FAQ Drug Testing

We hope you find these questions and answers regarding drug and alcohol testing helpful 

If you do not find the answer to your drug testing question in our FAQ section here, then e-mail us or telephone our customer support team during office hours 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday on 01263 731 168

How do I interpret a result on a drug testing kit

NEGATIVE: A coloured line appears in the Control region (C) and coloured lines appear in the Test region (T). This negative result means that the concentrations in the urine sample are below the designated cut-off levels for a particular drug tested.
*NOTE: The shade of the coloured lines(s) in the Test region (T) may vary. The result should be considered negative whenever there is even a faint line.


POSITIVE: A coloured line appears in the Control region (C) and NO line appears in the Test region (T). The positive result means that the drug concentration in the urine sample is greater than the designated cut-off for a specific drug.


INVALID: No line appears in the Control region (C). Insufficient specimen volume or incorrect procedural techniques are the most likely reasons for Control line failure. Read the directions again and repeat the drug test with a new test kit. If the result is still invalid, contact your supplier.

What is the Control line C on a drug test

A procedural control is included in the every near patient drug testing kit. A coloured line appearing in the control region (C) is considered an internal procedural control. It confirms sufficient specimen volume, adequate membrane wicking, and correct procedural technique. 

There is a faint line on the drug test-is this still a negative test?

This is a common question and one that can cause a lot of worry & confusion. Two lines on a urine or saliva drug test kit that appear within the specified test time is a negative result. It does not matter if the test line is faint when compared to the control line. 

The picture on the left shows a very clear negative result on a single urine drug test kit where both lines are of equal intensity. However sometimes the two lines may differ in intensity, and this is still a negative result. This is not of any significance and should be ignored. The test result is negative whether the line is faint or dark.

Can I drug test, my employees?

The simple answer is yes. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees to ensure a safe workplace. Having a drug and alcohol testing policy is increasingly part of workplace health and safety, but you need to as an employer make sure that you do it in a fair way to your employees and that you adhere to UK law.

If you need any help or advice we are happy to assist you. Contact us by e-mail or telephone for advice during office hours Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

What drugs are screened for on new UK Drug Driving Test?

The drug groups that the police will soon be able to test for at the roadside include:

Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamine, Methadone, Benzodiazepines. 

Some of these drugs are prescription drugs that can impair your driving ability.

Initially, many police forces will be just testing for Cannabis and Cocaine at the roadside. If they suspect other drugs they will take the driver back to the police station for further tests.

Click here to buy saliva drug testing kits that screen for the same drugs as the new roadside drug test

How long do drugs stay positive on a drug test?

The amount of time drugs stay in the body depends on many factors including

  • Which drug was taken-Cannabis for example can be detected for much longer on a urine drug test than many other drugs
  • The type of drug test used. 
  • Amount of the drug taken
  • Strength and purity of the drug
  • The body weight of the person being tested
  • The rate of metabolism of the person who has taken the drug
  • Whether they are a casual user or a long-term user of the drug

Detection times for onsite drug testing kits are brand specific and as a guide, the window period for drug detection using saliva or oral fluid drug test are shorter than comparable urine drug test.

Click here for more detailed information on drug test detection times and cut off levels for urine and saliva drug tests

As a rough guideline most drugs (excluding cannabis will be detectable on a urine drug test for up to 3-4 days) and on a saliva drug test for up to a maximum of 72 hours (some saliva tests are only up to 24 hours) 

Cannabis can be detected in some individuals on a urine drug test for up to 28-30 days (depends on individual usage and body fat composition as Cannabis metabolites stored in body fat)

Detection times in hair drug tests are longer 

What are the cut off levels for drug test kits

Cut-off levels for drug test kits are brand specific. See link above for the cut off levels for the brands of drug tests that we stock including ALLTEST, Instalert and Nobex

Why does Cannabis stay in the body for longer?

Cannabis is fat soluble, so over sustained regular use it is deposited around the body and can take several weeks, to a month to be excreted in some individuals. In practice, this only occurs in heavy regular consumers of Cannabis, usually the concentrated forms such as Skunk, and for most irregular users it will only be detected for up to 4-5 days

Why is the detection period for Cannabis so short on a saliva drug test compared to urine?

The THC detection for this drug test is now direct detection of THC in the oral cavity, so the window period for detection is reduced if the mouth is washed, food is eaten or drank. If you want a screen for "cannabis in the system" DSD-8135 works superbly. If you want to detect Cannabis THC taken yesterday you need a urine THC test kit

How accurate are the drug tests?

The onsite urine and saliva drug testing kits that we supply are between 97-99% accurate if used according to the manufacturers' instructions.

Can the drug testing kits be used in an industrial tribunal?

The onsite drug testing kits that we supply are drug screening tests and are not suitable for use alone in an industrial tribunal. If a positive is detected on the onsite drug test then a urine sample should be sent to a laboratory for confirmation drug testing by GCMS. 
The full chain of custody procedure must be followed if the result is to be used for an industrial tribunal.

