There are 2 major types of drug testing kits on the market that is available for commercial use: urine drug testing kits, and saliva drug testing kits. Depending on the situation, our sales and customer service team would usually recommend a drug testing kit that suits you best. Here is a quick Q&A for you, so that you can narrow down which drug testing kit piques your interest.
How do you do a drugs of abuse test?
These tests usually contain a sample collection cup or saliva swab. These drug tests (it may be test strips, a test card, a test cassette, or other method for testing urine and saliva) usually come with the kit, as well as an instruction leaflet or booklet. It is very important that the person conducting the test reads and understands the instructions first before collecting the sample. This is important because with most test kits, the result must be visually read within a certain number of minutes after the test is started.
You collect urine in the sample collection cup and test it according to the instruction, likewise you collect saliva via the swab test, and place it within the container. If either test indicates the preliminary presence of one or more drugs, the sample should be sent to a laboratory, whereby a more specific chemical test will be used order to obtain a final result. If you have questions about using these tests, or the results that you are getting, you should contact us at 1300 800 200.
What do these tests do? These tests indicate if one or more prescription or illegal drugs are present in urine. Individual drug testing kits detect the presence of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamines, PCP, benzodiazepine, barbiturates, methadone, tricyclic antidepressants, ecstasy, and oxycodone. Do bear in mind that certain drug testing kits tests for specific drugs, whereas there are others which tests for most illicit drugs. Be sure to read which drugs are testable when buy your drug test kit.
The testing is done in two steps: first, perform a quick at-home test. Second, if the test suggests that drugs may be present, proceed to send the sample to a laboratory for additional testing.
What type of test are these? These are qualitative tests which helps you identify a particular drug within your urine or saliva, but not the exact amount of how much of that drug is present.
When should you do these tests? You should perform these tests when you suspect that someone might be abusing prescription or illegal drugs. If you are worried about a specific drug, make sure to check the label to confirm that this test is designed to detect the drug you are looking for.
How accurate are these tests? The home testing part of this test is quite sensitive to the presence of drugs in the urine. This means that if drugs are present, you will usually get a preliminary (or presumptive) positive test result. If you get a preliminary positive result, you should send the urine sample to the laboratory for a second test.
It is very important to send the urine sample to the laboratory to confirm a positive at-home result because certain foods, food supplements, beverages, or medicines can affect the results of at-home tests. Laboratory tests are the most reliable way to confirm drugs of abuse.
Many things can affect the accuracy of these tests, including (but not limited to):
- the way that the test was conducted
- storage of the test/ urine
- foods or drinks consumed prior to the test
- any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs the person may have taken before the test
*Note that results that show amphetamines should be carefully noted, even when laboratory testing yields positive results. Certain over-the-counter medications will yield the same test results as illegally-abused amphetamines.
Does a positive test mean that you found drugs of abuse? No. Do not take serious action until you get the laboratory's result. Remember, many factors may cause a false positive result in the home test.
Remember that a positive test for a prescription drug does not mean that a person is abusing the drug, because there is no way for the test to indicate acceptable levels compared to abusive levels of prescribed drugs.
If the test results are negative, can you be sure that the person you tested did not abuse drugs? No. No drug test of this type is 100% accurate. There are multiple factors that can make the test results negative, even though the person is abusing drugs. Firstly, you may have tested for the wrong drugs. Or, you may not have tested saliva or urine when it contained drugs. It takes a while for drugs to appear in the urine after a person takes them, and they do not stay within the body indefinitely; you may have collected the urine or saliva samples too late or too early. It is also possible that the chemicals in the test went bad because they were stored incorrectly or they passed their expiration date.
If you receive a negative test result, but still suspect that someone is abusing drugs, you may test that person again at a later time.
How soon after a person takes drugs, will they show up in a drug test? And how long after a person takes drugs, will they continue to show up in a drug test? Drug clearance rate tells how soon a person may have a positive test after taking a particular drug. It also tells how long the person may continue to test positive after the last time he or she took the drug. These are only guidelines, however, and the times can vary significantly from these estimates based on how long the person has been taking the drug, the amount of drug they use, or the person's metabolism.
For more information, and where to purchase drug testing kits, browse our full range of drug testing kits here.