How Accurate Are At-Home Drug Tests?

For company employers or HR professionals on the hunt for the best employee drug testing solutions, you may be left with questions on whether to use at-home drug tests or lab-based testing services. Because there are significant differences between the two, let's take a look at how home tests stack up against lab testing, so you can make the most informed decision for your company.

Diana Vaculová
Published on

How Accurate are At-Home Drug Tests?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no at-home drug test is 100% accurate. Several factors impact at-home accuracy, including the minimal variety of drugs tested and the time between drug use and the testing date.

In other words, at-home drug screenings will always vary in accuracy from subject to subject. When it comes to the question of are at-home drug tests accurate, both validity and reliability rely on numerous factors beyond the test type and brand.

Are Home Drug Tests Reliable?

A lack of professional management for home drug tests makes them less reliable than lab services. Even the most accurate home drug test kit could be easily tampered with or improperly administered, which drastically impacts the reliability.

In particular, tampering is a large concern when it comes to testing reliability. Tampering risks such as altering a urine sample, using test specimens that aren’t the test subjects, or the improper storage of a test could result in possible false positives or negatives.

What At-Home Drug Tests Are Available?

It can be tempting to select a home drug test vs lab test due to the large market variety. There are several at-home store-bought drug tests currently available, including an at-home THC drug test, at-home 5 panel drug tests, and 14 panel home drug test. Though the variety may seem enticing, the unavoidable risks of at-home drug screening can impact the validity of home results.

At-Home Drug Test Accuracy vs. Lab Services

Unlike at-home drug testing solutions that have minimal professional assistance and administration, lab drug testing relies on experienced technicians and state-of-the-art assessment technology to get the job done. With the use of lab testing services, test specimens including urine, hair, and blood are properly collected and processed to minimize the risk of false positives or negatives.

Conducting drug testing through a lab also decreases the chance of a test subject tampering with a test in an attempt to produce a false negative result. Furthermore, lab testing solutions also offer a far more robust collection of test types ranging from but not limited to 5, 10, and 25-panel drug testing as well as alcohol testing.

Why Choose Lab Drug Testing?

If the question “how reliable are at home drug tests” concerns you as a business manager or owner, lab testing will put your mind at ease. Simply put, choosing lab drug testing services over at-home testing solutions will increase test reliability and accuracy. Limiting negative influences such as test tampering and improper test administration by using professional drug tests ensures higher protection and testing confidence for your business and HR efforts.

For all things lab drug testing, Health Street has you covered. With over 7,500 drug testing locations across the United States, we offer a wide variety of drug testing solutions to match your company’s needs. For 5-panel to 25-panel drug tests, contact your local Health Street location to learn more about the testing solutions we have to offer you.


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Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.


Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.