Home drug tests are used for many different reasons. Home drug tests are readily available in drug stores and supermarkets. They can also be ordered on-line or over the phone. The convenience, control and privacy that come with performing drug tests at home are the reasons behind why many individuals find themselves purchasing these tests, rather than driving to a hospital or a medical laboratory. Depending on what type of home test you are looking for and where you buy it from, some home drug tests can be fairly affordable as well.
Drug Tests You Can Do at Home
- Home Urine Drug Test
- Home Hair Drug Test
- Home Saliva Drug Test
- Home Nail Drug Test
- Home Sweat Drug Test
Types of Home Drug Tests
There are several types of home drug tests available on the market today. Having been around for a number of years, the most popular one is the urine drug test. However, these days, home drug tests also include saliva drug tests (also called oral drug tests) that are designed to detect the presence of alcohol, methamphetamine, opiates, marijuana and THC. At present, saliva drug tests are gaining popularity as they are considered to be more gender-friendly and sanitary.
Another type of home drug test is the hair drug test. According to experts, the hair drug test is one of the more accurate home drug tests. The only difference with hair drug tests as compared to other home drug tests is that samples need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. A more uncommon method of home drug testing is the blood test.
A sweat or patch drug test is another type of home drug test. What sweat drug tests do is determine if any drugs or their metabolites are present in a person’s body. The latest addition to the types of home drug tests available is the steroids test. With the exceptions of the hair, steroids and blood drug tests, all of the aforementioned home drug tests are known as ‘rapid tests’ as results come up instantly.
Test for Drugs in Urine
As mentioned earlier, the urine drug test is the most popular type of home drug test. There are single-panel urine drug tests and multi-panel urine drug tests. Single-panel drug tests can test for various drugs such as marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamines, oxycodone, PCP, methadone, opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and more. Single-panel drug tests test for one drug at a time. The most popular urine drug test is the marijuana drug test.
Multi-panel drug tests can test for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 or 12 drugs at a time. This type of urine drug test comes with many possible configurations which test for different drug combinations, including, but not limited to the aforementioned drugs tested for in single-panel drug tests.
Urine drug tests are very simple and straightforward in that one merely has to dip the drug test into the urine sample of the person being tested. Urine drug tests are extremely affordable, with prices starting from $3. Urine drug tests detect drug usage primarily within the past week from the date it is taken. They are considered to be highly reliable.
Test for Drugs in Saliva
Though saliva drug tests are slightly pricier than urine drug tests, they are cheaper than those that make use of a person’s hair or blood. Many people consider saliva drug tests their drug test of choice as they are relatively non-intrusive. Saliva drug tests can determine drug usage within the past few days from the day a person takes the test. After following the instructions that come with the test, one needs to send the saliva sample to a laboratory for analysis.
The price of a saliva drug test begins at around $14.
Test for Drugs in Hair and Blood
Starting at $58, the hair drug test is one of the more expensive home drug tests. They are also considered the most reliable. As with saliva drug tests, hair drug tests are also considered to be relatively non-intrusive as it simply requires collecting a hair sample from the person taking the test. However, more than one strand of hair is needed for the test and each strand should be at least one and a half inches long. Unlike saliva or urine drug tests, hair drug tests are not affected by brief periods of abstinence from drug usage. Some hair tests can even determine the period of drug usage and whether discontinuing has occurred. In cases where long term drug testing is necessary, the use of a hair drug test is recommended.
Compared to other methods, the blood test is one of the more uncommon home drug tests used. It is also considered the most intrusive form of drug testing. Though blood drug tests are said to be one of the most accurate home drug tests available, it is not recommended for most drug testing situations, as it has a very short window of detection.
Accuracy of Home Drug Tests
Home drug tests are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A hair drug test is usually the test of choice for matters involving a court of law. Drug tests surged in popularity in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan began to require it for all federal employees to ensure that they were drug-free. Today, drug tests are performed both in work environments and in homes. Parents typically utilize home drug tests if they suspect that their children or spouse, or any family member is abusing drugs.
Although home drug tests approved by the FDA have an accuracy rate of 99.99 %, it is important to note that a number of factors can distort the results of a drug test. These include cheating—your loved one can easily store a sample of ‘clean’ urine for use when needed. Food and substances absorbed by the body such as cold medications, poppy seeds and antibiotics can likewise skew results and cause them to appear false-positive. Not having the skill and knowledge of a qualified medical practitioner can also result in inaccurate test results.
Though testing for drugs at home is highly convenient, it is important to keep these things in mind. Drug tests conducted at home can provide you with only so much information, some at a very high price.
Learn More about Home Drug Tests
eHow: How Does Drug Testing Work?
An informative article about the popularity of drug tests today, finding metabolites in drugs, and brief explanations of the procedures behind urine tests, hair tests and blood tests.
UATests.com: Types of Drug Tests
Provides very detailed information about the various types of drug tests available and how to use them.
U.S. News: 7 Reasons Parents Should Not Test Kids for Drug Use
A news report enumerating seven reasons as to why parents should not test their kids for drug use.