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Drug Test FAQ

Questions and answers related to drug tests

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions drug test FAQ. We strive to provide answers for our customers to their drug testing questions.

Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions about drug tests and drug use, details which can help determine how our drug tests can work for you.

If you have any further questions, please contact our customer support, we will do our best to answer them.

Why is a drug test required?
The purposes of most drug testing (pre-employment, post-accident, school, random) is to detect the presence of drug use. Qualitative urine tests are used to quickly screen the sample for the presence of abused drugs. If the sample is positive for a certain drug, further testing takes place by sending the sample to the laboratory for GC/MS quantitative analysis.

What is a drug screening test?
A screening test is a rapid diagnostic test that gives you a qualitative (visual) results for presence or absence of the drug. These are also called positive / negative tests interpreted by the number of lines that are present.

Are the rapid drug tests as accurate as GC/MS?
Urine drug tests are qualitative screening devices, which means they only determine the presence of drugs at detection limits comparable to SAMHSA cut-off concentration. GC/MS (Das Chromatography / Mass spectroscopy) is a laboratory technique that uses sophisticated equipment quantifies the concentration of drugs in the sample. This technique takes time and is very expensive.

What is the expiry date of urine drug testing devices?
Urine drug tests have a shelf-life between 12-18 months from the date of manufacturing. The expiration date and Lot # of devices is indicated on a foil pouch. It is recommended that you confirm the expiration date prior to administering a test.

Do urine drug testing results hold up in court?
Rapid drug test only provides a preliminary analytical test result - visual - qualitative test. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result - such as gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS) - see above. Any result taken to court, must be confirmed through quantitative tests...

How long can drugs be detected in the urine?
Simple rule of thumb for most "street drugs" is about 2-3 days. It usually takes a few hours after drug use for drugs to be detected in the urine.

How long do drugs stay in the system?

Amphetamines 2-6 days
Barbiturates 3-8 days
Benzodiazepines 2-14 days
Cannabis / Marijuana 14-30 days
Cocaine 2-5 days
Methadone 2-8 days
Methamphetamines 2-6 days
Opiates 2-5 days
PCP 3-8 days
Tricyclic Antidepressants 10 days

What are the drug screening cutoff concentrations?
The SAMHSA cutoff levels are as follows:

Amphetamines 1000 ng/ml
Barbiturates 300 ng/ml
Benzodiazepines 300 ng/ml
Cannabis / Marijuana 50 ng/ml
Cocaine 300 ng/ml
Methadone 300 ng/ml
Methamphetamines 1000 ng/ml
Opiates 2000 ng/ml
PCP 25 ng/ml
Tricyclic Antidepressants 1000 ng/ml

How accurate is drug testing in urine?
Laboratory test results for drugs of abuse have indicated a greater than >98% accuracy when used according to the provided directions.

Is it possible to test positive for THC (Marijuana / Cannabis) from exposure to second hand smoke?
It is not! Urine concentrations of THC above the cut-off sensitivity level of the test, or a positive result, is possible only through use / inhalation. However, second hand smoke will be in the system, but not at the concentrations that would indicate drug abuse.

Can commonly used chemicals and substances such as vitamins, penicillin, aspirin, caffeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol), affect the results?
No - the results are not affected by these substances. Urine drug tests are substance and derivative metabolite specific. The commonly taken medications are chemically and structurally different after being metabolized by the body from the drugs being tested for and therefore, under most circumstances, they do not interfere with test results. However, please bear in mind that different drug tests have differing relationships with certain medications...

What if my child takes prescription or over-the-counter drugs?
You should be aware of what your child is taking, and what type of drug it is. For example, ADHD medications are amphetamines, so you will show positive in that drug category. Anti-anxiety medications are benzodiazapines. If your child takes medication daily, you may want drug testing to be performed by your child's doctor.

Are there any legal medications that can trigger false positive results?
Yes there are drug specific medications that can cause interferences. The most common problem is the pseudoephedrine in many over-the-counter sinus and cold medications that can cause a positive result for methamphetamine. A GC/MS confirmation, as well as a MRO review, is necessary to determine the source of the positive drug test result.

What is the difference between Methamphetamine and Amphetamine?
Methamphetamine is the parent drug. It metabolizes into amphetamine in the body. Both amphetamine and methamphetamine are potent symphathominetic agents. Methamphetamine and/or amphetamine are both excreted in the urine.

Which DOA (drugs of abuse) category covers Ecstasy?

Are Morphine, Opiates, and Heroin the same kind of drug?
Yes, they are all tested using the Opiates test / sometimes also referred to as a Morphine test..

Can I put less than three drops of urine in the test?
NO, the test will not run properly.

What happens if my teen says that the drug test is wrong?
These tests have greater than 98% accuracy. These are the same tests used by law enforcement, employers, etc. Make sure your child is not taking any OTC or prescribed medications that would interfere with the drug test results. Your family doctor can order confirmation testing if you believe it may be necessary.

Am I invading my teenager's privacy by requesting a drug test from them?
There must be a suspicion on your part in the first place since you are thinking of testing your children. This is not as much a privacy issue, but more of parenting issue. Some kid's do not make the best choices and until they grow up they need the guidance in the right direction. You are responsible for your child's well being, so if you have a "no drug" policy with your child they should understand why you are requesting a confirmation on that subject. You can offer them a great reward if the test is negative - this will usually do the trick.

