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What are the Different Types of Home Drug Test Kits?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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There are four basic types of home drug test kits. The various kits test urine, saliva, hair follicles or sweat for the presence of drugs. These kits can be purchased online or in most drugstores, convenience stores or grocery stores.

Urine home drug test kits are favored by many because they are accurate, easy to use and cost effective, and they provide results relatively quickly. These types of tests can detect approximately 10 different drugs in a person’s system at any given time. The downside of urine drug test kits is that it can be contaminated easily, and its ability to detect the presence of drugs diminishes over time.

Another type of home drug test kit is one that uses saliva; these tests sometimes are called oral drug tests. Saliva test kits are good at detecting drug use that has occurred very recently, generally within one to two days. Many people also like them because, just like urine tests, they are easy to use, cost effective and accurate, and they provide almost immediate results. It also is harder for someone to manipulate the test because it can be given directly by another person, such as a parent. It is important to remember that saliva home drug test kits are good only for detecting very recent drug use and will not detect usage that has occurred more than about two or three days prior to the test.

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Hair follicle testing is another way to test a person for drug usage. This type of testing generally is more expensive than urine and saliva testing, but it is very accurate and much harder to manipulate. After the hair sample has been collected, it is sent off to a lab for testing. Drug usage that occurred 90 days or more prior to the test can be detected by using hair follicle testing. This type of test must be sent off to a lab, so the results are not instantaneous.

Although not nearly as common as the aforementioned home drug test kits, sweat testing is another type of drug test. A special patch is attached to a person’s skin, and it collects the data needed over a one- to two-week period. The patch has measures in place to prevent it from being removed and replaced without the tester’s knowledge. After the patch is removed, it is sent to a lab that processes the results. This type of test is considered by some people to be unreliable and very intrusive.

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