What does this test do?
This is a one-step test to indicate if one or more drugs of abuse are present in urine. First, you do a quick home test, then, if the test suggests that one or more drugs may be present, you send the sample to a laboratory for additional testing. There are many different tests on the market. You must buy a test that checks for the drug or drugs you are looking for.
What are drugs of abuse?
Examples of drugs of abuse include marijuana, cocaine, opiates (including heroin), amphetamines (including Ecstasy or MDMA), and PCP (angel dust). Prescription drugs, such as codeine or other painkillers, also may be abused.
What type of test is this?
This is a qualitative test -- you find out whether or not a particular drug is in the urine, not how much is present.
Why should you do this test?
You should use this test when you think someone you care about might be abusing drugs.
How accurate is this test?
The at-home testing part of this test is fairly sensitive to the presence of drugs in the urine. This means that if drugs are present, you will usually get a preliminary (or presumptive) positive test result. If you get a preliminary positive result, you should send the urine sample to the laboratory for a second, more accurate, test.
It is very important to send the urine sample to the laboratory, because at-home tests often give positive results when no drugs are actually present. Some tests are wrong more than half of the time. Certain foods, food supplements, beverages, diet pills, or over-the-counter medicines can cause a reaction with the tests.
Laboratories use a very reliable test, with very few errors, to determine whether or not your sample contains drugs of abuse.
Note that all amphetamine results should be considered carefully, even those from the laboratory. Some over-the-counter medications contain amphetamines that cannot be distinguished from illegally-abused amphetamines.
Many things can affect the accuracy of this test, including (but not limited to):
- the way you did the test
- the way you stored the test or urine
- what the person ate or drank before taking the test
- any prescription or over-the-counter drugs the person may have taken before the test
Does a positive test mean that you found drugs of abuse?
No. Take no serious actions until you get the laboratory's result. Remember that many factors may cause a false positive result in the home test.
If the test results are negative, can you be sure that the person you tested did not take drugs?
No. There are several factors that can make the test results negative even though the person is using drugs. First, you may have tested for the wrong drugs. Or, you may not have tested the urine when it contained drugs. It takes time for drugs to appear in the urine after a person takes them, and they do not stay in the urine indefinitely; you may have gotten the urine too soon or too late. It is also possible that the chemicals in the test went bad because they were stored incorrectly or they passed their expiration date.
If you get a negative test result, but still suspect that someone is abusing drugs, you can test again at a later time. You should also consider using a test that looks for other types of drugs. Talk to your doctor if you need more help deciding what steps to take next.
How soon after a person takes drugs, will they show up in a drug test? And how long after a person takes drugs, will they continue to show up in a drug test?
The drug clearance rate tells how soon a person will have a positive test after taking a particular drug. It also tells how long the person will continue to test positive after the last time he or she took the drug. Clearance rates for common drugs of abuse are given below. These are only guidelines, however, and the times can vary significantly from these estimates based on how long the person has been taking the drug, the amount of drug they use, or the person's metabolism.
||How soon after taking drug will there be a positive drug test?
||How long after taking drug will there continue to be a positive drug test?
|Speed/Uppers (Amphetamine, methamphetamine)
How do you do the one step test?
You first get a urine sample. Depending on the test, you add a few drops of urine to a test card or other device, or you dip a test strip onto the urine sample. The test cards or strips contain chemicals that react with the drug and show some visible result. Often a visible change may mean the drug of abuse is not present. Read and follow the directions carefully and exactly.