Drug Test FAQ's & At-Home Drug Test Options
What is a Drug Test?
A drug test is a technical analysis of a biological specimen, for example urine, hair, blood, breath, sweat, and/or oral fluid/saliva—to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites.
Most tests require either a swab, a urine test, a small pinprick blood test, or a combination. The samples are then sent to a lab, where they are processed.
The resulting report from the testing lab will look like our Prank Reports!
Why do people get Drug tests?
Why might one want to use or request a drug test? There are many reasons – to determine if someone you love is doing drugs, to help keep someone in the process of getting clean disciplined, to see if someone is being honest to you about their problem, to see if someone who is in recovery is clean enough to pass a drug test for work or to test yourself.
In some instances Drug tests are required, i.e. legal cases, employment, etc. There are a variety of reasons for taking them, and a variety of ways to do it.
How much are Drug tests?
When shopping for a home Drug test kit, you’re looking at several factors. Mainly though, which drugs would you like to tests do you want to test for? Then, what sample method do you prefer, urine/blood/swab? Depending on drugs and sample type it can range between tens of dollars to potentially a few hundred dollars.
How Accurate are At Home Drug tests?
Accuracy varies. Some companies are CLIA-approved (meaning they’re regulated by The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services) and have medical labs with highly trained professionals.
Other companies might not have technicians with the same level of training and experience, leaving more room for error.
We recommend choosing only CLIA-approved companies when possible.
Accuracy of urine based tests:
Each strip contains a Control and a Test region. The Control region allows you to see if the test is functioning correctly. A line should appear in the Control region (or Control regions, if your test is a multiple drug test) each time you test. Its appearance indicates that the test is working correctly and the results can be trusted.
The test uses the principle of drug competition to produce a result. In a urine sample containing drugs, the drugs will bind to the strip and prevent the formation of a line in the Test region. In a urine sample without drugs, the antibodies on the strip will react by producing a line. It is a thoroughly researched, tested and FDA cleared process, accepted by businesses and governments across America.
Tests vary in accuracy from 97-99% but all included below are above the 95% threshold. These tests are widely used and generally, if someone’s test is negative, no further testing is performed and the person is considered clean.
Accuracy of hair based tests:
Hair based testing is also an accurate way to screen someone for drug use. It is in fact more sensitive than urine drug testing, as its detection levels are much lower. Hair testing also indicates not just positive or negative, but how frequently someone uses a drug – low, medium, or high use (please note: this feature is available with all our hair tests except the PDT-90).
The only issue with the accuracy of hair drug testing is that marijuana is not always easy to detect. If someone smokes marijuana rarely it might not show up on the test. This is because THC has difficulty binding to the hair follicle. If you are interested in testing for marijuana exclusively urine drug testing is a more accurate method. All other drugs tested for by our hair drug tests are tested with great accuracy and at levels more sensitive than those of urine tests.
Top 5 At-Home Drug Test Options
One of the newest and most powerful brands on the market, PreScreen Plus Mini is considered the best at home drug test by many. This exam is easy to use and can give you an accurate read very quickly. All your questions and worries will be answered almost immediately. You won’t need to wait for hours as in just 5 minutes; it will screen for 12 of the most popular substances and opioids. It’s like a mini laboratory setup!
The PreScreen Plus Mini testing kit is extremely easy to use—simply fill the cup, seal it, and wait for the results to come in. You can view your results in just 5 minutes and should never be interpreted after 10 minutes.
The 12-panel kit comes with 25 testing strips, meaning that once purchased, you can keep any unused strips on hand for future exams. This is a huge bonus for anyone who is expecting to complete several screenings in the near future, or for those employed at a company that conducts random substance screenings every few days.
Most importantly, PreScreen Plus Mini is known for its high substance accuracy. Before we tested this product, we were a little skeptical of this claim. However, of all the home drug test kits we researched and based on the results we found, this product was the most accurate, able to detect even the smallest traces of a substance. What makes this exam stand out is that it goes beyond your standard urinalysis to ensure the user is completely clean from the most commonly used substances and opioids
Overall, we’re giving the PreScreen Plus Mini our #1 rating as the best at home drug test on the market. FDA-approved with an impressive 99% accuracy, this exam allows you to effectively screen for even the smallest amounts of the most popular substances—something that is so important when you are trying to complete a drug test for a job or medical record. Complete with 25 strips, this product offers an outstanding value for the price.
Another top 5 OTC drug kit is manufactured by ITG Labs. Unlike PreScreen Plus Mini, however, ITG Labs manufactured different types of screenings designed to check for individual substances.
Each ITG Labs test is designed differently depending on the substance it is checking for. However, in most cases, results are available within minutes. To use this product, you simply need to dip the testing strip into a urine sample and wait for the results.
ITG Labs claims to be +90% effective, and we find this claim to be true for the specific substance that the test is checking for. The main drawback being that it tests substances individually.
