FAQ Urine Drug Testing

urine drug testing FAQ urine drug test

Frequently asked questions regarding urine drug testing

Here are the most frequently asked questions that UK Drug Testing are asked about urine drug test kits and the answers.

Take our quick and easy drug test quiz if you would like to find the best urine drug test kit for your needs

Are all urine drug tests the same?

There is a huge range of drugs that can be detected on a urine drug test, so all urine drugs tests are not the same. The drugs which they detect and the sensitivity of the urine drug test will also vary. Urine drug tests can also be either an on site urine drug test, or a laboratory urine drug test. The format of the onsite urine drug test can also vary as to whether the drug test is a strip test or a cassette test which just tests for one drug, or a multi-panel urine or a cup drug test which test for multiple drugs. 

What can be detected in a urine test for drugs?

What will show on a urine drug test? We are frequently asked 'what do urine drug tests pick up?' Most drugs of abuse can be detected on a rapid onsite urine test for drugs using a drug test kit, with the exception of anabolic steroids which needs a laboratory test. See below for more information on anabolic steroids and drug testing.

The following drugs can be detected on an onsite urine drug test:

  • Alcohol-ETG test
  • Amphetamine (Speed, whiz)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines including Diazepam (Valium) and Temazepam & Rohypnol
  • Buprenorphine 
  • Cannabis (weed)
  • Cocaine  
  • Ecstacy MDMA
  • Fentanyl 
  • K2-K3 synthetic Cannabis 25ng/mL also known as Spice
  • Ketamine 
  • LSD
  • MCAT (Mephadrone)
  • Methamphetamine 
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone 
  • Opiates
  • Oxycodone 
  • PCP (phencyclidine) 
  • PPX Propoxyphene
  • Pregabalin
  • Tramadol 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 

How does a urine drug testing kit work?

A rapid urine drug testing kit is. operates through several steps to identify the presence of specific drugs or their metabolites in a person's urine sample. The drug test kit, which is usually a test strip or a multi-panel drug test kit or cup, contain reagents or antibodies that react with the target drugs or metabolites. 

What does a very faint line on a urine drug test mean?

If the test line on a urine drug test kit is faint and this is showing at the correct read time for the urine drug test kit in question, then this is still a negative drug test result, even though the test line is very faint.

If the faint line on the urine drug test appears after the time at which the drug test result should be read, then this should be ignored. Any urine drug test result that appears after the designated result read time, as specified in the urine drug test kit instructions, should always be disregarded. 

What are the detection windows for drugs in urine ?

Detection times for urine drug testing depends on the type and brand of urine drug test kit used and the drug that is being tested for, but as a general rule, drugs are usually only detectable on a urine drug test, for up to 72 hours after last use, with the exception of Cannabis which can be detected for longer in some user, even up to 30 days or longer in some cases.

Information on drug test detection times for urine here

What time of day I should carry out the urine drug test?

A urine drug testing kit can be performed at any time of day. The drugs that you are testing for in the urine sample will generally be more concentrated in a first morning urine sample, than in a urine sample produced later in the day, after many drinks and beverages have been consumed. 

if you are a parent testing a teenager for drugs, then it would usually be best to drug test first thing in the morning before they have passed any urine as this sample will usually be the most concentrated. 

What to put urine in for a drug test?

If you are using a urine drug test strip or a multi-panel you will need a clean container to put the urine sample in for the drug test. The container does not need to be sterile but it must be clean to avoid any risk of contaminants affecting the drug test result.

If you purchase an integrated urine drug test cup the drug test is incorporated into the urine collection cup.

How to read urine test temperature strip on a cup drug test kit

Collect the urine sample into the cup drug test kit, ensuring the urine exceeds the minimum fill level marker as indicated on the side of the urine drug test. The colour change temperature strip is on the outside of the drug test cup, and will change colour indicating the temperature of the urine sample added to the cup.

If there is no colour change, indicated on the temperature strip after 60 seconds, then this indicates that the urine sample added to the drug test cup kit, is not at the expected temperature for human body temperature, and may have been substituted or diluted or tampered with in some way.

What would make a urine drug test invalid?

There are several causes of an invalid urine drug test result and the answers depend on whether it is an instant urine drug test or a laboratory urine drug test.

An invalid result on an instant urine drug test kit is a term used by the drug testing industry when a lateral flow urine drug test strip or urine drug test kit fails to run properly and no control line C is visible, indicating that insufficient urine has been absorbed to run the test. In practice this is quite rare , but it can ocur if there is inadequate urine sample, if the urine drug test kit is defective in some way, or if the tester has failed to remove the cap from the drug test kit (usually a multi-panel) preventing the drug test from absorbing any urine (yes it does happen)

Does Pregabalin show up in a urine test?

Yes Pregabalin can show up in a urine drug test. Pregabalin may be detected on a laboratory drug test or an instant near patient urine drug test kit. Most urine drug testing kits in the UK do not yet test for Pregabalin, but some do.

Pregabalin can be detected on a urine drug test for up to 5 days. How long it is detected for depends on the amount of Pregabalin taken, and how quickly the individual clears it. 

Since April 2019 Pregabalin has been classified as a Class C drug in the UK, meaning it is illegal to take Pregabalin unless it has been prescribed for you by a doctor.

Pregabalin urine drug test strips are available to buy here

We also have a 16 panel cup urine drug test kit that detects Pregabalin

Do anabolic steroids show up on a drug test?

Yes, anabolic steroids can be detected in drug tests, however rapid urine drug testing kits can not identify the presence of anabolic steroids. An anabolic steroid drug test needs to be done by a drug test laboratory on either hair, blood or urine. These specialised tests are often used by sports organisations. 

If someone has been using anabolic steroids, they may test positive for these substances. It's important to note that the detection window can vary depending on the specific steroid compound, the individual's metabolism, and the type of drug test being used ie hair drug test will usually detect anabolic steroid use for the longest detection time. Hair testing is a swift and dependable method for identifying anabolic steroid abuse over extended durations, detecting usage between 7 days and 6 months after the donor has used the substance.

In competitive sports, the use of anabolic steroids is generally prohibited, and athletes may face penalties or disqualification if they test positive for these substances. 

What is a UA drug test?

UA stands for urinary analysis. When used in a drug test setting this usually refers to a laboratory drug test which gives a more detailed breakdown and analysis of the urine sample.

Where can I get drug test information?

We have lots of drug test information on this website. If you are unable to find the information about drug testing that you require, or you need any help and assistance then please contact our customer support team for assistance. 

You may find the information page on workplace drug testing helpful.

FAQ urine drug testing page last reviewed & updated 16/5 /24

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