Which Drug Test is the Most Accurate?

Which Drug Test is the Most Accurate?

There are a number of different drug tests available to detect substance abuse. The most common ones are urine drug testing, hair follicle drug testing, and saliva drug testing, but these aren’t the only choices. Despite what retailers and manufacturers may claim, it is difficult to measure how accurate an individual testing kit is. This isn’t to say that any drug test is more accurate than any other, but it is important to consider the context of the drug test when assessing results.

How Does Drug Testing Work?

Instant drug tests have their own unique features and are performed differently, depending upon the specimen type;

1. Saliva Drug Testing

Saliva drug testing involves placing a swab in the mouth for up to 10 minutes, or until a satisfactory amount of saliva has been collected. Some saliva drug tests use colour indicators to show when enough saliva is on the swab. The swab is taken and inserted into the kit, where the saliva on the swab responds to testing strips built into the kit.

Generally saliva drug tests will screen for a number of popular drugs of abuse at the same time. The simplest oral fluid drug test is our 3 drug saliva drug screen. At the other extreme, we now offer a comprehensive 13 drug saliva drug screen.

How Accurate are Mouth Swab Drug Tests?

Saliva drug tests are most accurate when determining how recently drugs were used. They have many advantages over urine drug tests. They have the shortest detection window of every drug testing method. This makes them useful in the event someone is suspected of having used drugs onsite.

2. Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug testing involves the use of either a cup or a dip card. A donor collects a sample of their urine privately using the sterile or integrated cup. An integrated cup has strips built in that respond to the sample immediately. For sterile cups, a dip card is placed into the cup and it will react similarly to the ones in an integrated cup.

Urine drug test kits that can screen for for single drugs only, such as cannabis or cocaine, or they can test for a number of drugs at the same time. 5 panel or 7 panel drug tests are often used by employers in pre-employment testing. Larger drug tests, such as the 12 panel drug test can also screen for alcohol.

How Accurate are Urine Drug Tests?

Urine drug tests are used across a number of industries. This traditional drug screening method comes with plenty of benefits, including having a longer detection window and being able to screen for up to 16 different substances.

3. Hair Drug Testing

A hair sample is taken from close to the donor’s scalp and sent to a SAMHSA-certified lab where it is analysed. Hair drug testing has some drawbacks, including not offering instant results. A hair drug test can take a few days to be completed.

Drug Test Accuracy Statistics

The majority of drug tests are 99% accurate. The accuracy of the results can depend on some individual factors though, including how often drugs are used, cross-reactivity to prescription medication, how much time passed between drug use and testing, and even the metabolism of the donor.

According to WebMD – and accounting for those statistics – a positive result obtained through an instant immunoassay are roughly 90% true, while a negative test result is around 85% true. The good news is that uncertainty over instant test results can be taken care of through laboratory confirmation testing.

What is GC/MS Testing?

GC/MS testing (Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) testing is used in laboratory settings to confirm the initial findings of an instant immunoassay. It is a two-step process that involves isolating the compounds in the specimen first by size (GC) and then by structure (MS). These tests are virtually foolproof, offering an accuracy of over 99.99%.

Best Urine & Saliva Drug Test Kits

11 Panel Drug Test Urine

11 Panel Urine Drug Test Kit – Type A

11 Panel Urine Drug Test Ideal for Workplace Drug Testing Shows Positive or Negative Results for Each Drug Accuracy level of 99% ... Read More

£9.99 £9.15Add to basket

3 in 1 Saliva Drug Test (Oral Fluid Testing Kits)

3 in 1 Saliva Drug Test (Oral Fluid Testing Kits)

This Zoom Testing Oral Fluid Drug Test has been designed to check for the presence of the 3 most common drugs of abuse in the UK today - Cannabis, Cocaine & Heroin. This drug test has a brand new ergonomic design. It's an all-in-one test that simply requires the person ... Read More

£6.99Add to basket

Saliva Drug Test Classic

4 Drug Screen – Saliva – Type CA

A saliva drug test is generally the quickest and easiest way of testing for recent drug usage. This kind of test will also let you know if a person is “under the influence” of drugs at the time of testing or has recently been taking drugs. This test is an ... Read More

£9.99 £8.99Add to basket

Saliva Drug Test Classic

7 Drug Screen – Saliva – Type CA

A saliva drug test is an an extremely precise and reliable screening test. Saliva testing is an alternative to urine testing. Saliva testing can be more donor friendly, less invasive and no facilities are required to carry out the test procedure. There is also the added benefit of near impossible adulteration ... Read More

£11.99 £10.99Add to basket

Saliva Drug Test Classic

13 Drug Screen – Saliva – Type CA

Results in just 10 minutes Tests for 12 drugs of abuse plus alcohol 99% accurate when used correctly Suitable for workplace drug testing, clinics, hospitals etc Quick & easy to use, anywhere and anytime Safe and clean collection process No special training or equipment required CE &  FDA certified ... Read More

£17.99Add to basket

AL6000 Alcohol Breathalyser

AL6000 Alcohol Breathalyser

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not safe. In fact, it is illegal if you exceed the accepted drink drive limits set by different countries. After a couple of glasses of wine, how would you know if you were safe to drive your car home? For many, the easiest ... Read More

£74.99 £69.99Add to basket

Photo Credit: RDECOM’s Advanced Chemistry Laboratory i” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command