How To Read A Drug Test Result From The Lab?

How To Read A Drug Test Result From The Lab?


Reading urine drug test results is very easy. You can dip the test strip and wait for the results and check them after five minutes. But it may not reach the accuracy of the lab drug test results. You can mail your sample specimen to US Health Testing for further analysis if you get positive results in your instant urine drug test or urine drug screening.

If you receive the lab result, you need to interpret the positive or negative results corresponding to each drug.

You can easily interpret the drug test results of USHealthTesting. Book your nearest lab (within 5 mile radius) for any kind of drug testing requirements at USHealthTesting which offers lab testing nationwide in 3000+ locations.  Just enter your zip code, choose the nearest lab, and the drug test of choice. 

You might have doubts on how to read a drug test result from the lab. Here is the solution.

Table of Contents:

  1. Significance of Urine Drug Test
  2. Collecting and Testing the Sample
  3. Interpreting the Drug Test Results in the Strip - An Overview
  4. Interpreting the Lab Drug Test Results

Significance of Urine Drug Test

  1. Simple, Easy to use, and one-step procedure.
  2. The Federal Government recommended testing procedures.
  3. It can detect several drugs above the cut-off levels.
  4. It can detect recent drug use/illicit drug metabolites like THC, Opiates, COC, etc.
  5. It can produce accurate results within minutes.
  6. It is performed during Forensic, Medical, Military, and Athletic Testing.

Collecting and Testing the Sample

Testing the urine sample using high-quality urine drug test kits is easy if you follow the required guidelines. 

  1. Collect the urine sample in the collection cup. Make sure that the individual you are testing fills the cup with urine up to the indication line on the side of the cup. 
  2. If you cannot find any indication line in the cup, it is better to fill the cup halfway; that could be sufficient.
  3. Confirm the temperature of the collection cup using the temperature strip. Make sure that the temperature falls within the range of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit ( 32-38 degrees celsius).
  4. The urine sample should be pale yellow. If the sample is very clear, then it might be diluted with water or any diluting agents. Ask the candidate to provide another sample. 
  5. You will have to insert a dip card or strip into the collection cup to test the urine. Ensure that you dip the card into the urine up to the line indicated in the cup.
  6. If the drug testing kit has a panel attached to the cup, there is no need to dip the card. Collecting the sample is enough. Make sure that that strip in the panel is saturated in the urine. 
  7. You need to wait for 5 minutes to allow the test strip to identify the drug test results. The testing chemicals will react with the urine sample to find any drugs present in the sample. 
  8. You should not wait more than 10 minutes after sample collection as it could show inaccurate results.

Interpreting the Drug Test Results in the Strip - An Overview

You can find two regions in the test strip that can help you identify the test results - The Test region and the Control region. The control regions will indicate the test is functional. The test region will differ from one panel to another, as the number of test regions will be based on the panel you choose to test. The control region is marked with C, and the Test region is marked with T. 

Most of the employment drug tests in the United States would be a standard 5-panel drug test for screening employees as per the federal drug testing guidelines. That means the test strip would contain one control region and testing regions labeled as marijuana, cocaine, etc. 

The test is positive if you cannot find any line in the test region. The colored line will always appear in the control region. If there is no line in the control region, then the drug test is considered invalid. A colored line in the test region and the control region is deemed to be negative. The intensity of the colored line does not matter in your drug test strip. A faint line does not indicate that you have small amounts of drug traces. 

If you get your drug test results as positive, you need not panic. You can confirm your results by sending your test results to the lab for further analysis. Your drug test kit package will contain the mail address to send the particular panel to be tested in the lab for confirmation. This could help prevent the false-positive results you might have got via your instant drug testing kits.

Interpreting the Lab Drug Test Results

You need to consider certain things while interpreting the drug test results from the lab.

  1. Check the name and identification number in the report to ensure that the results are for the individual you sent for testing.
  2. If you find it is for the wrong person, do not hesitate to inform the lab immediately. 
  3. Never read the results if it is for the wrong person, as it might lead to the breach of medical privacy.
  4. The lab report will contain a series of drugs and whether you test positive or negative near them.
  5. You can look through and identify the substances that the particular individual has taken. The report might have plus sign to detect positive results and a minus sign for negative test results. A five-panel drug test might include results for five drugs, ten-panel for ten drugs, and so on. 
  6. The drug test report might also include some notes regarding the presence of drug traces in your urine sample. You can find them in the lab test information section. For instance, if you have high traces of marijuana in your sample, the test report would say "Marijuana detected."
  7. Check for any notes or abnormal results in the lab notes section of your drug test report. If the lab detected anything abnormal in the sample, they might indicate the reason for the abnormality. For example, if your given sample is diluted, the indication could be given as “Diluted Sample”. The indication passage might vary according to the lab.
  8. If such an abnormality happens, you need to provide the sample again to administer the test to provide precise results.
  9. Drugs that can be interpreted using a urinalysis - Amphetamines, Methamphetamine, Phencyclidine (PCP), barbiturates, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, opioids, MDMA, synthetic opiates (hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, etc.), and other prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. A 5-panel test can detect only 5 major illicit drugs whereas a 12-panel test can detect even prescription drugs and OTC drugs.
  10. If your urinalysis (Initial screening) comes out positive, a confirmatory test would be conducted in a SAMHSA authorized lab to confirm the result. GC/MS ( Gas Chromatography/ Mass spectrometry) test is the common confirmatory test to identify drug abuse/substance abuse.
Book your nearest lab (within 5 mile radius) for any kind of drug testing requirements at USHealthTesting which offers lab testing nationwide in 3000+ locations.  Just enter your zip code, choose the nearest lab, and the drug test of choice. Your results will be sent directly to your or your organization. If the results are positive, an MRO (Medical Review Officer) will review your results. USHealthTesting adheres to a strict chain of custody protocol.

    Final Words

    Drug tests have become mandatory in all spheres of life in the United States. The Federal and State governments have taken stringent measures to control drug addiction and came up with drug testing guidelines for employment, child custody, and even pregnancy. 

    If you are getting your urine drug test, make sure that you know better about identifying the test results in instant drug testing strips and lab test reports that might help you in the long run.

    Older Post Newer Post