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Most Accurate Drug Testing: Stats for Urine, Hair, & More

Accurate Drug Testing - What You Should Know

Inaccurate drug test results are not just an inconvenience for the organization or establishment that required them. They can also be a danger, depending on the reason the test was administered.

In many scenarios, accurate drug testing is critical, having a major impact on crucial decisions that impact the health and well-being of the test subject (and potentially others, too).

Below are some examples of situations where accurate drug testing is of paramount importance:

  • When determining if drugs/alcohol were a contributing factor in a workplace accident, car collision, or other scenario where an individual has been harmed.
  • When an individual has been ordered by a Court of Law to submit to regular drug testing as part of their parole conditions.
  • When an individual has been ordered by a Court of Law to submit to regular drug testing to determine if they are legally fit to obtain guardianship of a child or minor.
  • When diagnosing symptoms in a patient that are a potential threat to life, limb or function.
  • When a suspicious or accidental death has occurred and it is unclear if drug use/misuse was a factor.

What are the Different Types of Drug Tests?

Drug tests typically fall into one of four general categories.

They are:

  1. Urine Drug Testing

While urine screens are the highest ranking method in terms of popularity, they aren’t the most accurate drug tests. This is because drugs are primarily emitted from the body via the urinary system. Thus, urine samples typically have the shortest testing window, with many drugs, including codeine and methamphetamines, only remaining in the urine for 1-3 days after use.

Additionally, urine tests are the easiest to manipulate. Test subjects often try to supply synthetic urine, or urine from another person, instead of their own specimen, or purchasing cleansing kits to dilute their urine so that any substances are less detectable.

  1. Saliva Drug Testing

Saliva drug tests are completed by inserting a cotton swab into the mouth and letting it absorb salivary excretions for three (3) minutes. The swab is then placed in a sealed, sterile tube or bag and sent to a medical laboratory for testing. 

They are known for surpassing urine drug testing accuracy rates, since they are more difficult to cheat and are processed by experts in a specialized facility.

  1. Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Hair drug tests are conducted by cutting a small portion of hair from the back of the head (approximately 120 strands) and placing them into a sealed tube or bag. This method is often preferred since the metabolites that are produced when the body processes various substances remain in the hair for the longest amount of time, making it possible for test administrators to not only determine if a person has used a particular drug, but also how long ago and how frequently.

  1. Blood Drug Testing

Blood drug testing is essentially the same as any other form of blood work. It is completed by having a physician or healthcare professional extract blood from a vein using a syringe. The collected blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for specialized analysis.

How Accurate Are Drug Tests?

It is important to preface conversations regarding accurate drug testing by stating that all drug test methods are considered highly effective.

Drug test accuracy statistics show that all four testing methods are 99% accurate when used correctly and contamination is avoided.

With this being said, certain types of drug screens are more susceptible to tampering than others or inaccurate readings than others.

How Accurate Are Urine Drug Tests?

Of all the available methods, the accuracy of urine drug tests is considered by industry experts to be least dependable.

This is largely influenced by the high number of manipulation tactics that have been developed for this particular type of test.

Furthermore, there are many low-quality, mass-produced versions of this test available online that have not been FDA-approved.

Thus, it is extremely important that buyers do their research and find the most accurate urine drug test that meets their needs.

At Countrywide Testing, our FDA-approved urine tests come with a 99% accuracy rating and are produced right here in the United States at a registered facility.

What is the Most Accurate Drug Test Method?

Overall, blood tests remain the most dependable and conclusive form of analysis. However, this method can not be completed outside of a healthcare facility or laboratory. Thus, it is not a viable option for companies, institutions, or organizations that need to conduct testing on-site.

When it comes to “at-home” or “on-site” drug tests, hair follicle screens are considered the precedent for accurate drug tests

At Countrywide Testing, we offer easy-to-use at-home hair follicle tests. These tests allow an individual to complete the hair collection process from any location and mail the sample to our SAMHSA, ISO, CLIA, and CAP licensed laboratory for analysis.

Tips for Ensuring Accurate Results

There are several steps test administrators can take to reduce the likelihood of flawed test results, including:

  • Read all instructions before administering the test. Steps may vary between different devices.
  • Always use first morning urine when conducting a urine test, as this is when the highest levels of metabolites are present.
  • Never leave a hair, saliva, urine or blood sample unattended. 
  • Never allow a hair, saliva, urine, or blood sample to sit unsealed or exposed, as this can result in contamination.
  • Always ensure the individual being tested is supervised at every stage of the collection process.