At 1st Step Interventions, the leading choice by parents and the most successful Drug Addiction Intervention Company in Walnut Creek and Danville has noticed an unsavory trend recently – Home drug test kits that are unregulated by the FDA. These Tests can be purchased at Dollar Stores.
Parents often worry about drug and alcohol use with their young children and teens. This time of year can be especially daunting with graduation, parties and summer celebrations. Sober graduation campaigns only go so far.
shoppers can buy home drug test kits, that are unregulated by the FDA, for only one dollar at the local dollar store in town.
We set out to track down one of these tests. It didn’t take long to find the blue and green box, complete with a picture of hemp leaves, stocked on the shelves.
Are these tests accurate?
The box says the test is “97 percent accurate” with results in five minutes of dipping the single-use strip into a urine sample. It shows a simple plus or minus to tell if the tester is positive or negative for having Marijuana, pot, hash, hash oil, or any other form of the drug in the body.
The test says it is for “over-the-counter and prescription use” with a cutoff of “50ng/mL of Cannabis.” (Ng is the abbreviation for a nanogram.) Cannabis is just another term for Pot.
The package insert reads “Easy Screen test to Federal Guidelines for detection. Other drug test and methods may in fact test to standards and levels higher than Federal Guidelines.”
Dollar Tree corporate officials where contacted for comment about the Easy Screen drug tests but did not respond. The store manager was unable to provide comment.
Other drug store chains do offer home drug tests for marijuana, methamphetamine, opiates, Ecstasy and cocaine, but those tests run upward of $30 and the sample must be sent out in order to obtain results.
Jeff Soto of Teen Savers, a manufacturer of home drug test kits, says tests like Easy Screen are not generally reliable.
“Tests like Easy Screen are usually Chinese made. Many aren’t consistent and can vary in the levels they test from box to box in each lot produced,” he said. “A lot of the people buying these products are users themselves who are checking because they have a drug screen coming up at work or something like that.”
Soto says that accurate home drug test kits must go through a rigorous screening and process with the Food and Drug Administration in order to qualify for FDA approval.
Although attempts to reach the FDA went unanswered, a search of their website shows that in August 2011, Greenbrier International, INC’s Easy SCREEN Marijuana Test Strip, for Cannabis or THC was waived from regulatory over-site.
According to the FDA website:
“Tests can be categorized as “waived” from regulatory over-site if they meet certain requirements established by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) law. By selecting a Test System Name, you can view the CLIA data for that Test System, including the corresponding 510(K) record, if applicable.”
In order to be considered for Waivers per the FDA:
1) Any test listed in the regulation must be included.
2) Any test system for which the manufacturer or producer applies for waiver if that test meets the statutory criteria and the manufacturer provides scientifically valid data verifying that the waiver criteria have been met
3) Test systems cleared by the FDA for home use.
A call to the manufacturer’s customer service department went unanswered.
“The cheap tests can give a parent a false sense of security,” said Soto.
We at 1st Step Interventions use Drug Smart tests. These tests have been tested and a white paper published. We present our clients with the white paper before we start a Drug Screening process on any of our Patient’s under our Addiction Care Management™ Service. We have found that the Patient’s we work with whose Parents or Spouse or Family sign them up for this Service do much better in their Recovery. In fact every Patient who had at least 9 months if not longer of drug testing along with our services are all still Sober and in Recovery today. How do we know this, because the relationship we form with them becomes so strong that they themselves stay in touch with us.
** Idea for this Blog taken from an article written by Autumn Johnson (Editor) ,