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Drug Test Results

How to read drug testing results

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The drug test results provided by drug-aware test kits are very simple to read.  Of course, all of the drug test kits we provide come with both detailed test instructions and quick start instructions, but we have also offered a simple description of how to read drug test results below.

Firstly, we should cover the correct test procedure.

Integrated drug test cup procedure

Integrated Drug Test Cup Procedure Image

1) Remove the test from the foil pouch.

2) Ask the patient to remove the cap using the pull tab, and to provide a urine sample.

3) When the sample has been sealed in the cup, the patient should hand the integrated test cup back, at which point the urine sample temperature should be read.  The test has a temperature strip affixed to the side which reads body temperature (32 - 37 degrees C).  As long as you can see a green coloured square on the temperature strip, this is considered a valid sample temperature - effectively ruling out the substitution or dilution of the urine sample. 

More detailed urine collection procedures.

4) Placing the test kit on a flat surface, insert the key into the socket, activating the test kit.  Start a timer.  Drug test results can be read within 5 minutes.

Drug Test Procedure

5) Peel off the label to see the test results appear.

Peel off label for Drug Test Results

6)  Read the test results.  The test is completed and can be read at 5 minutes.  Negative results can be determined as soon as a test line starts to appear, but positive results should only be determined at the full 5 minute read time.  More detailed information is below:


How to read Drug Test Results

Drug Testing KitsWhen reading the results on one of our 7 drug integrated test cups you are essentially looking for any test or control lines which may be missing. A fully negative and unadulterated sample will display a total of 12 purple / magenta coloured bands. This will be made up of 4 lines on the left-most test strip - which tests for 3 different drugs, along with 2 lines on every other strip.

You will see a control line at the top of each test strip within the device (marked by a small "C") and a test line below - which is present for each of the drugs tested for (marked with a small "T", or 1, 2, or 3 if on the first strip). If there is any kind of adulterant present from a patient's attempts at contamination of the sample - such as adding bleach - the control lines will not form. If any of the seven classes of drug we are looking for are positive, the test line for that corresponding drug will be absent.

This is because the drug has bound itself to the chemistry within the test and prevented the purple / magenta line from forming where it should have. When this happens, it is obvious. No matter what angle you hold the test, or what light source you use, the line cannot be seen.

In rare cases, where someone has previously used the drug you are testing for, they may show a faint line on their drug test. You must still interpret this as negative. i.e. A line is a line. The reason for this is that this person MUST have abstained from the drug for a number of days before getting to such a low level of drug in their body to test negative. It is just the last traces of drug leaving their system, so at this point they are technically negative.


Drug Screening Retention Times

How long after taking drugs will you get a positive drug test result?  Well, different drugs are detectable in urine for different lengths of time. Factors including age, height, sex, weight, purity of drug, dose, how often the drug is used, etc, will all play a role in how long drugs remain detectable in a patient’s urine sample. Please use the following figures purely as a guide, as the upper limit can represent extremes:

Alcohol (Breath / Saliva)  -  1 hour per unit consumed

Amphetamines - 2 to 6 days

Barbiturates - 3 to 8 days

Benzodiazepines - 2 to 14 days

Cannabis (THC) - Typically 14 to 28 days but one-off use can be as little as 3 to 5 days

Cocaine - 2 to 5 days

Methadone - 2 to 7 days

Methamphetamines - 2 to 6 days

Opiates - 2 to 5 days

PCP - 2 to 6 days


For some free advice from a friendly expert on drug retention times, cross reacting medication, or any other drug screening issues such as possible false positive test results or false negative test results, please contact us.

Free samples of drug tests and alcohol test kits are also available for healthcare professionals or businesses. Home drug screening test kits are also available to be purchased online or by telephone.

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So why choose Drug-Aware for your Drug Testing requirements?

At Drug-Aware, we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive solution when it comes to drug testing - we even offer training in drug testing and drug awareness.

Take a look at all of the additional extras we add as standard!


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    For technical information on various drugs and more information relevant to drug testing, please visit our technical drug information section.

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