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If it’s your first time to do a urine drug screen, you’d naturally want to know how to read a drug test cup. No, it doesn’t take rocket science to interpret the results of a urine drug test. It’s fairly easy to do. You can actually do it yourself.

Urine drug test cups come in single and multi-panel. A single cup detects a specific drug. A multi-panel, on the other hand, checks for several drugs at the same time.

We’ll use Ovus Medical’s 12 Panel Drug Test Cup with Adulterants as an example for this blog post.

Things to consider before reading drug test results   

  1. Put the drug test cup out of the storage area. Bring it to room temperature.
  2. Next, inspect the drug test cup. It should be leak-proof and tamper-proof.
  3. Third, ensure the donor doesn’t have unnecessary items in his clothing. There have been urine-tampering cases because the donors could substitute the sample with someone else’s.
  4. Finally, make sure you’ve collected enough urine. It should be 30 ml to 90 ml. Anything below this amount might yield invalid results.

Ovus Medical drug test cup steps

How to read a drug test cup

Here are the next steps once the donor returns the cup to you.

  1. First of all, start your timer. This test is a rapid immunoassay. So, you should read the results after five minutes. Conversely, do not interpret the result after 10 minutes because it will not be valid anymore.
  2. Then, check the green color on the temperature strip. It should be somewhere between the ranges of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is out of that range, there’s a possibility of tampering. Proceed to the next step if the sample passes the temperature check.
  3. Next, peel off the label. You will see the results window.
  4. Check the adulteration strips for the following:
    1. Specific gravity. An unadulterated urine sample should have a specific gravity within the range of 1.003 to 1.040.
    2. pH. On the other hand, the accepted range of testing is a pH between 4.5 and 8.0. Anything above or below this range suggests adulteration.
    3. Creatinine. A creatinine concentration of <20 mg/dL means the urine specimen is dilute. On the other hand, a <2.9 mg/dL indicates an abnormally dilute urine. If you’re satisfied with the adulterants’ results, you can now proceed to the next step.
  5. Next, check the results area. There are 11 more strips in a 12 Panel Drug Test Cup with Adulterants. These strips are showing the types of drugs tested by this cup.
    1. AMP – Amphetamine
    2. BAR – Barbiturates
    3. BUP – Buprenorphine
    4. BZO – Benzodiazepines
    5. COC – Cocaine
    6. MAMP (MET) – Methamphetamine
    7. MDMA – Ecstasy
    8. MTD – Methadone
    9. OPI300 (MOP) – Morphine
    10. OXY – Oxycodone
    11. THC
  6. Look at the lines on the strips. 
    1. The top line is the control. If no lines are showing here, this means two things. Either the test is not working as it should or the results are invalid due to an inadequate amount of sample.
    2. The line below is the test area. No line in this area, on the other hand, indicates a positive result.
    3. Lines in both the control and test areas, consequently, indicate a negative result. 

How to read a drug test cup? Just follow the drug test instructions above, and you’re off to reading it with complete ease and accuracy. 

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