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The Pros And Cons Of Drug Test Kits

Drug test kits are used in a wide variety of settings from schools through to homes, businesses, organizations, sports teams and even within the military and other government agencies. Drug test kits, like any other testing device, can have both positive and negative attributes, however most drug test kits that are CLIA waived and FDA approved are going to have very few cons.


CLIA waived drug test kits have been approved by the United States Federal Drug Administration to be accurate and effective when administered as per the directions provided in the kit. This eliminates the need for all samples to be sent to a registered laboratory to be interpreted and reported. Using CLIA waived FDA approved tests allows the manager, regulatory body or even a parent to test for a wide variety of drugs including alcohol and tobacco use right on the spot.


Drug test kits each have their own unique design and are typically read slightly differently from each other. One possible drawback to using a group of kits instead of one specific type of drug test kit is that the administrator of the kit may misread a test based on their experience with a different brand or type of kit. It is therefore very important that the test administrator closely read and follow all instructions provided with individual drug test kits to avoid any possible confusion or mishandling of the test or the results.


Generally most drug test kits for private or business use are going to use samples of either urine or saliva to test for the presence of drugs. Each type of kit also may include slightly different devices or panels to read and report on the presence or absence of the specific drugs it tests for. Urine tests may use a cassette, cup or dip option of testing. Cassette tests require that a small sample of urine be placed in a well on the cassette, which is then used in the test. Cup systems are easy to use since the sample is collected in the cup then attached to the testing device. The urine is then distributed through the testing device and read, with the results presented in window. Dip test include a pre-treated set of test strips, typically on a panel, which are dipped into the urine and then placed on a flat surface to be processed.


Saliva drug test kits include either a sponge or a spoon like device that allows for the collection of saliva from the subject's mouth. They then operate like a cassette or cup type system, typically showing results within 10 minutes. Breath tests for alcohol are also available, as are specific nose swab tests for influenza. Although not a specific drug test the nose swab influenza tests are commonly used for quick detection of influenza A and B.


As with any type of drug test kits, either in a lab or done privately, it is important to follow all instructions. While they are fast, accurate and cost effective, they are also limited in their ability to detect smaller amounts of drugs or drugs that are not within the test spectrum. Understanding the limitations of the drug test kits will also help determine which kits are the best option and what separate or individual testing may also be important based on your own unique testing needs.