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What is a Home Drug Test?

Kasey James
Kasey James

A home drug test is one that can be administered in a private residence to test for specific drugs in the body. It is very similar to drug tests used by law enforcement agencies, medical facilities and workplaces. There are many types of home drug test kits on the market.

Home drug tests can be used to check for the use of several different legal and illegal drugs. Common illegal drugs that can be detected include marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); cocaine; methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), better knows as ecstasy; heroin; and phenylcyclohexylpiperidine (PCP). Common legal prescription drugs that can be detected include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone. Many home tests can detect some or all of these drugs. There also are drug test kits that can detect alcohol.

Home drug tests can check for heroin.
Home drug tests can check for heroin.

Home drug test kits use various methods to test for drugs in the body. There are urine drug tests, saliva drug tests, alcohol breath tests and tests that use hair follicles. Each of these kinds of tests can be done at home and have good accuracy — some are as much as 99 percent accurate.

Home urine tests are accurate and quick. Even though they are considered to be very reliable, they are the easiest tests to manipulate, and they detect druge use within a window of only about three days. A saliva home drug test is easy to administer and takes just a few minutes. The detection window is even shorter than a urine test, and it might be accurate for detecting drug use within only a few hours or as long as three days at the most.

A breathalyzer test uses a sample of breath to test an individual's blood alcohol content, and can.
A breathalyzer test uses a sample of breath to test an individual's blood alcohol content, and can.

A home test that uses a hair follicle has a detection of drugs up to 90 days. It is extremely reliable and accurate. The process of getting and containing the hair follicle is done at home, but it must be sent away to a laboratory for testing. Results might take a few days or weeks to receive. The other negative factor to this test is that it might not show very recent drug use because the hair did not have a chance to grow.

Parents might use a home drug test if they believe their teen uses drugs.
Parents might use a home drug test if they believe their teen uses drugs.

A home alcohol test or breathalyzer is easy to administer and gives quick results. It also is inexpensive and easily available. Alcohol tests are not as accurate as some of the other drug tests. They can show inaccurate results because common household products that contain alcohol, such as mouthwash, can cause a false positive.

A home drug test can be bought online or at a retail pharmacy. The most common users of home drug tests are parents of teenagers. Many of the tests are inexpensive, are accurate and provide privacy.

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    • Home drug tests can check for heroin.
      By: Richard Villalon
      Home drug tests can check for heroin.
    • A breathalyzer test uses a sample of breath to test an individual's blood alcohol content, and can.
      By: zstock
      A breathalyzer test uses a sample of breath to test an individual's blood alcohol content, and can.
    • Parents might use a home drug test if they believe their teen uses drugs.
      By: Monkey Business
      Parents might use a home drug test if they believe their teen uses drugs.