For nearly forty years, drug testing has been a regular part of employment and application processes. Employers test their workers to create a safer and more productive environment. In these cases, companies can utilize both an at home drug test and laboratory testing.


Both test types have pros and cons and differences in accuracy, affordability, and time efficiency. Let’s take a deeper look.


How Accurate are At Home Drug Tests?


Yes, employers can ask their employees to perform an at-home drug test. However, companies may opt for a laboratory test when they need the utmost accuracy in determining the results. But how accurate are at home drug tests, and how do they measure up to laboratory tests? Consider these need-to-knows before proceeding.




You may assume that an at-home drug test is a more cost-effective option, but this isn’t always true. The at-home tests aren’t always as accurate as a lab test, so there’s a possibility that you’ll have to take it more than once. Using these test kits more than once can result in unnecessary expenses over time. 


Conversely, a laboratory test can sometimes be covered by insurance. Companies can also apply to utilize workplace credits by complying with drug testing. This is an excellent option if employers know they’ll be incorporating drug testing regularly!




With drug testing, accuracy is essential, and laboratory testing is more accurate than an at-home test. False positives are rare, so employers would be wise to choose lab testing for weighty matters. Not to mention, labs offer a more comprehensive array of tests that employers can include. 


Moreover, laboratories have safety and cleanliness protocols that are essential to the drug testing process. It’s less likely that a test will be damaged or inconclusive in a lab setting. If you’re looking for an accurate result, you’ll want to choose a dependable and  trustworthy place.


Time Efficiency  


Yes, at-home tests take less time to complete. Drug test kits are convenient and deliver results almost immediately (within five to ten minutes). Meaning, you won’t have to wait as long as a lab. Labs usually take 24 to 72 hours to deliver an accurate result.


This said, efficiency does not always guarantee accuracy. If exactness is critical in your testing situation, it’s advisable to make an appointment at a laboratory. 


At Home Drug Tests vs. Lab Testing 


Though at home drug tests are easy to use, they’re best for non-employment-related circumstances. Even if an at-home kit claims a 99% accuracy rate, employers opt for using a laboratory to ensure their employees’ physical and mental health.


Additionally, if an employer needs to take legal action against an employee, they’ll want to use a laboratory test. Tests in a lab are accurate enough to be used as evidence in a case, whereas employees (or employers) can claim at-home tests as uncertain. 


Though both procedures are pretty accurate, a lab test will ensure quality and reliability. There’s no nationwide prerequisite for a drug-free workplace. However, a few laws and regulations are in place to protect workers’ rights and mitigate workplace substance use. Some laws to consider include the following:



Choose a Reliable Laboratory!


When researching at home drug tests vs. lab testing, it’s essential to keep these considerations in mind. Regular testing can increase job retention, lower accident rates, and create a healthier workplace environment. 


If you’re looking to implement drug and alcohol testing at your company, look no further. Here at Soteria, we can help you with your needs and questions. With high-quality staff and necessary testing protocols in place, we’ll precisely deliver accurate tests. 

Contact us for more information about how to get started.

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