What Is the Purpose of an At Home Drug Test Kit?
At home drug test kits are a quick and easy way to screen yourself or a loved one for the potential abuse of recreational and illicit drugs. These types of kits are inexpensive and easy to use. Depending on the type of test you decide to use, the process is usually 2-3 simple steps. The results appear directly on the test and are available after about 5 minutes of saturation.
What Are the Different Methods of At Home Drug Testing?
The three most common types of at home drug tests are urine dip cards, urine cups, and mouth swab drug tests.
- The urine dip cards are known for being the most cost effective at home option. Users will collect a urine sample in a collection cup, dip the test into the sample and results will appear in 5 minutes or less. You can test anywhere from one single drug up to 12 different drugs with urine dip cards.
- The urine drug testing cups involve the same testing process as the urine dips, except the sample is collected directly into the cup, no dipping required. Simply provide the sample and wait for results to appear. Urine cups test anywhere from 5 up to 14 different drugs. These cups also have the available feature to add adulteration strips. These strips test the integrity of the urine to ensure the sample has not been tampered. (Note: adulteration strips can also be purchased separately to be used in conjunction with a urine dip card).
- Saliva drug tests or mouth swab drug tests are the least invasive at home testing option. This method involves the use of a collection sponge to saturate in the individual’s mouth for about 5-10 minutes, placing the sponge into the collection chamber and waiting for the results to appear within 5 minutes. Saliva testing is a great option for many at home testers because it allows to to watch the individual take the test – there is no invasion of privacy and the chance for the sample being tampered decreases significantly.
How Accurate are These Types of Tests?
Most at home kits are CLIA waived – this means that they are cleared by the FDA to ensure they meet clinical guidelines. CLIA waived tests were created to provide laboratory-grade testing supplies that easy to use for anyone and provide reliable results. CLIA waived tests are advertised as 99% accurate. Although these tests can give the reader a good idea of potential drug abuse, all results should still be considered ‘presumptive’ and sent to a laboratory for confirmation testing. This is especially true for positive results that could potentially have major implications depending on the situation of the individual taking the test.
What Drugs Can Be Included on These Tests?
At home tests offer a wide variety of combinations available to test at once – you can test anywhere from one single drug all the way up to 14 different drugs at once. The Major Drugs of Abuse (MDOA’s) are:
- Cocaine (COC)
- Marijuana (THC)
- Amphetamine (AMP)
- Methamphetamine (mAMP)
- Opiates (OPI)
- Oxycodone (OXY)
- Benzodiazepines (BZO)
- Barbiturates (BAR)
- Buprenorphine (BUP)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Methadone (MTD)
There are also other “specialty” type drugs that can also be tested at home. Examples of these drugs are:
- Tramadol (TRM)
- Fentanyl (FEN)
- Carfentanil (CFEN)
- Methaqualone (MQL)
- Flakka (a-PVP)
- K2 Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
- AB-Pinaca (ABP) or “K3” (Synthetic Marijuana)
- EtG – Ethyl Glucuronide – (Alcohol)
There are many different configurations (combinations) available for each type of test. You can use our interactive filter to pick and choose which drugs you need to test for to quickly see which test is right for you.
How Long Does Each Drug Stay In the System? How Long After Using Will the Test Screen For These Drugs?
This is what is known as the detection period. Detection periods range depending on which drug is being used, the frequency of use, and the body composition of the individual using the drugs. These are the main factors that influence the detection period of any given drug. The below table illustrates typical detection periods for each MDOA.
How Do You Interpret the Results of the Test?
Each tests includes a testing strip for each specific drug. If you order a 5-panel drug test, you will have 5 different strips, one for each drug. If you order a 12-panel drug test, you will have 12 strips, and so on. Upon saturation in the sample, each strip will “wick-up” and you will see either one or two red lines. The top line, or “control” line should always be present. If this line does not show up, the test is invalid and should be discarded. The bottom line, or “test” line is the one that determines whether the test is positive or negative. If the test line is visible, the result is negative. If the test line is not visible, the test is positive. Please note, a faint line on the test line indicates a negative result. The “boldness” of the line does not determine how much of the drug in questions is present in the system, it is simply a nuance of the test.
Overall Benefits of At Home Drug Tests
These types of at home drug tests are a great way to quickly and effectively screen anyone who is suspected of abusing drugs. The main benefits of at home testing are:
- Cost effectiveness – purchasing these types of tests from big box retailers will cost close to $30 for one test, purchasing these tests online will allow you to get more for less without sacrificing quality
- Accuracy – many at home tests are CLIA waived, or of “laboratory-grade” and provide reliable results that allow you to make an informed decision for the next step in your testing process
- Turnaround Time – results are available in 5 minutes or less. Why send out to the lab and pay $40, only to sit around for 1-3 days waiting on your results?
- Variety – choose from nearly any combination of the major drugs of abuse to test for your specific needs. Options ranging from dips to cups to mouth swabs leaves room for anyone’s budget to find what is right for them