At-Home Urine drug Tests vs. Lab Urine Drug Tests

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The at-home urine drug test and the lab urine drug test cannot be distinguished simply by their names. Most people believe that lab urine drug tests are more accurate than the at-home urine drug test. But there are several other differences between instant drug testing and lab drug tests.

The most common question among the people is, “If I pass the home-based urine drug test, can I pass the lab urine drug test too?”. The answer is “maybe.” If you buy the best drug test kits from a trusted drug store, then there are chances that you can pass your lab test.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is an instant drug test and lab drug test?
  2. Is a home urine drug test accurate enough as a lab urine drug test?
  3. MRO reviews the lab drug test
  4. Laws about instant drug testing and lab drug testing
  5. What should the organization decide – Instant drug testing kits or Lab urine drug tests?
  6. Which is expensive – Home drug testing or Lab urine drug test?

What is an instant drug test and lab drug test?

An instant urine drug test kitis a kind of drug test in which the tester uses a testing kit to identify the presence of drug metabolites in your body. It might take 5 minutes to expose the results. An instant drug test is medically indicated as “Immunoassay screening,” revealing drug traces in that particular panel of drugs. The results can be either negative or non-negative (They are not officially accepted). If the results are positive, a laboratory drug test is conducted to confirm the results.

A lab urine drug test uses urine specimens to analyze the presence of illegal drugs in the system. It could take nearly 2 to 3 days to get the results. A lab-based drug test can screen for any drugs. The organization should indicate the presence of the particular panel of drugs to the lab to get the results accordingly.

Is a home urine drug test accurate enough as a lab urine drug test?

Of course, not. A home urine drug test cannot be so accurate as a lab drug test. I can explain to you why. The lab urine drug test uses a 2-step process in analyzing the presence of drug metabolites in the system. Firstly, they do a screening process and run a GC/MS test to confirm the drug test results (If you fail your screening).

GC/MS is a confirmation drug testing method that can identify actual substances with accuracy that you cannot doubt. The GC/MS test should be conducted only by certified lab professionals, and they are reviewed regularly by the SAP professionals and Medical Officers.

GC/MS drug testing can help know the levels of the drugs present in the body, but a home-based drug testing kit cannot determine that.

Read more: What Are the Benefits of Laboratory Information Systems?

MRO reviews the Lab drug test

MRO (Medical Review Officer) reviews the lab test results but not the home-based urine drug test results. The latter is not confidential and cannot be produced as reasonable evidence in courts.

Laws about Instant drug testing and Lab Urine drug testing

The Federal government considers the drug testing results of lab urine drug tests only. Some organizations that follow the state government’s drug testing guidelines may or may not allow instant drug testing. At the same time, some states may allow instant drug testing kit results. The state may require a confirmation test if the results from instant kits come as “Non-negative.”

Every state has its unique drug testing law. Learn more about the drug testing laws in your state.

What should the organization decide – Instant drug testing kits or Lab urine drug tests?

  1. If your company has safety-sensitive positions, they should conduct lab urine drug tests per the federal government’s DOT guidelines.
  2. If your organization considers accuracy than speed, it is better to go with lab drug tests for all kinds of drug testing.
  3. If your company is large with many tests to be conducted, it is sufficient to use trusted drug testing kits to get immediate results.
  4. It does not need to be an either-or decision. Make your decision as per your company’s drug testing policy and the prevailing situation.

Which is expensive – Home drug testing or Lab Urine drug testing?

Theoretically speaking, home-based urine drug testing is more expensive than lab drug testing. It is not to be considered based on the price. A lab drug test can cost $75, and home-based test kits may cost around $35. But there are chances that the instant drug testing kits may fail to produce results, while lab drug tests can produce active results unless you have given a diluted sample. If you choose the best drug test kits from a trusted drug kit supplier, the instant drug test kits may sound cost-efficient. If you are an employer and need instant results, it is better to choose bulk drug testing kitsupplies at an affordable price with attractive discounts.

Final words

Both Home-based urine drug testing and lab drug testing are beneficial in their ways. It is up to the decision of the employer to choose their mode of drug testing as per their company policy and requirement. 

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