the length of time varies for different drugs.
How long can you detect drugs in urine?
- Amphetamines: 1-2 days, depending on type
- Opiates: 1-4 days.
- Phencyclidine (PCP): 8 days
- Marijuana/Cannabis: 3 to 30 days, depending on usage
- Cocaine: 2 to 10 days
- Methadone: 2 to 7 days
- Barbiturates: 2 to 15 days
- Benzodiazepines: 2 to 10 days
- Methaqualone: 10 to 15 days
- Propoxyphene: 6 hours to 2 days.
How long do drugs stay in the human system?
- Urine – up to 48 hours
- Hair – up to three months
- Saliva – up to three days
Is it better to take a drug test in the morning or in the afternoon?
Morning urine tends to be highly concentrated compared to other times of the day. This makes it the best sample for detecting a variety of drugs found in the body. It is better to conduct the test before drinking any liquids in the morning.
What if I tested non-negative?
If you test non-negative, it is advisable to drug test yourself in an approved lab for confirmation. If the test is performed at the workplace, you are automatically directed to take the lab test.
Can CBD be detected in a drug test?
Employees who frequently use CBD in any form to relieve their symptoms like pain, anxiety, etc., do fail drug tests according to the recent studies. Most of the employers in workplaces are not interested in finding CBD because this drug doesn't influence employees’ decision-making ability or motor skills, but THC that exists in CBD can find its way into the human system and stay for a longer time.
Are drug testing kits approved by Federal and State agencies?
Now DOT approved and FDA cleared 510(k) urine test kits are available over-the-counter. Federal and State agencies do not accept drug tests done with testing kits. Court and law enforcement agencies too would not accept the kit-based results. Companies that employ people for safety sensitive jobs required to drug-test their employees at government approved labs.
What specimens are required to drug test with kits?
The drug testing kit is helpful in detecting common drugs that are abused using the saliva and urine specimens. Blood and hair drug tests are not possible with drug testing kits because these tests are invasive too.
Apart from the drug, what else can be tested with the drug testing kits?
For certain type of ailments, the physician might ask the patients to do a urine test to detect certain adulterants. Some urine drug test kits are also used to detect common adulterants. People who cannot move or travel due to disability, impairments, obesity, aged, sickness, etc., can use the drug testing kits and verify with their physicians regarding the results. Detecting common adulterants would be highly useful in such cases.
The common adulterants that can be detected are:
- Urine pH – The pH value determines the acidic or base nature of the urine sample.
- Specific gravity – This value indicates more solids or more water in the urine sample.
- Color – Certain medical conditions like diet, diseases, medicines influence the color of the urine sample.
- Nitrites – The presence of this substance indicates a bacterial infection.
- Odor – Foul odor indicates blood puss or bacterial infection.
- Oxidants – The presence of oxidants.
- Creatinine – Creatinine level indicates the amount of waste products in the specimen.
- Glucose – Detects glucose level in the blood.
What adulterants are used by tricksters to render the drug test invalid?
PCC popularly know as 'Urine Luck' is freely available in stores. This chemical affects the pH of urine and shields drug metabolites in the urine sample.
Another adulterant called Glutaraldehyde restricts the enzyme used to detect drugs in urine. This adulterant turns the result “invalid.”
Can you drink water before a urine test?
Before the test, one should drink as much water as they can to get an adequate urine sample. However, sometimes drinking excessive amounts of water may cause inaccuracy in results. One can include milk and fruit juices in combination with water for better results.
Will drinking coffee affect a drug test result?
Drinking a little amount of coffee or tea an hour before the test has a minor diuretic effect and will not completely dilute the sample.
Can Ibuprofen cause you to fail a drug test?
Ibuprofen is one of the main culprits in influencing the test result. Research studies show most of the people who were taking high doses (above 800 mg per day) tested positive for THC (cannabinoids), PCP, barbiturates.
Does peeing remove toxins from the body?
Unfortunately, taking more water than the required amount will not flush the toxins out of the system nor will it help the excretory system (kidneys). The only change will be the change in color of the urine, i.e., yellow to clear. According to some research studies, consuming a large amount of water (around one gallon) before the test dilutes the metabolites in urine and renders the urine drugs undetectable.
Is 12 days period enough to pass a drug test?
The easiest and most natural way to pass a drug test is to stop consuming cannabis. For a small amount of cannabis users, stopping consumption at least 10 days before the test should be enough. For heavier users, it is recommended at least minimum of one month.
Is 21 days stop-gap enough to pass a drug urine test?
- A rare user (less than two times per week) can test positive for 1-3 days.
- A frequent user (several times per week) can test positive for 7-21 days after the last use.
- A heavy user can test positive for 30 days or even more after last use.
How much pee is needed for a drug test?
A urine drug testing requires around 30 mL of urine (DOT requires around 50 mL of urine sample) and is collected in an exclusive restroom. The collector collects the specimen in a bottle that is sealed with a special tape.
How long should a heavy smoker wait to pass a urine test?