What should I do if my teen refuses the drug test?
A teen that is "clean" will usually be happy to prove it to you that they are good. You should use your own discretion and if necessary obtain support from your family doctor if the child is a suspected drug user. In the worst case, assume that the drug test was positive and seek further confirmation.

Can my teenager "trick" the test?
Yes - be aware that there are a number of ways that your teen can "beat" the test. However, proper test procedure should eliminate the possibilities of a teen switching their urine specimen with another, or tampering with the specimen. Drinking large volumes of water will dilute the urine, thereby reducing the concentration of drugs in the urine. Try to test in the morning - since first morning urine is most concentrated. The detection of some drugs, such as amphetamines, is affected by the pH of the urine. Also, there are fluid intake adulterants that can neutralize the drug or it's metabolite so it shows as absent on the test.

What about products that "clean" the urine for drug testing?
There are many of these products on the market today. Most are too expensive for teens, and must be taken soon before a drug screen is given. If your testing policy is random, they will not know when to expect a drug test at home. Therefore they will be unable to "prepare" for the test.

Will exposure to passive marijuana second hand smoke result in a positive marijuana test?
The most common excuse for a positive marijuana test is, "I was around some people who were smoking pot." Research has shownthat casual exposure to marijuana smoke will not produce a positive test. A person really has to work at being exposed to "passive" smoke to create a positive test. Very close confinement, without ventilation, with several smokers, for a period of over an hour, may result in a low, but measurable amount of marijuana in urine and blood. This demonstrates that even though the person may not have directly inhaled the smoke from a marijuana cigarette, they inhaled enough second hand smoke to get high. In our opinion, if a person tests positive for marijuana, the issue of whether they smoked the marijuana directly, or whether from intense and prolonged exposure to second hand marijuana smoke is irrelevant. The reasonable choice should be clear!

What should you do if you receive positive drug test results?
All positives should be considered presumptive and should be sent for confirmatory testing. The most popular method is Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectroscopy, an instrument used to test the sample to identify drugs of abuse. This is the confirmatory testing. It will measure the levels of the drug in the urine and make sure it is actually an illegal narcotic and not an over-the-counter medication. For pre-employment most businesses do not confirm. If the potential employee is currently on a prescription or over the counter medication, as noted before taking the test, and they show positive, they can either retake the test at a later date or bring in the prescription medication to prove the positive is not illegal. If a positive should occur of either THC (Marijuana) or cocaine, please note there are no cross reactive over the counter or prescription medications for these two drugs.

Why would my test show positive and the confirmatory test show negative?
Urine drug test may have picked up an over-the-counter medication or prescription. The confirmatory test will determine the difference in the substance detected.

Why is the top control line not showing?
If the control line is not showing then please re-read the instructions enclosed and follow the literature with instructions enclosed and try the test again. In some cases the control line may not show because you may have flooded the test by putting too much urine in it - or urine was added too fast.

When only the test line shows up, is it a positive result?
NO, in this instance the control line did not show up, therefore the test is invalid. For a positive test, only the control line will be visible.

I got a positive result on Methamphetamine when I was was taking Pseudoephedrine sinus medication. What should I do?
Check the cross-reactant guide under the heading of METHAMPHETAMINE and look for the possible cross-reactant drug. Pseudoephedrine is listed as a possible cross-reactant for Methamphetamine. Retest the person 4-5 days after they have not taken the medication.

I opened a pouch that I am not going to use right away. Can I save it?
NO, once a pouch is opened the test must be used. The active ingredients of the tests are moisture sensitive.

What are the common street names for the drugs?

Amphetamine Speed, amp, bennies, black beauties, chalk, uppers, hi, speed balls, beans, hiballs, beenie babies
Methamphetamine Crystal, meth, ice, glass, speed, icebergs, bergs, ecstasy
Cocaine Coke, crank, snow, flake, crack, blow, rock, line, snuff, sugar, snort, stones
Marijuana Pot, weed, herb, bud, MJ, doobie, reefer, joint, blunts, grass, rope, hemp, roach
Phencyclidine (PCP) Angel dust, sherms, star dust, magic dust, dust, silver/gold glitters
Opiates (heroin) Horse, smack, hairy hombre, H, scag, jones, fix
Barbiturates Benzodiazepines Downers, uppers, highway, lows, reds
GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyerate) G, Liquid X, Liquid E, Scoop, Soap, Gook, Grievous Bodily Harm, Georgia Home Boy, Natural Sleep-500, Easy Lay or Gamma 10
Rohypnol roofies, Roche, R-2, rib and rope

How long after cocaine use can it be detected in the urine?
Cocaine is excreted in the urine primarily as benzoylecgonine in a short period of time. Benzoylecgonine can be generally detected for 24 to 60 hours after cocaine use or exposure. Exact clearance rate times can't be determined since the metabolic rate is individualized depending on weight and other factors.

What are the most common Drug Tests and metabolite concentrations in urine?

Symbol Target Drug / Metabolite Conc
THC marijuana / cannabis 50 ng/ml
COC cocaine / benzoylecgonine 300 ng/ml
PCP phencyclidine 25 ng/ml
OPI opiates / morphine 2000 ng/ml
MET methamphetamine 1000 ng/ml
AMP amphetamine 1000 ng/ml
MTD methadone 300 ng/ml
BAR barbiturates 300 ng/ml
BZO benzodiazepines 300 ng/ml
TCA tricyclic antidepressants 30 ng/ml

FAQ Part 2

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