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Are Home Drug Testing Kits Trustworthy?

 In Help & Resources for Families

Marijuana has never been more accessible than it is today. Restrictive laws are constantly revisited under the suspicion that cannabis has medicinal powers, and legal distributors are turning profits of incredible magnitude. And yet, drug testing is still considered a vital step in the hiring process for many companies.

Employers want sober workers, and they are well within their rights to impose this requirement. But that also means plenty of potential hires who are crippled by the fear that their recreational habit will cost them an amazing opportunity. At home drug tests are helpful in determining the presence of illicit drugs in one’s body. But the question is: do they work?

Types of tests

The presence of illicit drugs can be tested at home or in a laboratory. Tests are taken by saliva, urine, hair, or blood sample. Salvia is not used very often because the window of detection is so small. Instead, laboratories rely on hair, urine, and blood samples to extract the most accurate information. Home tests are done through a urine sample, which is then compared against a key.

Where can I buy a drug test kit for home?

Home drug test kits can be purchased at most drug stores, like Walgreens or CVS. If you are wondering how much is a home drug test, well,  they can cost anywhere from $5 to $35 USD. But, because home testing does involve some complications, it is smart to buy more than one kit.Where can I buy a drug test kit for home

How to test drugs at home?

Home drug tests are highly sensitive to the presence of drugs, which means results will note any and all abnormalities. This is why it is so important to verify positive results with a laboratory. Only a lab will be able to determine, with absolute certainty, the presence of illicit drugs. Samples are collected through urine, and the results are substantiated by a corresponding test card or strip. It’s important to note that urine must be kept somewhere within the optimal temperature range of 96 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

Complications?

Using a home kit to test for drugs is a risk. Kits can be easily misused or misinterpreted, and the tests do not account for an array of factors that can compromise results. Factors like diet, weight, consumption type and prescription medications can affect the results in a urine test. Faulty kits and improperly stored urine samples can also lead to false reports.

The best course of action is to ask for professional advice and rely on the services of a laboratory. Lab testing utilizes a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) device, which detects the presence of different substances in samples. A GC/MS machine, which is considered the gold standard of testing, is also used in explosives investigations and airport security. Lab tests are also verified by a medical review officer.

The bottom line

Home drug tests do work. They fulfill their one duty that is to detect abnormalities in samples. They are not, however, sophisticated tools that can verify with certainty the quantity or exact nature of those abnormalities. There are far too many factors that can lead to false information.

Illicit drugs, more specifically marijuana, affect everyone differently. Thus, it’s impossible to know how long a drug will stay in one’s system. The best course of action is to be smart. If you are a heavy cannabis user, it’s best to start with laboratory testing. Results will come back with total certainty, which means less money wasted on a home kit.

If you are not a heavy user, it is smarter to begin with a home kit or two. If the results are negative, it is up to your discretion to make the choice you feel is right. If the results are positive, it’s extremely wise to seek the services of a lab. Only laboratory testing will be able to confirm results.

To read more articles like this, check out our news section or reach out to our counselors at United Recovery Project if you have additional questions.

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