How Accurate Are At Home Drug Tests?

Home > How Accurate Are At Home Drug Tests?

If you’re considering giving your son or daughter a home drug test purchased over-the-counter, you may be wondering how accurate and effective these tests really are.  You may be worried that an inaccurate test result could do more harm than good if it turns out that your child isn’t actually using drugs or alcohol.

What are the different kinds of home drug tests?

Before testing your child for potential drug use, you should understand your test kit options. Different types of drug test kits include the following:

– Saliva test

– Blood test

– Hair follicle test

– Urine test

These tests all have different capabilities when it comes to detecting drugs. A saliva test has the shortest window of detection and for this reason, it isn’t used very often. A blood test is a very accurate way to detect drugs in the system, but is pricier than other tests. 

The next type of test is a hair follicle test. This test has the longest window of detection but is sometimes inaccurate due to outside contaminants. Last is a urine test, which has a long window of detection and is affordable, making it the most common type of drug test administered.

For the purpose of drug testing at home, urine tests are the easiest and often the most popular if you’re searching for a simple home drug test kit. 

At-home drug tests can help indicate whether one or more prescription or illegal drugs are present in your child’s urine—drugs like marijuana, opiate drugs (such as those found in prescription drugs and in heroin), ecstasy, cocaine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and others.

While at-home drug testing can be an effective tool for identifying illicit drugs in the system, the results can be thrown off by food supplements, certain foods and beverages, and medicines. Home drug testing is usually done by taking a urine specimen, which can sometimes be impacted by the factors mentioned above. Additionally, the way a drug test is administered, the way the urine is stored, and what your child ate or drank before the test can all affect the results and create what is called a “false positive.”

It’s important, therefore, to follow through with the second step of standard at-home drug tests, which is to send the urine sample to the lab when a positive result is found. Make sure that if there is a particular drug you are concerned about, that you check the label of the test kit to ensure it is designed to identify that drug.

Also, double-check that your child isn’t tampering with the drug test kit. Have them take the test in your home while you are there to ensure the urine specimen is actually theirs and hasn’t been interfered with.

Getting a negative result from a urine drug test doesn’t necessarily mean that your child isn’t using drugs or alcohol since it takes time for many illicit drugs to appear in the system. This delay can produce a negative result even when drugs are present in the body. Given this, it’s important to test your child periodically if you suspect he or she may be using an illegal drug. For a chart showing how soon different drugs will produce a positive result, visit our website.

If your child is abusing drugs and/or alcohol, the caring, professional staff at Northbound Treatment can help. We specialize in treating people of all ages at our rehabilitation center and have academic programs to help young people in high school and college continue their education while in treatment. 

If you’re looking for a detox program to steer your child away from drug abuse, Northbound Treatment has the resources available to safely set them on the path to success. Our services treat addictions of all kinds, including benzodiazepine, cocaine, heroin, and opiate addiction. We treat each patient based on their exact needs, and offer medical detox, counseling, meetings, and peer support.

At our treatment facilities, your child won’t need to endure treatment alone. We will safely monitor them to ensure their health and will educate them about drug abuse in an effort to deter them from future drug use. 

For more information about our rehab treatment facilities visit our website or call our treatment center today.

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