At home drug tests are designed to detect a variety of common illegal drugs. Depending on the type of kit you get, at home drug tests have the capacity to detect up to 14 different substances. The most common is the standard 10 panel test. It screens for cocaine, marijuana, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, and Quaaludes. At home drug tests are designed to give accurate results, similar to lab-based testing methods using professional equipment. They typically use urine or oral fluid (saliva) specimens and can deliver results within a 5-10 minute time frame.   

The at home tests work by analyzing a sample that the user collects by themselves. The test contains a small absorbent material inside that’s usually hidden under an adhesive film or paper tab. When you give your sample, the compounds in your urine or saliva will react to this material and change color. The instructions with the testing kit will indicate what colors correspond to which substances. These tests are comparable to lab-based tests in sensitivity and accuracy in detecting what drugs are present. 

Home Drug Test: Remote Work Solution, But Comes With Limitations 

The COVID-19 outbreak changed the traditional employment landscape. Many companies shifted their operations to remote work during the pandemic. The assumption was that things would go back to normal after the health crisis. Instead, remote work became the new normal. Having an uptick in remote employees has certainly added a layer of complexity to creating a drug-free workplace. But it’s still an important program, even in a virtual or hybrid-model setting.  

Workplace substance abuse can lead to decreased productivity, high turnover, higher accident rates, increased physical injuries, and fatalities. It can also damage a company’s reputation.  Because of this, companies want to mitigate their risks. A home drug test option for remote workers has become a good adaptation to the traditional methods of drug testing. 

As mentioned above, at home drug testing kits are comparable to the sensitivity and accuracy of lab tests. But they have one major caveat. At home tests indicate that a particular type of drug is present in urine or saliva, but not how much of it. Lab-based drug tests have the capacity to provide more detailed information about the specimen. The levels of illegal drugs that are in the system can indicate chronic or recreational use. This information can help determine if there is an addiction issue at hand. It can direct next steps for the employee. 

A home drug test is also not equipped to determine the time frame of the most recent use, or whether or not someone is currently under the influence of certain drugs. Because of this, at home tests should not be used as a guide in making critical decisions regarding treatment options. At home drug tests provide accuracy, but they have limitations. They will give you a positive result or a negative result in regards to the presence of drugs— but that’s all. Experts recommend sending samples gathered at home to a laboratory for further testing if you need more detailed information about presumptive positive test results. 

The Soteria Solution 

In summary, according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, while no drug tests of any kind are 100% accurate, at home tests are very sensitive to the presence of drugs in the specimen. However, they do have their limitations and will only indicate the presence of what drugs you are testing.

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, it is our mission to provide personalized, effective, and efficient drug & alcohol testing. This includes compliance programs nationwide for companies and for individuals. Soteria Screening works with three laboratories, instead of one. This is to help expand the network of facilities able to provide our variety of services. 

We are a premier drug screening lab that understands that drug and alcohol testing programs ensure the safety and productivity of your workplace. If you need a drug test or drug and alcohol testing solutions, we can help. Reach out to us today. 


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