The Health J

Healthy Tips and Information


Are Home Drug Tests Accurate?

Regular drug testing is common among most Americans. Many companies continue to test their employees for drugs such as cannabis, despite the fact that it is now legal in most states. And, unfortunately, a positive drug test could end up costing you your job.

So, if you have an imminent drug screening and are unsure whether you will actually pass, you might want to consider running a home drug test first. These self-test kits are available in drug stores for just a few dollars, and they can save you a whole load of hassle.

But just how correct are home drug tests? Let’s take a look.

Types of Home Drug Test

There is a variety of home drug test, and you might have to find one which is appropriate for you. As well as deciding whether to analyze your hair, saliva, or urine, you need to make sure that the home drug test kit checks for the particular substances you suspect you may test positive for.

Some of the commonly tested drugs include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy
  • Opioids
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates

Be certain to read the label properly to ascertain that the test covers all of the substances that you are concerned about.

How accurate are Home Drug Tests Accurate?

Although some home drug test kits such as the First Check kit claim to be 99 percent accurate, there are many factors that can influence the results of these home tests. The accuracy of home drug tests can be impacted by the following:

  • Whether the test is carried out within the window of accuracy
  • Whether the test was done correctly
  • How the sample or test was stored
  • What was you had eaten or drunk before the test
  • Any other over-the-counter or prescription medication is taken before the test

Due to all these factors, a home drug test cannot be considered 100% accurate unless a professional laboratory has retested the sample. You can get a false positive due to the presence of OTC or prescription medicines. A false negative could be due to improper storage of the test, an expired test, or conducting the test too early or too late.

The ‘window of accuracy’ for a drug test depends on the drug being tested for. It is also influenced by the individual’s usage habits, metabolism, and lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

Home drug tests are rationally accurate, provided that you perform them correctly. Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that could trigger a false positive or negative by lowering the accuracy of the test. A false negative could be as a result of an expired test or improper storage of the sample. Likewise, a positive home test cannot be confirmed until a professional laboratory has checked it.