In the 2018 Employment Screening Benchmark Report, about 63% of responding organizations reported conducting drug and alcohol testing as part of background checks. In most cases, companies conduct urine testing through drug testing cups, among others. Learn how to read drug test cups results efficiently by reading on.

Besides pre-employment screening, others use urine drug tests for compliance measures and home substance abuse prevention. For safety, effectiveness, and security of the drug test, drug test cups are FDA approved, and CLIA waived.

Today, drug test cups can screen up to 14 types of drugs in a single test. The test procedure is identical for all cups, which involves following the proper steps to determine an accurate result. Below is a list of steps that can guide you.

5 Easy Steps: How to Read Drug Test Cups Result

Reading a drug test cup result is a simple test method to carry out. Though there are different urine drug test kits present in the market, the test procedure is identical. Below are the five easy steps to determine whether drugs of abuse are present in a specimen collection:

1. Unscrew the cup and collect the specimen

To begin the testing process, the donor must urinate into the drug testing cup to the right volume. An indicator line is present on the side of the cup to enable easy measurement of the sample quantity. At least 45 mL of urine sample is required in urine drug test cups. An insufficient sample may result in inaccurate results.

2. Remove the peel-off label exposing the test results

After removing the peel-off label, you’ll see the test results as indicated by the color bands. In both regions, the presence or absence of color bands will tell whether the drug of abuse is present. Moreover, every panel urine drug test cup has two regions, the control region (C) and test region (T). The control region at the top indicates whether the test is functional, and a test region indicates if the drug under test is present.

Take note to read the result within 8 minutes after the point of collection.

3. Check the temperature strip label

In checking the temperature strip label, it’s necessary to carry out the process within 4-5 minutes after a fresh urine sample collection. The acceptable temperature range for a urine sample is 32-38 degrees C (90-100 degrees F).

The green color will appear to indicate the temperature of the urine specimen is within the acceptable temperature range. If the sticker glows green and does not fade away after 3 seconds, it is considered a fresh valid urine sample. Otherwise, adulteration of foreign substances may be present in urine samples, which will interfere with the drug test and cause false positives or false negatives. 

4. Be sure to read the results after 5 minutes

The presence or absence of colored bands in the result area of the test strips reveals whether a substance abuse test is positive or negative.

You must read the result after 5 minutes. Don’t interpret it after 8 minutes, as the test is invalid.

5. Identify colored lines in two regions

The presence or absence of colored lines in two regions associated with substance abuse determines a drug test result. Here’s how to read a drug test cup results through the use of colored band formation:

Positive results

In presumptive positive drug test results, only one colored line appears in the control region. No colored band appears in the test region for the drug in question. More so, a positive result indicates that the drug concentration exceeds the cutoff levels.

Take note that another drug testing method must confirm a positive test result. Send your cup and specimen unaltered to a toxicology laboratory or SAMHSA-Certified laboratory site for confirmation.

Negative results

In a negative result, two colored bands will show up. One band appears in the control region, and another appears in the test region for the drug in question. Moreover, a negative result indicates that the drug concentration is below the detection levels.

Note that the intensity of the color line doesn’t matter. Even very faint lines indicate a negative reading.

 Invalid results

In an invalid result, the control line fails to show up at all in the control region. Thus, the result is unfunctional and recommended to discard.

Review the procedure again and repeat it with a new test.

In recent years, panel drug testing cups have become a popular drug screening method with most industries due to their convenience and faster drug detection times. Even though the drug test is easy to administer, there are specific steps to consider on how to read drug test cups correctly to prevent inaccurate results.

Looking for affordable and high-quality drug testing kits or drug testing supplies? Check out Ovus Medical’s drug testing cups today!


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