FAQ Drug Testing UK
Drug Testing FAQ
We hope you find these frequently asked 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 01263 731 168 to speak to our UK Drug Testing customer support team during office hours, 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
What types of drug tests are there?
Where can I buy a drug test?
You will usually need to buy drug a drug test online. We stock a wide range of drug test kits for urine and drug test kits for saliva that are available to buy online through this website or by purchase order.
Where can i buy a drug test kit locally?
You may not be able to buy a drug test kit locally, although some large pharmacies like Lloyds and Superdrug may stock a limited range of drug testing kits. This is more likely in larger cities. If you buy a drug test from a pharmacy the choice of drugs that you can test for will probably be very limited, and drug tests in pharmacies and chemists are usually only available as a urine drug test kit, most likely a 6 panel drug test kit. We are based in Norfolk, but we sell online and offline, and deliver to the whole of the UK. If you can not find a drug test locally near and you need the drug test quickly, we have express UK delivery options.
How much does a drug test cost?
Most instant drug test kits cost between a couple of pounds for a single drug test up to just under £14 depending on how many drugs you are testing for with the drug test, and whether it is a urine drug test kit or a saliva drug test kit.
A laboratory drug test costs around £50 per drug tested, and as it is more costly is usually only used to confirm non negative instant drug test kit results.
Can I get a drug test from my doctor?
Most doctors are not able to provide you with a drug test, unless they are a specialist doctor working in a area of medicine in which drug testing is often required eg drugs rehab, occupational health, prisons and the criminal justice system.
Do drug test kits expire?
There is always an expiry date on a drug test kit, and this is the date the drug test kit will expire. An expiry date on a drug test kit is similar to a best before date on a food item.
Can you use a drug test kit after the expiry date?
A drug test kit will still work after the expiry date, but the result may not be as reliable the longer after the expiry date, you use the drug test kit. If you are doing drug testing in a workplace setting, it is always best practice to only use drug test kits that have not expired, and to always confirm any non negative drug test results (ie positive results) with a laboratory drug test, to avoid the instant drug test kit result being disputed.
Every batch of drug test kits is batch tested, and the level of accuracy is certified by the drug test kit manufacturer, up to the expiry date on the drug tests, provided that the drug test kits have been used correctly, and stored correctly prior to use.
How do I read and 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 the C line is included in the every near patient drug testing kit.
A coloured line appearing in the control region (C) of the drug test kit is considered an internal procedural control.It confirms sufficient specimen volume, adequate membrane wicking, and correct procedural technique.
How to read drug test results
Main thing to remember when you are reading drug test results is that a line in the test area T on a drug test kit is a negative result ie no drugs detected. If you see any line appear in the T area then the result is always negative.
There is a faint line on the drug test-is this still a negative test?
This is a very common question about drug test results, and one that can cause a lot of unnecessary 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 on the drug test is faint when compared to the control line.
However sometimes the two lines on the drug test may differ in intensity, and this is still a negative result. The intensity of the T line on a drug test is not of any significance and should be ignored. The drug test result is negative whether the line is faint or dark.
What causes an invalid drug test?
An invalid drug test result is a drug testing industry term, which means that the control line C on the drug test kit has not appeared.
The most common reason for an invalid drug test is that there was inadequate sample collected. This is more common with saliva drug test kits than with urine as it is usually very easy to collect enough urine to run the drug test.
What is the cheapest form of drug testing?
Urine drug testing using instant urine drug test kits is the cheapest form of drug testing currently available. The next cheapest is saliva drug testing using instant rapid saliva drug test kits. Hair drug testing, fingerprint drug testing and laboratory drug testing are considerably more costly per test.
What is the most popular drug test?
The urine drug test kits are still the most popular drug tests in the UK, as they offer high accuracy, a good detection window for most drugs of between 3-4 days, are very easy to use and affordable. Saliva drug testing is becoming increasingly popular for onsite workplace drug testing, as the drug test can be performed without the need of a toilet, and the specimen collection can be easily observed.
Can your work drug test you?
Yes your employer can ask you to take a workplace drug test, but to do so they must legally have your consent. You may refuse to take the work drug test, if it is not part of your contract of employment, however your refusal to take the drug test may not be viewed favourably by your employer, and it may be entered on your employment record.
Can I drug test my employees?
The simple answer to 'can I drug test an employee' is yes, but the employee must consent to the drug test. 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 starting drug testing in UK, we are happy to assist you. Contact us by e-mail or telephone for advice during our office hours Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.
