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Over-the-counter drug tests provide a convenient alternative to patients who need to schedule a screening quickly. As the name suggests, drug tests detect that a person is using certain drugs. The most common drug to test for is marijuana, but some also screen for other substances. There are many reasons why a person may need a test. HB Pharmacy in Northern NJ discusses the different drug tests, what they detect, and why a drug test may be necessary.

HB Pharmacy specializes in several services that individuals across Northern New Jersey and parts of Michigan rely on, including, compounding, nutrition products and services, and vaccines. The team also provides over-the-counter drug tests for those who need them in the areas it serves.

Doctor hand holds plastic container with tests on blue background

Types of Drug Tests

While some instances may require a professional drug test, over-the-counter drug test options can also determine the status of drug use. These tests typically come as a kit, including everything a person needs for efficient and accurate results. The three primary types of over-the-counter drug tests include:

Urine Drug Test

A urine drug test (also called a urinalysis) picks up on more recent drug use of certain substances. This is the most common type of drug test due to its cost-effective and accurate time frame of results.

To complete the test, individuals first urinate into a cup. The best over-the-counter drug test kits usually come with a test card, which is dipped into the urine cup. If two lines appear on the testing card, this means the test is negative. If only one line shows up on the card, this indicates positive results. Urine drug tests can detect drug use for up to several days or weeks, making this a common method for many applications.

Saliva Drug Test

This type of drug test uses saliva to determine if drugs are present in one’s system. Saliva drug tests provide more immediate results, detecting substances within 30 minutes up to 48 hours following drug use.

To use, the swab is rubbed along the inside of the cheek, mouth, and gums. Next, the saliva swab is placed on a strip. The dyes on the strip change depending on the amount of drug use. If there is a lack of color dye, this means the test is negative. However, strips that turn into a different color suggest a positive result. The saliva drug test is ideal in situations that require the detection of more recent drug use.

Hair Drug Test

Hair drug tests use a sample of hair to detect more long-term drug use than other methods. While urine and saliva tests measure drug use within a few days or weeks, hair drug tests can determine drug use up to the last three months.

To complete a hair drug test, hair is cut from the head close to the scalp, collecting multiple hairs from the head. If a person does not have hair on their head, a sample can be taken from other parts of the body like the face or armpit.

The best over-the-counter drug tests typically come with a pre-paid envelope, which the patient uses to send the hair samples to an official laboratory. Individuals can find their results by calling the phone number included with the testing kit, or they can look online by following a specified link.

What Drugs Can a Drug Test Detect?

While the most common drug to test for is marijuana, over-the-counter drug tests can also test for the presence of other drugs in the system, such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Prescription medications
  • Alcohol
  • Steroids
  • Amphetamines
  • PCP
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine

If an at-home drug test turns up positive, patients should consider sending their results to an official laboratory to confirm. This is because many legal activities can throw off a drug test. For example, if a person recently had a cold, certain medications can alter test results and contribute to a positive result. In addition, certain foods like poppy seeds from bagels can also produce a false positive. As such, it can beneficial to receive a second opinion on over-the-counter drug test results.

Over-the-Counter Drug Testing at HB Pharmacy

HB Pharmacy is a family-owned business that aims to educate and engage individuals about their health and well-being in addition to providing essential services to those in Northern NJ and areas of MI. With decades of experience, HB Pharmacy provides a reliable location for patients to seek guidance regarding prescriptions and related health needs. Patients can visit one of the testing sites in Montclair, Rutherford, or Clifton, NJ. To learn more about over-the-counter drug test options, contact HB Pharmacy today or schedule a consultation.