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A urine drug test examines your urine for the presence of foreign or illegal substances. This test is usually for pre-employment screening and drug abuse detection. 

The most popular way of screening the urine is through drug test cups. It is a quick and painless way to test for multiple drugs in one screening of a urine sample. The 12 Panel Drug Test cup, for example, can easily detect the following drugs – Amphetamine, Barbiturate, Buprenorphine, Benzodiazepine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy, Methadone, Opiates, Oxycodone, Phencyclidine, and Marijuana. This cup is also CLIA waived, which means that it carries a low risk for inaccurate results.

It’s easy to use and read a drug test cup. Here’s a guide for you to follow:

  1. Obtain a drug test cup

Determine the kind of drug test cup that is needed. Each cup varies depending on the types of drugs that it can detect. Check if it is FDA approved and CLIA waived, as well. 

Examine if the seal of the test cup is intact. Do not use it if there’s any sign of tampering or contamination to avoid inaccurate results. Make sure that the test cup is not expired too.

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2. Collect urine sample

The optimal amount of urine sample for this test is 30mL. However, the test can work if the urine sample is at least 15mL. Make sure that the urine sample is not contaminated or diluted. 

Once the urine sample is collected, start a five-minute timer before reading the results. Make sure not to exceed the ten-minute mark before interpreting the results.

3. Evaluate the results 

Each panel has its own Control Region and Test Region. The Control Region, printed at the top, is marked as C. The Test Region, placed below the Control Region, is marked as T. These regions are important in knowing how to read a drug test cup.

First, check if there is a colored line next to the C. If there is no colored line in the Control Region, the test is invalid. You’ll have to collect another urine sample and use a new drug test cup. Common reasons for an invalid result are insufficient urine sample volume and incorrect procedural method. 

If a colored line surfaces next to both the Control and Test Region, the result of the drug test is negative. The color intensity of the line is not a factor. Even a faint colored line means that the test is negative. 

Having one line in the Control Region and none in the Test Region indicates a positive result. You may choose to redo the test to guarantee that the test is not a false positive. However, most 12 Panel Drug Test cups are 99% accurate. A SAMHSA-certified laboratory may also examine the urine sample for validation of the result. 

Upon purchase of drug test cups, make sure that it’s properly stored. Keep the cups out of direct sunlight. Stocking the cups in a freezer is also prohibited. Make sure that the temperature of the storage area is between two to thirty degrees Celcius.