When thinking about drug test results, most people assume that there are only two options – positive and negative.  This is actually not true.  Sometimes a drug test will come back inconclusive. What does this mean, and what causes an inconclusive drug test?  Find the answers to these questions and more below.

What is an inconclusive drug test?

Put simply, a drug test is inconclusive when the lab does not know if it is positive or negative.  The test results are unclear, so rather than assume something, the lab technicians mark the test as inconclusive.  Because drug testing is a specific, scientific process, drug screening experts do not want to guess on anything.  They would rather say they don’t know than put the wrong result down.

What causes inconclusive drug test results?

There are a few different causes of an inconclusive drug test.  One possible cause is a diluted sample.  Some people will mix their urine sample with water if they fear what their drug test results will be.  Others drink an excessive amount of liquid before the test.  While this could be an innocent mistake, often it is done to purposely mess with the drug test results.  Either of these things water down the sample and can lead to unclear results.  Another cause of an inconclusive drug test could be the testing in and of itself.  If the samples aren’t stored or tested properly, the results may be inconclusive or simply incorrect.  Employers should find a drug screening lab that they trust to test their workforce.

What will happen if my drug test comes back inconclusive?

Some people worry that if a drug test for a job comes back inconclusive, they will get fired.  This isn’t necessarily the case.  While some companies may not hire potential employees with inconclusive test results, it is unlikely businesses would fire someone because of it.  More often, they will simply have you take the drug test again.  Getting inconclusive results twice in a row may indicate that a person is trying to rig the test.

For example, if someone drank a lot of water right before their first test and got inconclusive results, that would be counted as a mistake.  If they did it again after specifically being told not to, that seems like they have something to hide.  This could lead to getting fired.  The more likely outcome, however, is that the test will come back either positive or negative the second time around.  Tests that are retaken usually come back with normal results.

Can other types of drug tests come back inconclusive?

Urine tests are the most likely to get inconclusive test results.  This is because they are the easiest samples to tamper with.  It is less likely that a different type of test would have unclear results. The only reason a hair or breath alcohol test would come back inconclusive is if the drug test itself is messed up in some way.  This is very rare.

Need drug test results you can trust?

Are you a business looking to drug test your employees but aren’t sure where to start?  Soteria Screening Laboratories can help.  Their laboratory has years of experience with many types of tests, including urine, hair, spit, and breath.  Soteria Screening can test for alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, opioids, and other drugs.  They believe that drug testing is one of the best ways to keep your workplace safe for employees and customers.  Contact them today to learn more or to order a drug test.  Call (202) 679-6670 or visit them online at www.soteriascreening.com.

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