This could be an advantage for some if you are only interested in seeing the results for a specific substance. However, in our urine test, we found that 10-panel or 12-panel brands that check for multiple substances at once tend to produce more accurate results. This is because there is always a risk when purchasing illicit substances on the street that they may be laced with very small quantities of other substances. In many cases, these quantities are so small that they don’t even produce results, but even the smallest trace could be detected in an official drug screening. A kit with all panels would be able to clear on all substances.
ITG Labs earned a spot on our top products list for several reasons. This brand is easy to use and provides accurate single-substance results thanks to its substance-specific formulation. For those looking to screen for a specific substance, ITG Labs offers a lot of options, allowing you to choose the test that is catered to your needs.
However, for those looking for a comprehensive at home drug exam that will resemble any exam you do for official records, we recommend a multi-panel test instead.
Care Check is a company that offers customers an easy-to-use solution to take care of all their needs at home using a simple strip. With the intention of providing a package that can be used several times, the company offers a kit that has 16 checks for marijuana alone and another kit that screens for 14 different types of substances.
Sold both individually or in packs, this kit is another great option for those looking for fast in-home results.
Using this product could not be any easier. The kit contains detailed instructions for use to yield lab-accurate results in less than 5 minutes. One simply needs to immerse the strip in urine, lay it flat, and read the results.
The individually wrapped strips stay sterile, fresh, and ready for use until the user chooses to open them and immerse them in urine for checking. This drug testing kit meets all FDA standards and has been FDA approved.
In trials of this product, its been found to be fairly effective. If you are only interested in screening for marijuana and not substances like ecstasy, heroin, and amphetamines, the Care Check marijuana test produced very accurate results in our trial. However, be cautious, as many strands of marijuana could be laced with small traces of other substances that most official drug exams check for. Due to this possibility, we highly recommend using the multi-panel test even if you are only interested in screening for THC.
A staple at-home drug kit, Care Check ranks top 5 on our list of best drug tests on the market. While this brand offers a great value in terms of price and effectiveness, we did have a few issues that landed it lower on the totem pole than some of the other brands on this list.
Primarily, we found this test to be somewhat difficult to read in certain trials due to an extremely faint T line. While the instructions state that even the faintest T line indicates a negative result, some of our users misinterpreted the results because they didn’t immediately notice the second line. However, strength of use for marijuana testing, and extreme ease of use, make it a solid option still.
Easy@Home is a company that develops reliable and trustworthy options for users. Offering a screening for users of marijuana and another type that screens for 12 commonly checked substances, users can find a choice that covers many different types of drugs.
With easy and accurate results, the Easy@Home kits are very convenient as they come with multiple usage with each order. Typically sold in 5 packs, this allows users to complete the process numerous times as needed.
Similar to the others on the list, this product is extremely easy to use. After collecting a urine sample, simply dip the testing strip with the absorbent side down into the urine and hold for about 10 seconds. Make sure the urine does not exceed the ‘max’ line. Results should appear within seconds (one line for positive, two lines for negative) and results should never be read after 5 minutes.
Easy@Home screens for 12 of the most commonly used substances with an impressive 99% accuracy. However, in some testing processes, there are rare instances of an issue that made the results difficult to read.
As outlined above, the results are either indicated by a single line (meaning positive), or two lines (meaning negative). In certain tests of this urine drug test kit, some users received an extremely faint second line, making the results a little misleading.
Easy@Home’s drug testing kits have been FDA Approved and CLIA Waived for OTC use. They also meet SAMHSA standards for substance abuse screening. While the company does not offer individual products for each substance you may want to check for, the quality is fairly reliable, and the company provides a solid option for those looking to check for traces of substances present in urine.
If you want to check for 12 substances at once and aren’t too concerned about differentiating between those substances—or if you are primarily concerned about marijuana—then Easy@Home should be great to get the job done for you.
Identify Diagnostics offers a high-quality drug exam that has been used both at home and by professionals. In just a few minutes, Identify Diagnostics test for 5 of the most popular substances, with six times the standard sensitivity for opiates
Using an Identify Diagnostics test is simple. Just dip the testing strip into a urine sample, and within a few minutes, results should begin to show. These products can often be purchased in packs, making it easy to store them for the future.
Identify Diagnostics boasts an impressive 99% accuracy and can screen for five of the most common substances at the same time. With a minimum detection amount of 300 ng/mL, this kit is considered one of the best at-home drug tests for opiates on the market. In fact, many other brands are only able to detect opiates of 2000 ng/mL.
We find that Identify Diagnostics is easy to use and offers quick and discrete results. It's main flaw is that it only checks for 5 drugs, while many other tests that are equally as powerful and affordable check for 12. This limited capacity means that you will not be screening for as many drugs as you would be in an official exam. However, the extreme ease of use and high accuracy for the 5 most common types still make it a strong option.