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Drugs, it seems, are always the winners of the war on drugs. Historically, the only real result of prohibition has been bootlegging, black market sales, and the empowerment of illegal cartels. Thankfully, several states have now legalized cannabis, so that’s one less thing to worry about!
Sadly, this spirit of progressiveness about drugs hasn’t made its way to the workplace just yet. Many casual users who work regular jobs in offices continue to live in fear of drug tests just because they smoke a joint or two.
Fortunately, the market has responded to these cries for help by giving us a huge variety of products to help us with our drug testing needs. We’ve got synthetic pee, real pee from clean donors, pee additives, fake penises…it’s remarkable what inventions had to be created just to help us pass drug tests!
Of course, if you don’t want to go through the stress and danger of trying to sneak something into drug testing facilities, there’s another option—home drug test kits.
In this article, we talk about home drug test kits and review the best ones on the market.
What Are Home Drug Test Kits?
Home drug test kits allow you test your own urine for traces of any drugs in your system, which you can use to determine if your usage will show up on drug tests at your place of work.
A home drug test is never going to be as reliable as a true drug test done in laboratory-grade conditions by professionals. Although, it is precise enough to help you if you just want to know if your drug use is detectable.
I use PreScreen Plus Mini which in my opinion is the best home drug test kit for a couple of good reasons. It has a higher accuracy and can detect up to 20 types of substances. You can get it directly from their Authorized Seller at a discounted rate.
What Makes a Good Home Drug Test?
When choosing a home drug test, you need to look out for two different characteristics, namely; accuracy and drug panel.
Accuracy refers to whether the test can correctly give you a positive or negative result. Both false positives and false negatives are bad—a false positive can cause unnecessary anxiety and additional expense, while a false negative can cost you your job if you take a pee test the next day with false confidence.
Obviously, you want your test to be as accurate as possible, and you want to be able to put your faith in its results.
Every home drug test will check for a certain set of substances and will be able to give positive or negative results for only these substances. This refers to the “drug panel” of your test.
Home drug tests come in many different forms. 4-panel, 5-panel, even 10- and 12-panel tests are common on the market.
As a rule, the larger and more comprehensive the drug panel, the better the test. This is because a wide drug panel allows you to purchase just one drug test for your needs if it contains everything you want to test for. You won’t have to spend more money buying extra kits in this case.
On top of this, there’s always the possibility that whatever you’ve been taking may have been cut with other substances. This means that you could take a home test that only checks for the drugs you took and receive a negative result, but then register as positive in your real workplace drug test.
Remember that the drug panel number only refers to the raw number of drugs that are included in the test’s detection ability. Two different 5-panel tests, for example, might test for two completely different sets of 5 drugs each. Make sure that you choose a drug test that is actually rated for the drugs you know you’re taking.
One underrated metric for choosing a home drug test kit is its shelf life. Most of these products are purchased online and might take a couple of days to arrive at your doorstep. This will definitely be a problem if your work drug test comes up on short notice!
It’s important to be able to buy a home drug test and then sit on it for a couple of months or even a year without it expiring. This lets you keep a kit ready for any moment.
The Best Home Drug Test Kits on the Market
These are the home drug test kits that we’ve determined to be the most accurate and fully-featured on the market. Buying one of these means that you can rest assured of your home results lining up with your workplace drug tests.
#1. PreScreen Plus Mini
PreScreen Plus Mini is produced by The Drug Test Company, which ironically also provides drug testing packages for businesses. While they’re definitely playing both sides, that’s pretty standard practice in a market where the same companies that help calibrate urinalysis equipment also produce synthetic pee to help defeat urinalysis. It also means that you can trust that their home test kits will be very accurate.
PreScreen Plus Mini hasn’t been on the market very long and already it’s been showered with great praise from the community. Its ease of use and comprehensive 12-panel coverage all come at a very affordable price. The accuracy has also been greatly praised, which is no surprise considering the heritage of The Drug Test Company.
The combination of a solid 18-month shelf life and plentiful test strips—twenty-five, in fact—allows you to solve most of your near-future testing needs with a single package.
The main disadvantage with PreScreen Plus Mini is that being a relatively new product, it’s also a little hard to find outside of their authorized sellers.
Overall, PreScreen Plus Mini is the best home drug test kits we’ve ever used, and it’s an easy choice if you can find it and get it shipped to your place.
- Manufactured by a reputable company
- Excellent accuracy
- Checks a wide range of drugs
- Long shelf life
- Little hard to find outside of their authorized sellers
#2. ITG Labs
ITG Labs puts a lot of stock in its scientific background and credentials. Its scientists have a decade and a half of experience in dealing with strict lab testing requirements, and have worked with the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington, the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute, and other important entities.
Unlike other home drug test kit manufacturers, which try to maintain accuracy over a large spectrum of drugs, ITG Labs instead produces a series of high-quality testing kits that only target a single substance at a time.
The upside of this is that each test is extremely accurate, enough that they claim their kits are used by military and law enforcement.
The downside is that it will cost significantly more money to test for multiple substances at once, which you want to do anyway if you’re not sure about what’s in your drugs. It doesn’t help that the individual-substance tests are already expensive enough by themselves.
