Test tubes in a rack with sample being taken from one of them

Drug & Alcohol Testing Process

Drug Test Definition

A drug test is a technical analysis of biological specimens to detect the presence of drugs or their metabolites. Common specimens include urine, blood, hair, and saliva. Drug tests are used to determine past drug use, compliance with drug policies, or for medical purposes.

Why Drug Testing is Done

Drug testing is conducted for various reasons, including:

  • pre-employment screening
  • workplace safety
  • legal compliance
  • visa requirements
  • medical diagnostics
  • sports anti-doping

It ensures a safe and drug-free environment and assists in identifying substance abuse issues.

Drug Test Cost

The drug test cost varies based on the type of test, the number of substances screened, and whether it’s a basic or comprehensive analysis. Browse through our range of tests to find the cost of the most appropriate test for you. Our drug test prices are made to be extremely competitive; just compare them to other providers. Put that together with convenience and we are a top rated drug test provider.

Walk-in and Booked Drug Tests

The vast majority of our test do not need an appointment and are done on a walk-in basis at Patient Reception with very convenient timings: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, and Sat 7am-1pm. Make sure to make payment for the test online first.

Appointments are only needed for chain of custody tests. These are done Mon-Fri 9am-4pm. You will have been told if you need this type of legal test.

Urine Drug Test Detection Times

Urine drug test detection times vary based on the substance. For instance, cannabis can be detected up to 30 days after use, while cocaine may only be detected for a few days. It’s crucial to understand these timelines for accurate testing. 

Testing Samples for Tampering

To ensure the integrity of the sample, tests are conducted for adulteration. Adding substances like water to a urine sample or using synthetic urine are common tampering methods. Our lab use advanced techniques to detect such attempts, ensuring reliable results. It's important not to try cheating the drug test for this reason as it will result in you repeating the test at your own expense.

Lab Drug Test Cut-Off Levels

Lab tests have specific cut-off levels to determine positive drug test results. Lab drug test cut-off levels are set to minimise false positives. If a drug is present below the cut-off level, the result is negative. Above this level, a positive result is indicated.

Note that this means that there is no test that will check if a drug is present to a zero level. For example, our cannabis urine test has a cut-off level of 50 ng/ml. That means that any level below this will result in a negative result.

2-Step Drug Testing

Our 2-step testing process includes an initial immunoassay drug test. If this is negative then the results are released as being negative within 2 working days. No further testing is done.

Only those samples that are found to be positive undergo confirmation testing. This approach ensures accuracy and reliability in the results.

Confirmation Testing

If a sample tests positive for a certain drug or drugs, then a confirmation test is conducted using a different analytical technique, typically gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Confirmation testing is done only for the drug(s) found to be positive in the first test and takes an extra 5 working days. This process provides precise identification and quantification of the drug, ensuring the validity of drug test results.

Confirmation testing tells you:

  • If the sample is a true or false positive.
  • If it is a true positive, then it will identify the exact substance and its amount.

Interpretation of Results

You may be wondering how to read drug test results from the lab. This is not necessary as each result will have a comments section at the bottom explaining the result.

Urine test results typically have the following sections:

Creatinine level: Creatinine is a substance present in all urine. If the urine sample is dilute then this number will be lower than the cut-off amount and will not be accepted as a valid result even if it is negative. Low creatinine can result from excessive fluids before taking the test so we warn all clients to limit their intake of fluids before taking test. Typically, you should not drink more than one glass (250ml) per hour. Excessive fluids to cause dilution is one of the main ways that people try to cheat tests which is why all samples are checked for creatinine levels. Creatinine levels can become low from drinking a lot of fluid before the test or by adding it secretly to the urine sample at the test centre.

Drug Level: Negative/Positive or Detected/Not Detected with the cut-off level written beside it.

Comments: What the result means. If drugs are detected, then the amount of drug or its metabolite are shown in this section.

Additional Information

All results are sent by email to the email address provided at the time or making payment from our website. Results cannot be given over the phone because of confidentiality and because we cannot identify the caller.

Collection list

Alcohol Tests
Alcohol Tests

Alcohol Tests

Drug Tests
Drug Test

Drug Tests

Postal Tests
home drug test kit

Postal Tests

Chain of Custody Drug Tests
chain of custody drug test

Chain of Custody Drug Tests

Patient Reception

76 Wimpole Street, London.

W1G 9RT.

Monday-Friday: 7AM - 7PM

Saturday: 7AM - 1PM

Sunday: Closed