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Positive and Negative of the Different Types Drug Testing Kits

Drug Test Type



Detection Time Frame

Urine Drug testing

Accurate and reliable results

Affordable, inexpensive drug test kit

Drug testing for different specimen of abuse, including various drugs, alcohol and nicotine

Well known for the specialists and general public

Laboratory confirmation available

Adulteration, dilution, and substitution methods well known and common

Need a special room and same sex personnel

Could be embarrassing for some tested persons

Invasive method with problems of specimen handling and shipping to laboratory, because of hazardous nature

Basically 1 to 5 days, depend of substance nature, usage regularity and body type

For example, Marijuana could stay longer, up to 3-4 weeks with the heavy users with overweight problems

Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Longer window of detection.

Greater stability (does not deteriorate).

Can measure chronic drug use.

Convenient shipping and storage (no need to refrigerate).

Collection procedure not considered invasive or embarrassing.

More difficult to adulterate than urine.

Detects alcohol/cocaine combination use.

More expensive.

Test usually limited to basic 5-drug panel.

Cannot detect alcohol use.

Will not detect very recent drug use (1 to 7 days prior to test).

Depends on the length of hair in the sample. Hair grows about a half-inch per month, so a 1-inch specimen would show a 3-month history.

Saliva (Oral Fluid) Drug Testing

Sample obtained under direct observation.

Minimal risk of tampering.


Samples can be collected easily in virtually any environment.

Can detect alcohol use.

Reflects recent drug use.

Drugs and drug metabolites do not remain in oral fluids as long as they do in urine.

Less efficient than other testing methods in detecting marijuana use.

Approximately 10 to 24 hours.

Surface (Aerosol Drug Testing)


Variable removal date (generally 1 to 7 days).

Quick application and removal.

Longer window of detection than urine.

No sample substitution possible.

Limited number of labs able to process results.

People with skin eruptions, excessive hair, or cuts and abrasions cannot wear the patch.

Passive exposure to drugs may contaminate patch and affect results.

Patch retains evidence of drug use for at least 7 days, and can detect even low levels of drugs 2 to 5 hours after last use.



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