Pros and Cons of an At Home Drug Test

at home drug testIf you have enough time (and it only needs to be a few days) between your notification of a hair follicle test and when you need to report to a drug testing collection location, I always recommend that you at least get an at home drug test.

I say “at least” because it would actually be preferable for you to get a full hair follicle test at a drug testing lab (separate from the lab you need to test at) but the cost of a professionally conducted test runs significantly higher than an at home drug test solution so that may be all you can afford.

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The reason you want to get an at home drug test or a professionally conducted test is to establish a baseline. Are you hot or not. So many people needlessly worry about smoking a joint six months ago due to the vast amounts of misinformation out on the internet that a simple baseline drug test can eliminate some sleepless nights and the harmful effects of being overly stressed.

That said, there are some pros and cons with going the at home drug test route that you should be aware of.

At Home Drug Test Pros:

  • Easy to perform. Just follow some simple directions, drop the sample off in the mail, and wait for the results
  • Results are fast, usually within a few business days
  • Very anonymous, you use numbers or codes instead of a name

At Home Drug Test Cons:

  • Cutoff levels may not be the same as the “real” test. Although the accuracy of the at home drug test may be the same (or similar) to professional drug testing, they may use a different cutoff for pass-fail. For instance, the real test has a pass-fail threshold at 1.0 pg/mg. An at home drug test, due to it being for less professional purposes, may have a cutoff of 1.1 or 1.2 pg/mg. You could pass an at home drug test and fail the real one due to this difference. Some at home drug test products do not disclose what the cutoff levels are so it may be impossible to determine how close to a real test you’re getting.
  • A professional drug test will disclose your exact drug concentration levels whereas an at home drug test is generally pass or fail. If you fail a professionally administered drug test they will tell you exactly what your drug levels were. This could be very valuable in determining your risk of failing the real drug test. With an at home drug test, you could be just over the cutoff or way over the cutoff and you won’t know which.

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