Drug Testing BLOG

Drug testing has emerged as a helpful tool for better health, safety, and productivity in many settings.

Traditional urine drug testing is popular for a reason. This drug testing method can be applied to screen employees in the workplace or family members at home.

To ensure the best possible outcomes, make sure to use the right urine collection cup customized to meet your specific goals.

Choosing a Urine Test Cup

Urine drug testing is commonly used for testing illicit substances like prescription medication, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, synthetic drugs, and the list goes on.

There are two basic types of urine drug testing:

Urine Screening Test

This type of test uses immunoassay to find the parent drug and/or metabolite. Most common drugs screened include cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, PCP, methadone, and benzodiazepines.

Urine Confirmatory Test

This type of urine drug test undergoes gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) testing in a laboratory setting. This type of test is highly specific and is used in testing for the presence of a specific drug, especially when the initial screening test produces a positive result.

How Urine Drug Testing Is Performed

A 30 mL midstream urine sample is needed to conduct a standard urine drug test like the 10 Panel T-Cup CLIA Waived Urine Drug Test Cup. The specimen is collected in the privacy of a restroom.

The collector then pours the sample into a specimen container, which is sealed to prevent the sample from being tampered. 

Test results appear on the indicated panels within 5 or 10 minutes. Preliminary positive tests should be sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis. A GC/MS confirmatory test will be executed to be certain of the kind of drug present in the sample.

Interpreting Drug Test Results

Once you've selected the appropriate urine collection cup, you can move forward with testing and interpretation of results. 

Each panel will have its own Control Region (C) marked at the top, and a Test Region (T) specific to the drug being tested.

If the Control line does not appear after 10 minutes of obtaining a sample, discard the test and administer a new one.

Negative Drug Test Results

Most people will opt for a multi-drug test kit like the 12 Panel DrugConfirm Advanced Flat Panel Urine Drug Test Cup with Adulterants to save time by detecting several substances at once. Donors and administrators both like to see negative drug tests:

If a colored line appears next to both the Control Region and Test Region, the result is NEGATIVE. Color intensity (faintness or darkness) is not a factor when assessing results.

Positive Drug Test Results

A positive urine test result might be the start of action against an employee, parolee, student, etc. who abuses illicit substances.

Before a positive result can be ascertained, the Control Region (C) should be marked with a colored line to indicate the test is valid and non-defective.

When no line appears in the Test Region (T) but a colored line is displayed in the Control Region (C), the drug test result is POSITIVE. Tip: Do not read drug test results more than 10 minutes after a sample is collected.

NOTE: Instant immunoassays are only used for preliminary screening. Positive test results obtained through instant drug tests should be sent to a SAMHSA-Certified laboratory site for confirmation.

Urine Drug Testing Detection Times

The amount of time that a drug stays in the body differs from person to person. Some collection cups are also more sensitive than others, providing early or extended detection windows. Usually, administering a urine drug test immediately after drug use will yield a positive result.


Detection Period


Detection Period


2-5 days

Barbituates (Short-Acting)

2 days

Barbituates (Long-Acting)

3-4 weeks


7-10 days

Cannabinoids (THC, Marijuana)

5-60 days


4-6 days


1-4 days


5-7 days

Euphorics (Ecstasy, Shrooms)

5-7 days

Ketamine (Special K)

5-7 days

LSD (Lysergic Acid)

7-10 days


5-7 days

Steroids (anabolic oral)

14-28 days


5-7 days

Steroids (anabolic parenterally)

1-3 months

Phencyclidine (PCP)

2-4 days


10-20 days


6 hours to 2 days

Urine drug testing is very effective in detecting recent use, typically in the past 1-3 days. It is suitable for all testing reasons and can be used for a wide range of illegal substances and prescription drugs.

However, it is important that for individuals scheduled to undergo a urine drug test to disclose their full medical history, including medications are taken (such as herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications) since some of these substances may contain similar drugs.

It is highly likely that an individual taking prescribed opiates may show a positive urine drug test result. However, this can be sorted out by using a confirmatory test. Similarly, some diet pills contain amphetamines and methamphetamines, which may also a positive result.

Urine Collection Cup Features

A large percentage of individuals may not be aware of the right kind of receptacle to use in collecting urine that is intended for drug testing or for a pregnancy test. For instance, no matter how clean a container may appear to be, the presence of bacteria may affect the results of the urine test.

An ideal urine collection cup should have the following specifications:

  • It should be sterilized

  • It should hold at least 90 mL of urine

  • There should be a tamper tab to determine if the sample has been contaminated or adulterated

  • The container should be ideal for harsh transport conditions (i.e. does not easily break)

  • The container must be made of a clear, high-quality polypropylene plastic to keep the sample in great condition even under pressure

  • The cap of the urine collection cup should prevent threading and leaking

  • Containers should be graduated from the inside. This should be in both ounces and milliliters

Urine drug tests may come in different forms, such as urine drug cassettes and urine drug test dip cards. However, to ensure that you can collect the desirable amount of urine sample, the Sterile Urine Collection Cup with Temperature Strip may just be the best diagnostic aid that you need.

This urine collection cup is designed to provide a convenient way of collecting urine samples. This includes a secure screw that prevents specimen leakage and possible contamination. Apart from having a wide-mouthed sterile cup, each sterile cup has a temperature strip to protect from urine contamination. The sterile cup has a maximum capacity of 90 mL, the amount enough to be used for testing.

Importance of Urine’s Temperature

You may have noticed that the medical staff may be measuring the temperature of the urine samples submitted to them. Looking through a sample specimen is not enough to verify that the sample submitted is authentic. Therefore, the medical staff makes use of an adulterant test to determine if the samples are tampered.

However, no one can be certain if the sample was merely a “good-quality” fake urine or was obtained from another person. Measuring the temperature is an effective way to verify that the sample came from the person being tested.

When obtained fresh, human urine is typically at 94-96°F. However, the temperature may change as soon as it is exposed to either warm or cool environment. For drug testing, a urine temperature that is within the range of 90-100°F is usually acceptable.

Temperatures that go lower or higher than this range is likely tampered or contaminated. If this is the case, the sample will be rejected.

Urine Adulterants

One of the major challenges in urine drug testing is the illegal practice of manipulating the specimens to produce a false negative result. Drug users consider masking their urine samples to avoid being caught.

Some of the common substances that people use to tamper with urine specimen include hypochlorite bleach, table salt, toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, glutaraldehyde, potassium nitrate, and pyridinium chlorochromate. Adding these chemicals may invalidate a drug test result. Therefore, being able to determine the temperature of the urine sample can deter possible hacking of urine samples.

On top of this, drug testing laboratories can already detect the presence of adulterants and contaminants in the urine sample.

Final Word

To ensure that drug test results are always accurate, make sure to only use sterile urine collection cups to avoid having false negative or false positive results.