What type of drug test do employers use?
Most UK employers use either a urine drug test or a saliva drug test, as these give instant onsite drug test results, and are the best value for money. They are also popular drug tests with employers as both urine and saliva have a short window of detection for drugs, making them ideal for workplace drug testing. Most UK employers will test for between 7-10 drugs on a drug test.
What drugs are screened for on the new UK Drug Driving Test?
Initially, many police forces in UK 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. Some of these drugs are prescription drugs that can impair your driving ability.
The drug groups that the police will soon be able to test for at the roadside include:
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 taken
- 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 and type specific
As a guide, the window period for drug detection using saliva or oral fluid drug test are shorter than comparable urine drug test. Detection times in hair drug tests are longer.
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).
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
What's more accurate a urine or saliva drug test in UK?
There is not a lot of difference in the accuracy of a urine drug test compared to a saliva drug test in the UK. The main difference between urine and saliva drug testing is the detection period ie how long after use the drug or its metabolites are detected in urine compared to saliva.
As a general rule drugs are detected in urine for a longer period than in saliva. This is particularly true for Cannabis which is only detected in saliva for a very short period.
Why can Cannabis test positive in urine for longer than other drugs?
Cannabis is fat soluble, so over sustained regular use it is deposited around the body and can take several weeks and up to to a month to be excreted in the urine of some individuals.
In practice, this usually only occurs in heavy regular consumers of Cannabis, usually the concentrated forms such as Skunk, and for most irregular users of cannabis it will only be detected on a urine drug test 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" a saliva drug test is a very good choice, however if you want to detect Cannabis THC taken yesterday, then you need a urine THC drug 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 manufacturer's' 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 drug testing kit are at room temperature.
- Remove the multi-panel drug test kit from the foil.
- Remove the cover by grasping each end of the cartridge. Pull to reveal 5 drug test strips
- Insert the end of the drug test strips into the urine to just below half their length.
- Do not exceed the maximum urine level indicator (triangles).
- The urine 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.)
- Most multi-panel urine drug test kits will be similar to use to this but the read time may differ between brands
How do you do a drug test with a drug testing strip?
Most urine drug testing strips 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 for using a urine drug test strip:
- 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 drug test strip into the sample for 10-15 seconds, do not dip beyond the max dip line marked on the test strip.
- The result showing at 5 minutes is the accurate reading for the drug test performed.
- Most urine drug test strips will be similar to use to this but the read time may differ between brands.
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
- 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
- COT=COTININE (nicotine smoking test)
What are the drug test kit detection times for urine and saliva and cutoff levels
We have a table showing the drug test detection times and cut off levels for each drug in urine and in saliva.
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.'
- 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 the amount of the drug 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 drug 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. Lloyds chemist and Superdrug both stock a SelfCheck multi drug test kit kit that tests for 6 common drugs, but it may not be available in all stores, and may only be available online. The number of local chemists from which you can buy home drug test kits is likely to increase over the coming years, as drug test kits become more widely available and drug testing at work and in schools becomes more widespread..
Currently if you are looking to buy a drug test locally it is more likely that they will be available in larger chemists and pharmacies 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 lateral flow test kits such as pregnancy tests and ovulation 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 cbd show up in a drug test in UK?
CBD is a product which has seen a massive growth in its use in the UK over the last 12 months, with many individuals taking it for a variety of ailments. Currently there is a lot of speculation as to whether CBD will show up on a drug test in UK and whether using legal CBD can cause you to test positive for THC Cannabis and fail a drug test.
Many CBD companies claim that their CBD products are "THC free' but the reality is that some of these CBD products may in fact contain enough THC to give a positive drug test. To be legal CBD products have to have only minute levels of THC, which would bring them well under the UK drug test level for THC, but as the market for CBD products in the UK is exploding currently, there is a risk of some CBD products containing higher levels of THC than they should and giving a positive drug test.
Is there a specific drug test for CBD?
Some drug test manufacturers have started to make a specific urine drug test to detect CBD use , but this is not yet widely available in the UK, and it remains to be seen whether there will be much demand for a drug test for CBD.
Does a negative drug test mean that no drugs have been consumed?
A negative drug test 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. The other thing to consider is whether the drug test kit that you have used, tests for the drugs that have been consumed.
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 drug test section of this website
Do you offer a discount on the drug testing kits if I am buying in bulk?