The integrated split key cup drug testing kits are an ideal first-line urine screening drug test to use for employers, as the urine sample that is collected is sealed, and can then be used for laboratory confirmation if required.

What time of day is best to perform a drug test?

The drug testing kits can be used at any time of day.


How do you do a multi-panel urine drug test?

Here are the instructions on how to use the multi-panel urine drug testing kits that we supply

  • Ensure that the urine sample and test devices are at room temperature.
  • Remove the device from the foil.
  • Remove the cover by grasping each end of the cartridge. Pull to reveal 5 test strips
  • Insert the end of the test strips into the urine to just below half their length. Do not exceed the maximum urine level indicator (triangles). The sample should not touch the cartridge, approx 1cm depth is a good guide
  • Dip for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Read results at five minutes (do not read after more than 10 minutes.)

How do you do a drug test with a drug testing strip?

Most will be similar although the test time may differ. Always make sure you follow the detailed instructions supplied with the drug test kit that you are using. 

Instructions:

  • Do not open the foil-wrapped kit until the time you want to proceed with the test.
  • To perform a drug test you will need a fresh urine sample, this should be cooled to room temperature, (approx. 20 minutes is adequate) and a watch or timer. 
  • Dip the test strip into the sample for 10-15 seconds, do not dip beyond the max dip line marked on the strip.
  • The result showing at 5 minutes is the accurate reading for the test performed.

What do the abbreviations on the drug testing kits mean?

Coding abbreviations on packaging for drug testing kits

" THC = MARIJUANA & CANNABIS.
" MOP/MOR 300ng/m = MORPHINE (HEROIN, OPIATE).(urine only)
" AMP = AMPHETAMINE .
" MTD = METHADONE.
" MET = METHAMPHETAMINE.
" COC = COCAINE & CRACK.
" BZO = BENZODIAZEPINE.
" MDMA = ECSTASY
'' BAR=BARBITUARTES 
'' BUP=BUPRENORPHINE 
'' BZO= BENZODIAZEPINES
'' OPI= 2000ng/ml OPIATES (urine test only)
'' PCP= PHENCYCLIDINE 
'' TCA= TRICYCLIC ANTIDEPRESSANTS
'' EDDP=EDDP screening tests (for methadone compliance testing)
'' OXY= OXYCODONE
'' PXP= PROPOXYTHENE 
'' KET=KETAMINE
'' COT=COTININE (nicotine smoking test)

Drug test kit detection times for urine and saliva and cutoff levels

Which breath alcohol detector should we choose to test a professional driver?

We received this question about disposable breath alcohol detectors in the workplace by telephone today
'We want to test our forklift drivers randomly for alcohol. We are looking at the disposable breath alcohol detectors. Can you please advise which sensitivity we should go for.' 

Answer
Because a forklift driver is a professional driver and is operating machinery in a workplace, then you need to go for the 0.02% or zero tolerance breath alcohol detectors.

I am doing workplace drug testing-what do I do if the instant test is positive?

All positive onsite drug test results will need to be confirmed using an accredited laboratory procedure. Usually, this is by GC/MS (gas chromatography, mass spectrometry) which determines the exact drug and amount in the sample. This should be completed before any employment consequence is applied but the employee may be removed from the workplace on full pay, pending the confirmation test result if the employer considers there may be a risk to them or other workers.

Can you buy home drug testing kits from a chemist?

Currently, in the UK there are a small number of chemists & pharmacies that do hold a stock of home drug testing kits. This number is likely to increase over the coming months and years. It is likely that they will be available initially in big cities such as London, Liverpool, & Glasgow and that the choice will be fairly limited as to which drugs you can test for. We may get to the situation a few years where they are as widely available as other home test kits such as pregnancy tests.

Does mephedrone show up in a drug test?

There is now a and specific onsite drug testing kit for urine that will detect mephedrone also known as Meow Meow, MCAT. See our single drug test kits

Do legal highs show on drug tests?

So-called 'legal highs’ are new psychoactive chemical substances which produce similar effects to naturally occurring illegal drugs. They have now been controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act under the New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Act that came into force in spring 2016, and are now illegal in the UK. There are now reliable onsite drug testing kits for saliva and urine that will detect 'legal highs'. 

Does a negative drug test mean that no drugs have been consumed?

A negative result may not necessarily indicate a drug-free specimen. Drugs may be present in the urine or saliva specimen below the cut off level of the drug testing kit that was used. If you are still suspicious that drugs have been consumed, despite a negative instant drug test result then a Laboratory GCMS drug test should be performed on the specimen. 

Does the drug testing kit indicate the quantity of drugs consumed?

A positive result on a urine or saliva drug test kit does not indicate the concentration of drug in the specimen or the route of administration. To get the concentration of drugs in the sample a Lab GCMS drug test would need to be performed. These are available to buy in our lab section

Do you offer a discount on the drug testing kits if I am buying in bulk? 

If you are spending over £500 online use coupon code workplace10 to save 10% on your drug and alcohol testing kits order. 