Finally, you have to buy ITG Labs’ tests straight from their Authorized Reseller, so you might have difficulty sourcing them.
All in all, ITGB Labs’ tests are a good choice if you absolutely need only one kind of drug test and need perfect accuracy out of it.
- Excellent accuracy for drugs checked
- Good quality
- Hard to find outside authorized dealers
One of the easiest-to-find home drug test makers on the market, Easy@Home is available on Amazon, and can even be found at Walmart and other retailers. They have both strip tests and cup tests, and their best home drug test is a 12-panel solution that tests for all the major drugs you can expect to encounter on the street.
Easy@Home claims beyond 99% accuracy for all their tests, and each of them is FDA-approved for over-the-counter use and meets SAMHSA standards for drug screening. They come in large packs of multiple tests, and have an impressive 2-year shelf life.
- Available on Amazon
- Available in boxes of multiple tests
- Good accuracy and easy to use
- Potentially confusing if second line is faint
#4 Care Check
Care Check is known for its wide variety of home tests for various conditions, including UTI, ketosis, and pregnancy. It also features various drug tests, including rather impressive 12 and 14-panel tests, as well as a marijuana-only drug strip test.
In general, a larger drug panel is better than a smaller one, so you’ll probably be better off purchasing the 14-panel test, unless you’re absolutely sure that there’s no way that you could possibly test for anything else.
Care Check tests are very easy to find, and often come in very large pack sizes so your testing needs are sure to be fulfilled. They also have excellent accuracy, are individually wrapped for sterility, and only take 5 minutes to deliver results. Finally, the drug lines that appear are very clearly defined if there’s a positive result, so there’s little potential for confusion.
- Readily available on Amazon
- Sold in a good pack size
- Good accuracy, excellent panel size
- Potential confusion in case of a faint second line
#5. Identify Diagnostics
Identify Diagnostics’ claim to fame is the diversity of products they have on offer. They have everything from 5-panel to 10-panel and even 16-panel tests, but also carry individual drug testing kits.
Their testing accuracy is claimed to be 99% like many other home drug test kit manufacturers claim. They do however have an additional advantage in their sensitivity, specifically for opiates. They claim that their tests’ detection threshold is a mere 300ng/mL for opiates, which is one-sixth that of other brands.
This means that they can detect opiates at a much lower concentration than other brands’ tests do, ensuring a much lower chance of false negatives if you’re using opiates.
Identify Diagnostics’ tests typically come in large packages of ten to fifteen tests, which can make them a relatively expensive choice if you’re just looking for a one-off test. They have a shelf life of about 18 months, which is fairly long and lets you keep it in storage to prepare for a workplace drug test.
- Large package size
- Wide product range
- Large package size also means heavy on the wallet
- Slightly expensive
With five perfectly good manufacturers available, it took us a bit of thinking to choose the best option, but with a lot of discussion, everyone settled on the PreScreen Plus Mini. It’s good and accurate, it lasts a while on the shelf, and it’s affordable. Its only real downside is sourcing, and even then, it wasn’t a major enough con to affect its place. For your home test needs, the PreScreen Plus Mini is your best bet. This time, the manufacturer is on your side.
It’s important to be informed about home drug tests long before you actually have to take them. There’s no room for error when it comes to keeping your job. We’ll answer your most-asked questions here.
What does a very faint second line mean?
Many different manufacturers are aware of this question, and they answer similarly: A second line is automatically a negative result, even if it looks really faint. There’s also the possibility that you have a test that’s past its shelf life, or there’s something else in your pee. Whatever the case, a second line means a drug-negative test, at least for the drugs that the test is rated for.
How big of a drug panel do I need?
It’s always possible that your drugs have been cut with something else to cut down on costs. If that’s the case, then you’re going to test for multiple drugs, not just the ones you believed you took. That’s why it’s important to have a wide drug panel composed of the most common drugs on the market.
However, if you’re absolutely certain that you’re taking only pure goods, then feel free to only take a small drug panel or even a single-drug test.
Is a negative home test a guarantee of a passed drug test at work?
Most drug test facilities use urine tests, and as long as you take a home kit that checks for the drugs that you took, then a negative home test result means a negative work test result.
How long do drugs stay in my system?
Whenever drugs enter your body, they leave behind metabolites that stick around in your blood, hair, urine and other places (more on this topic here). These metabolites remain in your system for a certain amount of time depending on what drug you took. Every drug has unique metabolites, and that’s what drug tests check for.
Here are some of the most common drugs that are taken recreationally, and how long their metabolites stick around in your urine if you use them.
Barbiturates: 7 days
Cannabis: 1-30 days
Cocaine: 1-3 days
Benzos: 1-7 days
Heroin: 2-5 days
Meth: 2-5 days
Morphine: 2-5 days
PCP: 5-6 days
Both home drug tests and professional drug tests should be able to sense the presence of drugs within these windows. Use this information to your advantage when managing your drug use in anticipation of a test!
Everyone’s needs for their home drug test kit will be different. It’s up to you to do the research and figure out which one is most appropriate.
The reviews we’ve provided here are a great place to start. You afford to make a single mistake when it comes to avoiding a positive test, and these kits won’t let you down.