Are at home drug tests reliable?

Home drug tests, also known as drugs of abuse home use tests, are tests that screen for illicit and prescription drugs that may be present in a urine sample. While many people opt for at-home testing for a sense of privacy, how accurate are they?

The experts at Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory are here to explain the reliability of at-home drug testing.

Substances that At-Home Tests Screen For

When doing an at-home drug test, it is important to keep in mind that they are qualitative tests and not quantitative tests. This means that they only test to see if a certain substance is present in the urine sample, not how much of the substance is present. This makes it important that you then send the sample to a lab for further testing if an at-home test comes up positive for a substance.

The substances being testing can depend on the type of drug test that you’ve purchased. However, the most common substances that they can test for include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids
  • Amphetamines
  • PCP
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Ecstasy
  • Oxycodone
  • Valium

What Factors Can Impact Results

When it comes to at-home drug testing, the tests themselves are quite sensitive to the presence of substances. However, some foods and medications can result in a false positive, making it imperative for you to send your sample to a lab for more accurate results.

Other factors that can impact your testing result include:

  • How the tested urine was stored.
  • How the test itself was stored.
  • What was eaten or drank before the test.
  • If certain over-the-counter medications were taken before the test.

Whether you receive positive or negative at-home test results, at-home testing is not 100% accurate. If you suspect that the person being tested is using drugs regardless of the results you’ve received, further testing is recommended.