What would be the best method to detect drug use from at least a month ago?

Urine and saliva will not detect this far back. A hair test can detect drug use for up to 90 days and in some cases longer, but it depends on the length of the hair.

Do you have a discount coupon we can use?

See our latest discount coupons for drug testing kits

Can legal highs be detected in drug tests?

The answer is increasingly yes. Drug test manufacturers are quickly catching up and a whole new range of drug test kits have come on to the market recently detecting lots of the newer so-called legal highs (now illegal) also known as NPS ( new psychoactive substances ) Many of our multiple-panel drug test kits now include these drug screens.

 

We need to carry out drug and alcohol testing for a railway company – can you supply kits that adhere to custody and chain of command if positive?

Our Railside 11 drug testing kit cup test has been developed to meet the network rail drug screening requirements.

How accurate are the saliva drug testing kits?

Modern on-site saliva drug testing kits are very accurate and effective around with between 95-99% accuracy compared to laboratory GCMS drug tests.

And you can confirm all your positive results through us with a fully UKAS accredited UK lab. We have UK lab urine drug test here with full chain of custody available to buy online for you to confirm all your positive drug screening results. The lab is UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005

Where can I buy a drug test kit locally?

We are often asked by customers where can they buy drug testing kits from their local chemist or pharmacy. Some local high street chemists such as Lloyds pharmacy do stock them, but as yet they are not available in all high street chemists. The choice of test kits is usually fairly limited and the price per test kit tends to be higher than if you purchase them online. 

Do you sell the drug testing kits that show what levels of drugs are still in a person's system?

The drug testing kits will not tell you the level of drugs detected by the test. They will just give you a positive ( drug detected above the cut off level of the test ) or a negative ( drug not detected above the cutoff level of the test) result. The detection level of the test varies depending on which drug is being tested for. The levels are set above zero to avoid false positives caused by accidentally coming into contact with a drug, through passive inhalation or low-level contamination.
A laboratory drug test will tell you the level of drugs detected.

Can you please let me know what the shelf life for the drug testing kit is?

The shelf life is the date by which the test should be used. It is similar to the dates on food in the supermarket. Most drug test kits are manufactured with a 24-month shelf life. Urine drug test kits tend to have a longer shelf life than saliva drug test kits at manufacture. Urine is usually 24 months and saliva 18 months from manufacture. By the time they reach us they usually have about 18-23 months expiry date on them. All the drug testing kits that we sell will have at least 12 months shelf life on them ( excludes special offers where drug tests may be reduced because of short shelf life ) The most popular ones, such as the workplace drug testing kits that sell very quickly, will usually have the longest shelf life. 
If you would like to know the shelf life for a particular drug testing kit in stock then please contact us.

Can schools drug test their students in the UK?

The simple answer is yes. Currently, most drug testing that is done in UK schools is following an incident where there is suspicion of drug use in a particular pupil or group of pupils. To perform the drug test the school will need to have both the pupils and the parents consent. Drug testing is currently more prevalent in private schools in the UK than in state schools.

If the pupil is going to be disciplined or possibly expelled based on the result of the drug test then a full chain of custody with a witness to the drug test should be adhered to, with a laboratory confirmation drug test to confirm any positive results. If the drug testing is being done with a view to helping the pupil, without the disciplinary procedure, then a screening test is all that will be needed initially. 

If our company uses your drug testing kits are you able to provide us with any sort of competency training/instruction of best usage etc?

We can either provide training to your company in the use of the drug test kits or refer you to a company in your area who we supply with the same testing kits, who will be able to provide the training. We also have a series of drug testing videos, made by our medical director, that are available to view on YouTube, that shows you exactly how to perform the drug test using our test kits. We also offer ongoing support to you post-purchase. Contact us for further information.

How long does nicotine stay in your saliva?

Nicotine is detectable on a saliva test for up to 48 hours since last ingested or inhaled. We have test kits for Nicotine in our single drug test section.

Is there a drug test for K2 Spice?

UK Drug Testing now have several urine drug testing kits that include a K2 / K3 Spice membrane. They are available either as a single urine drug test kit for K2 Spice (synthetic Cannabis )

How long is Spice detectable in urine?

The drug tests detect 50ng with a detection window of up to 48-72hr after last use. We have single and multi-panel drug testing kits that detect K2 Spice

How many drugs does the laboratory chain of custody urine GCMS drug test detect?

The price is per drug so for example if the screening test detected Cannabis THC and all the other tests were negative then you would just ask the lab to check the urine sample for THC.

If more than one drug was detected on your screening tests then you would need to contact us, so we could take payment for the additional drugs and let the lab know. The lab would test for the additional drugs that you asked them to test for. 

Will a Cotinine smoking detection test kit detect passive smoking?

It is very unlikely that Cotinine will be picked up from passive smoking on a urine or saliva test. The test kits are set at a detection level that means they will not pick up passive smoking. This is to avoid false positives. The saliva tests are set to 20ng and the urine tests to 100ng.