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Which Drug Test Is Most Accurate?

Employers thrive for a safe and healthy work environment. They do this by testing workers for drug use. But which drug test is most accurate?

There are currently three primary methods of specimen collection: Urine, saliva, and hair. Urine is the most prevalent method of drug testing.  According to reports only 10 percent of employers use saliva and 7 percent use hair.

Most employers use urine testing over saliva or hair, mostly because its common.

Pros and Cons of the different drug tests

  • Urine testing

Urinalysis is currently the only approved drug-testing method which employers can use. It’s also covered by federal guidelines. This method provides an easy way to collect the specimen. Afterwards, specialists screen the specimen for illicit drugs as well as prescription medication.

As with other things, people are understanding how to cheat on the test. With urine specimen you can easily cheat. There are many websites selling adulterants and synthetic urine for people who want to cheat.

Regardless, it’s not easy to cheat a urine test. While employers can’t monitor employees during specimen collection there are ways to detect a fake specimen. A urine screen is difficult to cheat because employers check the temperature, pH, and creatinine. This ensures specimen integrity. Attempts to cheat on a urine specimen will result to an inconclusive drug test. 

Oral fluid testing happens onsite, which increases efficiency and reduces time wastage. Saliva test detects recent drugs while urine tests only detect drugs that pass through your system.

Saliva testing is much more appealing because employers can do it themselves. Testers receive FDA-approved onsite swab tests, making it difficult to cheat. The testers later go to the lab for confirmation. However, some states don’t allow onsite testing, which makes employers to result to urine tests. 

Since oral tests have a small detection window, they tend to be accurate. They usually detect drugs even after 48 hours of consumption.

Nonetheless, the small detection window also has its disadvantages. Oral test only detects drug use that as occurs within the past days.

  • Hair testing

Drug-testing hair is an easy and noninvasive way to detect drug. But which drug test is most accurate? Hair test detects drugs over a greater length of time. Its most effective when testing for drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates. Some of these drugs are undetectable in urine after three to four days.

Hair testing is very difficult to cheat on. Employees use hair testing deterrents such as shampoos which are ineffective. It’s impossible for workers to prepare for hair testing since its time wasting.

However, one downside of hair testing is that it won’t detect sporadic drug usage. It can also detect cannabis smoke in your hair from another cannabis smoker.

Furthermore, since hair takes time to grow, it won’t cover the few days right before the test.

Bottom line: Which drug test is most accurate?

The accuracy of a drug test will depend on each organization’s drug-testing needs. To know which drug test is most accurate, you must be comfortable with it. Employer with 10 workers can conduct onsite saliva testing by themselves. But if employers have the necessary funds, they can contract a lab for urine testing.