Infrequent smokers could probably pass a test conducted 24 hours after the consumption. Heavy smoker should wait at least for five days before taking up urine drug test depending on the frequency of use, and never more than seven days.
To whom is the drug testing kits useful for?
- Employers (Screening only)
- Pregnant mothers
- Individuals testing for personal purposes
- Pre-drug test before (pre-employment) drug testing
- People on detoxification or under treatment regime
- Employees under treatment
- Schools (with the consent of the parents or guardians)
- Nursing colleges and other schools (With the permission from the concerned Federal and State Authorities)
- People living in remote places/countryside
- People on the move (for pleasure and purpose)
- People needing to test in odd hours
- Parents who want to drug test their children
- Police personnel on patrol
- Doctors who need an instant drug test for their patients
Reasons the employers do the drug test
Non-DOT complainant employers normally do drug testing or screening of their employees at the workplace itself. Employees who test non-negative are directed to visit the confirmatory test. Employers go for drug testing primarily for the following reasons:
- Pre-employment test
- Random drug test
- Test on return to duty
- Post-accident drug test
- Scheduled drug test
- Follow-up drug testing
- Drug testing on reasonable suspicion
Drug testing categories
Broadly speaking, there are three ways of drug testing for individuals and employers.
- Instant drug testing
- Same-day-result drug testing
- Drug testing by labs
The factors that influence the mode of drug testing are drug testing purpose, cost, accuracy, and time.
Types of Drug Tests
There are six types of drug tests. Individuals and employers can choose any one or a combination of three, depending on the requirements, compliance and time factor.
- Breath alcohol test (for instant result)
- Urine drug test
- Blood drug test
- Hair drug test
- Saliva or oral swab drug screening
- Sweat drug screening
What type of drug testing can be done with drug testing kits?
Blood, sweat and hair drug testing can be done only in the lab; these tests require expertise and knowledge. Urine and saliva drug test can be done with drug testing kits.
What are the primary advantages of drug testing kits?
- Drug testing kits are comparatively cheaper than lab-based tests.
- Tests can be administrated by non-professional (but instructions supplied with the kits should be strictly adhered).
- Drug testing kits can be used anywhere and anytime.
- More than 20 types of drugs can be detected with drug testing kits.
- Simple and easy procedure.
- Available over-the-counter at nearby pharmacies and stores.
Advantages of using Saliva Drug Testing Kits over Urine Drug Testing Kits
- No Embarrassing Moments
Quite often, it a common for employees to feel shy bladder at workplaces to submit their urine samples. It is an embarrassing situation for both employer and employee. In such circumstances, a saliva drug test is the best option, a win-win situation for all.
- Tamper-Proof, Adulteration-Proof and Dilution-Proof
Employees tend to tamper with the urine sample by adulterating it with bleach or hydrogen peroxide to test negative. Some might try to add water to escape the substance detection. A saliva drug test eliminates the possibilities like tampering, adulterations and dilutions. Thus, saliva or oral fluid test can be considered 100% genuine.
- More Hygienic
Most of the people wouldn't want to deal with a urine sample for genuine reasons like foul smell, infection, leaks, and spills. Urine tests require careful handling and additional things like protective hand gloves, masks, etc. The saliva drug test is totally safe, sanitary, and easy to handle. Just collect the test swab, seal it, and submit for the test.
- Immediate Detection Time
Unlike urine drug test that takes longer for the drug to metabolize and excrete from the body (takes several hours), a saliva drug test gives the result instantly after the consumption. Urine test tends to be inaccurate as it is a time-sensitive specimen.
- Can Be Tested Anywhere
Saliva drug test eliminates the necessity of a bathroom or special room at the workplace. The test can be done anywhere, including open-air or at the very place of accident or at the very instance of suspicious activities. This test is handy at places like sports venues, construction sites, plantations, mining areas, etc.
None can dispute the accuracy of the urine drug test, its accuracy and cost, but sometimes the test can go wrong with several external elements, so 100% accuracy is not always guaranteed.
What are the drug testing panels?
The term drug testing panels refers to the strips or panels that detect a specific drug in a sample. A five-panel drug test detects five types of common drugs in a sample, and 12-panel drug test is used to detect 12 types of drugs in the sample.
How does a five-panel drug test work?
Five-panel drug test consists of five strips, which means five substances can be detected using the five-panel test. The substances are:
- Amphetamine (methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA, D-amphetamine)
- Opiates (oxycodone, oxymorphone, heroin, codeine, morphine, 6-MAM, hydrocodone)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Marijuana (THC, cannabinoids)
Employers may also choose to test for ecstasy, prescription painkillers, anabolic steroids and hallucinogens.
This site attempts to bring facts surrounding the drugs and self drug testing kits to help employers, employees, individuals and anyone concerned with the prevention of drug abuse. We have done extensive research on drug abuse, consulted labs, professionals, experts, and healthcare providers. We assert that this material is like a piece of literature on drug abuse, and under any circumstances, it shouldn't be considered a final word or doctor’s advice. This material, at best, is a piece of information for individuals and employers.