Instant Drug Testing: Top 5 Things to Know

Instant drug testing as the name indicates provides the most rapid, fast, and rigorous results. To pass an instant drug test could be easy than the lab-based test because the rapid test could only indicate negative or non-negative results. Negative means there is no drug detection while non-negative means the drug is present in the body. For further detection and indication of drugs, the sample is sent for the lab test to detect which drug is present. But overall the major difference between the instant and lab test is the time and accuracy. The instant or rapid drug test could provide results on the spot within just five minutes but it doesn’t provide as accurate results as the lab-based test. In this guide, you will get 5 major things to know before the instant drug test to help you in clearing your whims.

Why and When Would You Use the Rapid Drug Testing?

Instant drug testing is becoming more popular and widely used for the detection of drugs owing to the number of benefits. Mostly it is used in workplaces for the pre-employment test, current employment, or random testing. Medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and federal or local government employees also use instant drug tests. Because the use of drugs by employees can reduce productivity, decrease liability, or may pose safety risks. Private business and some organizations adopt instant testing based on the following benefits:

  • Rapid screening is cost-effective
  • It provides basic and initial signs of drug use for a variety of drug panels
  • Can effectively handle the massive drug tests at the workplace
  • Gives a basic analysis of drug detection for the laboratory test

Which Specimen could be used for Instant Drug Testing?

The laboratory drug tests can detect the drugs in the specimens of hairs, blood, urine, or mouth swab. But the rapid testing could detect the drug’s indication in the oral fluids like saliva, urine, or blood. If massive drug tests are to carry out, then instant drug urine kits are the prior choice. These urine kits can perform efficient random testing and providing results on the spot to predict whether the professionals are healthy to perform duties or not.

How Does Instant Urine Drug Test Kits Works?

When a person takes drugs, their metabolites enter the bloodstream and are expelled out of the body via urine. The instant drug urine testing kit can detect the presence of metabolites in the urine.

The working of instant urine testing kits is simple. The urine specimen is introduced into the device and it starts automatically. The screen of the device shows the results within 2 to 5 mins of the activation of the device. Then the officer will collect the results on the documents. Results of the instant drug urine testing kit are in the form of:

  1. Negative: the drug is not present
  2. Non-Negative: indicates the use of a drug

There will not be positive detection on the screen. For a further indication of the type of drug and to authorize the test in court matters, the urine undergoes a laboratory test. The lab test will provide accurate and authentic results for the drug abuse.

In addition to the usual drug detection, alcohol testing services are also available with these instant kits. A breathalyser screen gives evidence of alcohol use.

Process for Undertaking of Drug Urine Test

There is a complete process for instant drug urine testing. The test is performed under strict protocols to avoid any disturbance in the results. A collection officer collects the samples. There is also identification of the individual by the ID, driving license, or passport. Then the copy of the result is also sent to the organization or employer if needed and they will decide if they want the lab test for the confirmation of drugs. A meticulous eye is required during the sample collection. Because the sample may be altered by others and the instant drug testing device could not detect if the sample is real or not.

Types of Instant Drug Panels

Based on the types and numbers of drugs that can be detected by an instant drug test, the urine kits are available in these types:

  • Instant 10-panel drug test kit
  • Rapid 5 panel drug screen
  • Instant 4,7, 8, and 12-panel kits

The most commonly used kits are 10 and 5 panel instant kits.

The instant 10-panel drug test is not much common as the 5 panels. But its major benefit is that it can detect the drugs in the blood samples also. The 10-panel urine drug test quest diagnostic detects the drugs for these major groups. These groups are:

  1. Amphetamines
  2. Cannabis
  3. Cocaine
  4. Opioids
  5. Barbiturates
  6. Benzodiazepines
  7. Methadone
  8. PCP
  9. Propoxyphene
  10. Methaqualone

Window time for the instant testing is very short as compared to the lab tests. The detection time for the major drugs by 10-panel urine kit is as follow:

Cannabis3-30 days
Amphetamines2 days
Opioids1-3 days
Barbiturates10-15 days
Methadone2-7 days
Cocaine2-10 days
Benzodiazepines2-10 days
Propoxyphene2 days

The 5-pannel drug testing kit detects the following groups of drugs:

  1. Cocaine
  2. Opioids
  3. Cannabis
  4. Amphetamines
  5. PCP

Pros and Cons for the Instant Drug Urine Testing Kits

Along with the benefits of instant drug testing, there are certain limitations and cons to it. Consider all the benefits and drawbacks and then decide would you opt for it or not.

