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At-Home Drug Testing

At-Home Drug Testing

Test Quick Guide
Drug testing detects whether a person has used certain prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs. At-home drug tests can screen for traces of these substances in various samples such as urine, saliva, breath, or hair to provide information about recent drug use.
Testing for drug use at home typically involves several steps. An initial screening drug test offers preliminary results about whether a substance was detected. If test results are positive, follow-up testing by a doctor is needed to confirm positive test results.
Physician-ordered laboratory tests are the most accurate way to detect evidence of drug use. While at-home testing may provide helpful information, using an at-home drug test is not a replacement for testing performed at a laboratory or doctors office.

About the Test

Purpose of the test

The purpose of drug testing is to find evidence of recent use of illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs. Drug testing may be performed for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Legal or forensic testing
  • Drug treatment programs
  • Athletic testing
  • Medical testing
  • Monitoring for prescription drug misuse
  • Military testing  

There are several options when looking for evidence of drug use, including physician-ordered and at-home drug tests. The following sections provide further information about both at-home and physician-ordered options.

Self-tests are also called rapid tests, drug screening tests, or point-of-care tests. These tests analyze a test sample at home, often providing preliminary test results within minutes. Positive results on a self-test require follow-up confirmation testing by a certified laboratory. Some self-test kits include the supplies needed to send a sample to a lab for confirmation testing.

Self-collection tests allow you to prepare a test sample at home and mail it to a laboratory for analysis. Many self-collection tests provide both an initial screening test as well as confirmation testing. Results may be available within a few business days via email, a secure website, or a smartphone application.

It is important to remember that a self-test alone cannot prove if a person has used a certain drug. In order to be considered conclusive, results from self-tests must be confirmed by laboratory testing.

What does the test measure?

There are many types of drugs that can be detected through at-home drug testing. Test options vary in the drug(s) they look for as well as the sample used for testing.

Some at-home drug tests identify the drug itself while other tests check for drug metabolites, which are byproducts that remain as the drug is broken down in the body.

Drug tests can detect evidence of drug use only within a specific time frame that can range from minutes after exposure to several days, weeks, or months. This period of time, called a detection window, depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of drug
  • The amount and frequency of use
  • The type of sample being tested
  • The rate at which the drug is metabolized and eliminated from the body

At-home drug tests are available that detect a wide variety of illegal, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs including:

At-home drug tests may focus on only one drug of concern or can test for several drugs simultaneously in a panel test. There are many different drug panels available for at-home use. One such panel, the 10-panel drug test is available as an at-home kit and detects 10 commonly abused drugs.

Types of At-Home Drug Tests

There are a variety of options for at-home drug testing, including tests that use samples of urine, saliva, breath, or hair.

Urine drug tests are the most common way to look for evidence of drug use at home. At-home urine testing involves collecting urine in a container and testing it using a paper test strip, cassette, or other device according to instructions contained in the package.

Identify Diagnostics – 10 Panel Drug Test Cup 
Price: See best price on labsolutions
Type: Self-test
Sample: Urine
Tests for: thc, coc, amp, bzo, bar, mop, tml, , pgb, alcohol, k2
Results timeline: 5 minutes

With its simple design, built-in temperature strip, and ability to detect a broad range of drugs, the 10 Panel Drug Test Cup from Identify Diagnostics is our pick for best overall at-home drug test.

This all-in-one test features a collection cup and drug test strips combined into one device. This means that after collecting a urine sample in the cup, you just screw on the cap and wait to read the results.

Test results are viewable after five minutes using the built-in test strips. The results are only accurate for a short time, so it’s important to discard the test after 10 minutes.

Tampering with samples can affect the results of drug tests, so Identity Diagnostics includes a temperature strip that ensures the sample is freshly collected. Within 2 to 4 minutes of collection, the temperature strip should register between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most Affordable
7Panel Instant Drug Test Kit

Price: See best price on labsolutions
Type: Self-test
Sample: Urine
Tests for: thc, coc, amp, bzo, bar,mop,tml
Results timeline: 5 minutes

The 7 Panel Instant Drug Test Kit from lab solutions is our pick for the most affordable at-home drug test. The test combines simplicity, accuracy, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, allowing you to conduct regular drug testing without breaking the bank.

This test has been cleared for at-home use by the FDA and has also received a federal waiver for professional use in laboratories. As with any at-home drug test, it’s important to remember that results are preliminary and should be confirmed by an additional lab-based test.

To conduct the test, start by collecting a small amount of urine in a clean collection cup. Then open the sealed pouch containing the test panel and remove the cap that protects the absorbent end. Submerge that end in the urine sample, making sure not to immerse it past the max fill line. Leave the absorbent end of the test panel in the sample for exactly 10 seconds, then lay the test flat on a clean, dry surface.

After five minutes, the results can be interpreted based on instructions provided in the test kit. Don’t try to read the results after the five-minute mark, as they may become inaccurate after this point. If you have any questions while conducting the test, labsolutions responds to inquiries by email or through its toll-free customer service line.

4 Panel Drug Test Kit
Price: See best price on labsolutions
Type: Self-test
Sample: Urine
Tests for: thc, tra, benzo, opiate
Results timeline: 5 minutes

Right sign  4 Panel Drug Test Kit is our pick for the most comprehensive drug test. In addition to the drugs typically included in smaller test panels

The test kit includes instructions, a urine collection cup, and a set of disposable plastic gloves. Testing is straightforward: just remove the cap, collect fresh urine in the collection cup, and read the results on the side of the cup after five minutes. To ensure that the urine sample is fresh, the collection cup includes a temperature strip.

Lines appear on the test strip for each drug being measured. If two lines appear, including two faint lines, the test is negative. If only the control line appears, the test is positive.

Right signs  Panel Drug Test Cup Kit is more than 99% accurate. It has been cleared by the FDA for home use and has a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments waiver for professional use.

Interpreting At-Home Drug Test Results

Interpreting the results of your at-home drug test depends upon the type of test used and whether the at-home test kit included laboratory confirmation testing.

For self-test kits and other at-home drug tests that do not include confirmation testing, results are often interpreted by checking the test strip for the presence of a colored band according to instructions in the test package. Possible test results include:

  • Positive:A positive result on an initial drug test provides only preliminary evidence of drug use and requires confirmation testing. A positive result does not mean that a person is currently intoxicated or has a substance use disorder.
  • Negative:A negative result indicates that no evidence of drug use was detected in the sample. A negative test applies only to the drugs included in the test. A negative result can occur if a person isn’t using drugs, if they last used a drug outside of the timeframe of the detection window, or if the test kit was expired.
  • Invalid:Self-test kits usually have a way of indicating invalid test results. In many tests, checking the validity of the test result requires looking for the presence of a specific colored band on the test strip.