If you are spending over £1000 online use coupon code workplace10 to save 10% on your drug and alcohol testing kits order.
We also have bulk and wholesale packs of our most popular workplace drug testing kits available which work out cheaper per drug test kit.
Contact our trade team for larger wholesale drug test prices or if you need any help finding the bulk packs of drug tests that you require.
What would be the best method to detect drug use from at least a month ago?
Urine and saliva drug testing will not detect drug use this far back. A hair drug test can detect drug use for up to 90 days and in some cases longer, but it depends on the length of the hair. This would usually need to be done through a lab.
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 drug screens for the drugs previously known as legal highs.
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 now confirm all your positive saliva drug test 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 UK lab is UKAS accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.
You may find our saliva drug test FAQ section useful.
Where can I buy a drug test kit locally?
We are often asked by customers where they can buy a drug test locally ie 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 drug test kits available to buy locally is usually fairly limited, and the price per drug test kit tends to be higher than if you purchase the drug tests online.
Do you sell the drug testing kits that show what levels of drugs are still in a person's system?
The onsite rapid 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 drug 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 on a drug testing kit is the date by which the drug test kit should be used. It is similar to the dates on food in the supermarket.
Most drug test kits are manufactured with a 24 month (2 years) 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 school 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 drug test may be 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 drug 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 ) or as part of a multi-panel drug test kit.
How long is Spice detectable in urine?
The K2 Spice 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 the sample 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 Cotinine 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 Cotinine tests are set to 20ng and the urine tests to 100ng.
Can you refuse a drug test at work UK?
To perform a drug test an employer needs to have your consent, so yes you can refuse a drug test at work, and your employer will usually document that you have refused the drug test in your records.
Could you tell me if someone is on strong painkillers or codeine would these show up as a positive on the drug test?
It depends which painkiller they are on a if the drug test kit that you are using detects that particular painkiller. Codeine based painkillers will give a positive on an opiate drug test. Newer strong prescription painkillers like Tramadol, Oxycodone and Propoxyphene can be detected if you are using a drug test kit that tests for them.They will not be detected on an opiate drug test.
If you wish to test for a specific prescription painkiller we have a range of single drug testing kits available that can be used individually or used in addition to a multi-drug test kit.
What is BZO on a drug test?
BZO on a drug test stands for Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are a group of prescription only sedative drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and as sleeping tablets. They may also be abused. Benzodiazepines can seriously impair driving ability, judgement and operating of machinery and for that reason it is important to test for them. Their effect may be potentiated by alcohol.
What does THC on a drug test mean?
THC-drug test meaning-THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main psychoactive substance in Cannabis. THC is one of the most widely available and most widely abused drugs in the UK, and the drug that is most likely to be picked up on a random drug test on a urine sample.
What do mouth swab drug tests test for?
Mouth swab drug tests can now test for the full range of drugs including alcohol. The maximum number of drugs that can currently be detected on our mouth swab drug tests is 13 including alcohol. Most employers opt not to test for all of these drugs and may just test for the most commonly used drugs, marked below in bold.
The following drugs can be detected on a mouth swab drug test:
- Alcohol detected at 0.02% equivalent and above level at the time of testing
- Amphetamine 50 ng detection for up to 72hrs
- Buprenorphine 10ng/ml up to 72 hrs
- Benzodiazepines 50ng/ml up to 72 hr
- Cocaine 20ng detection for up to 48hrs
- K2 & K3 Synthetic Cannabis 25mg/ml 48 hours
- Marijuana ( Cannabis THC parent Delta-9 ) 50ng detection for up to 14hrs
- MDMA Ecstacy 50ng/ml 48 hours
- Methamphetamine 50ng detection for up to 72hrs
- Methadone 30ng/ml between 12-24hrs
- Opiates ( including heroin ) 40ng detection for 7-21hrs
- Oxycodone 50ng/ml up to 72 hrs
- PCP (Phencyclidine) 10ng/ml 12-24hrs
Can you do a 3 month drug test?
The only type of drug test that will identify drug use in the previous 3 months is a hair drug test. To do a 3 month drug test you need a strand of hair at least 3cm in length. A 3 month drug test, may be required by the courts in a custody or probation situation, to prove abstinence from drugs. Hair drug testing is rarely used in a workplace setting.
The hair sample for the 3 month drug test needs to be taken from the head, and needs to be a hair follicle test ie the hair must be plucked from the scalp rather than cut. This gives the most reliable 3 month screen for drugs.