Pros:

  • Provides instant and rapid results within few minutes
  • Cost-effective
  • Can detect various drugs groups including alcohol
  • Provides initial signs of drug abuse for lab-based test

Cons:

  • The detection time for the drugs is short on average about 3-5 days. For better results, a hair drug test/laboratory test is recommended.
  • Lab-based tests have more accuracy than instant drug tests.
  • Due to the false results or limited accuracy, instant drug testing is legally defensible in any court.
  • To get the right samples for drug testing in the workplace, the safety of toilets is essential to prevent donor adulteration
  • Lab-based testing confirmation is further required for the detection of the drug in case of non-negative results.
  • DOT doesn’t accept the Instant drug test.
  • Detects limited drug panel

What Does Law Say about These Drug Test?

The laws for instant drug testing vary by state. Each state has its own law regarding the instant drug test. Some state allows it and some prohibit it. San Francisco and California prohibit random drug tests for all kinds of employees. Some organizations that fall under the federal regulation, only allow lab-based drug tests. In states like Arkansas and Colorado, there are no specific laws for drug testing. These states follow the federal rules laws.

Passing a Home Drug Test Vs Lab Test Drug Test

Passing a home or instant drug test could be easy and fast as compared to a lab test. A lab-based test requires a chain of protocols to ensure the person is abusing drugs or not. It requires the trained MRO to collect the specimen and t identify the results. In a lab test, initial screening governs if the sample is correct or not and has traces of metabolites in it. Then the sample is subjected to the detailed test where the type of drug is tested in the sample. It provides accurate and authentic results that could be used in court-type matters. But the Instant drug testing just provides a quick review of the negative or non-negative results with limited accuracy and chances of error. Moreover, the instant drug tests are defensible in the court.

Instant Drug Testing: FAQ’s

Q: What Factors Should Be Considered Before Accessing the Instant Drug Testing Vs Lab-Based?
A: Numerous factors can be considered but the important factors are the accuracy and the turnaround time. Other vital factors include convenience, the state laws, and the objective of the company for testing, the authenticity of test results, and the availability and responsibility of a person to collect the on-site sample for evaluation. A key factor could also play a part that if your company could afford the test results in the case of employees. So, by all the factors choose the testing program that suits you best.

Q: Are the Instant Drug Testing Results Could Be Subjected to Lab-Based Tests?
A: The instant drug testing results undergo a lab-based test for confirmation. The non-negative results of the instant testing should be sent to a laboratory to detect the type of drug used.

Q: Is Instant Drug Testing Legal in Every State?
A: Instant drug testing is not legal in every country. Every state has its own laws and you should check these laws before the test. Some states follow the federal laws for instant drug testing and others completely prohibit based on the following points. These states demand the following procedures: sample collection procedures, list of custody protocols, drug cutoff level, lab-based confirmation, MRO verification, and the use of FDA-approved devices.

Q: Is the Instant Urine Test Valid for the US Department of Transportation (DOT)?
A: No, the instant urine test is not valid for the US department of transportation. Instead, they accept the laboratory-based test.

Q: Is the Specimen Validating Process Necessarily Part of Instant Drug Testing?
A: To detect sample adulteration, some kits use the process of specimen adulteration. SVT feature is present in Express Result cups and Express Result online tests.

Q: Why the Specimen that Screens Non-Negative in the Instant Tests Screen Negative in the Lab Test?
A: This is quite common that the specimens screening non-negatives in the instant test are sometimes negative in the lab-based test based on a few potential reasons. The devices for instant drug testing uses immunoassay technology to detect the drugs and their metabolites. The screening may fall to cross-reactivity and interference. The cross-reactivity happens due to the opioids and other over-the-counter cold medications which may detect non-negative based on the similarity in the structure of these compounds. To overcome this problem, the Mass Spectrometer instrument is utilized for more precise and accurate results. But this is more expensive than the former one,

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