Frequently Asked Questions

Which test is best?

Most pharmacies stock multi-drug tests which, as the name suggests, screen urine for more than one category of drug. They’re also sometimes called multi-panel tests because each “panel” or testing strip is formulated to test the presence of a separate drug category.

Multi-drug tests are used by either dipping the testing strips into the urine sample and reading the result within a specified number of minutes or by dripping urine onto the testing strips.

Pharmacists agree that once you’ve decided to test your child for drugs, a multi-drug test is the best starting point.

Are rapid drug tests as accurate as Certified Lab Test?

A Our drug tests are qualitative, which means it only determines the presence of drugs at detection limits. Given the purposes of most drug testing (pre-employment, post-accident, random) is to detect the presence of drug use and not determine the amounts ingested, our rapid drug test satisfies the needs of almost all Drug Screening Programs.

Do the results hold up in court?

Rapid drug tests provide only a preliminary analytical test result. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result- gas chromatography (mass spectrometry) (GC/MS) is the preferred confirmatory method. Any result taken to court, must be confirmed by a certified Lab.

What if your child won’t co-operate?

A teenager who refuses to provide a urine sample for a drug test isn’t necessarily a drug user. At this age many kids resent what they regard as interference by their parents, or the child may simply have a strong concept of dignity and privacy and be willing to risk suspicion to protect it. But that certainly won’t help Mom and Dad sleep any better.

That’s where a widely available, non-invasive test called Drug Detective comes in. Drug Detective has its origins in the fields of forensics and biochemistry and the test procedure seems to come straight from an episode of CSI. Drug Detective can detect trace amounts of drugs on common surfaces such as clothing, computer keyboards and cellphones.

There are detailed instructions for collecting and testing surface residue, powders, tablets and liquids for a range of substances including cocaine, marijuana, tik, speed and crack. And results are available within 10 minutes.

The test is not without risks. The technology is sophisticated, so it’s easy to make a mistake that could produce a false-positive or false-negative result. And surfaces are public – so testing your teen’s cellphone for traces of drugs, for example, is pointless unless you’re 100 per cent sure no one else has recently handled the phone.

The Drug Detective is more expensive.

Test buying tips

Most drug test kits are generic rather than branded or are identified by codes.

Some pharmacies or organisations brand their own tests.

If you feel embarrassed about asking for a drug or alcohol test at the prescription counter, call ahead, explain what you need and arrange to collect the test at the till.

Is it legal ?

By and large, yes. Kerry Williams and Prelishna Singh of attorneys Webber Wentzel say there are no laws prohibiting parents from testing their children for drug use. But they’re quick to point out that the Children’s Act of 2005 gives children the right to participate in matters concerning themselves and requires parents to consider their children’s views.

The legal buffs say that although this section doesn’t prohibit parents from testing their children for drugs, it does impose a duty to tell children about the test and allow them to express their views about it.

On the other hand, say Williams and Singh, testing a child for drug use without his or her knowledge is a violation of the child’s constitutional right to privacy. But there are circumstances where this right to privacy can be limited if it’s reasonable and justifiable.

Their view is that determining whether a child is using an illegal substance is both reasonable and justifiable. So it is possible to test your child without his or her knowledge or consent without breaking any law. But if the child is already 18 and thus no longer a minor, doing a drug test without his or her consent is certainly against the law.