Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What drugs does the System test for? | top

      The System tests for eight (9) illegal drugs of abuse; marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, codeine, morphine, heroin and PCP. Alcohol and nicotine are also substances of abuse, however, they are different from the drugs of abuse the System tests for in that they are (1) legal, and (2) their use can easily be detected by smell. LSD, ecstasy, and inhalants are other exotic man made drugs that are abused by teenagers. These drugs are not tested for by the System because (1) the use of LSD, ecstasy and inhalants is not as common as the eight drugs tested for by the System. (2) It is unlikely that teenagers would be using these drugs without using substances tested for by the System (i.e. marijuana); (3) the cost of analysis for any one of these synthetic drugs can be more than it costs for all of the most common drugs of abuse combined. Thus, if used in conjunction with the information and educational materials provided, the System is the most cost effective means of deterring and detecting drugs of abuse.

    1. How long after use can drugs be detected? | top

      The length of time that a drug stays in the body or the length of time after a drug can be detected after use depends in part on the drug that is being abused (i.e. marijuana can be detected in the body a long time after use). The person may show no symptoms of having used marijuana, yet, it can be detected. However, the duration of detection depends upon such things as (1) frequency of use, (2) the way the drug was taken (i.e. smoked vs. injected vs. being eaten), (3) the purity of the drug, (4) if the person has a history and frequency of use of a certain drug, and (5) that person's diet. Also, the variation and answers to this type of question depends upon who is asking the question. For example, for most parents, the question is most likely asked to determine if the person tested is using drugs. For the person using drugs, (someone on probation or parole) the question is asked usually to determine whether or not their drug use can or will be detected. For parents and others concerned about the accuracy of detecting drug abuse, the best advice is to educate yourself about drug abuse. Talk to, know and observe your child's behavior and habits (i.e. sleep patterns, diet, medical prescription history, etc.). Your knowledge of your child is extremely important in helping to interpret drug test results and reaching accurate conclusions about drug abuse or other medical or mental health concerns. For persons who wish to know whether or not their drug use will be detected, the best way to assure that it will not be is to stop using drugs.

    1. How old should a child be before you begin testing? | top

      The most appropriate time to actually start testing a child is dependent upon the situation. There are situations when the parent feels comfortable that at age 10, 11 or 12 they need not test the child for drug abuse. There are other instances where because of older siblings, abusive and addicted spouses, neighbors, and peers who come from drug abuse environments, testing should begin at 5, 6 or 7 years of age. However, the following points should be kept in mind. Drug testing is only one component of Dr. Brown's Home Drug Testing System. The use of the principles of the System, informing and educating the child and yourself about drug abuse (i.e. drugs are bad things, and you should never use them) should start being taught along with the other social taboos. When you do decide you need to start testing, you should know that you are not just testing your child, but his friends, associates and social environment. Drug abuse does not occur in isolation or in a vacuum. It is no longer a question as to whether or not our children will be tested for drug abuse, but who will be doing the testing (i.e. school nurse, coach, doctor, employer, police, etc.) and when (i.e. to play on school teams, to go to camp, summer employment, etc.). Parents should prepare themselves and their children to accept this new reality. The fact is that drug testing has become an integral part of our lives that will be used as a basis for giving privileges, as well as, imposing penalties.

    1. What about false positives? | top

      The concept of false positives is different for layman vs. professionals. For the layman, a positive test result means that the person tested is abusing drugs. For the professional, a positive test result only means that a particular drug has been detected in a person's urine sample. In fact, each specimen is tested twice, once as a screen and if positive, a second confirmation test is performed using a more sophisticated analysis. From a professional perspective, when a positive result is reported, there is no doubt that a substance like the one tested for was detected. However, from the laymen's perspective, if the positive result was due to anything other than voluntary use of the drug (i.e. food, medicine, passive inhalation of a drug, etc.), the positive result is perceived as false. It is, however, the professional standard that test results are reported by. If a positive test result is reported, it may be false to assume that the person tested is abusing drugs as opposed to other explanations. However, it is not false that a drug was detected in their urine and as such yielded a positive result on their separate tests.

    1. How do you get children to take the test? | top

      The testing component of the System is voluntary and coercion should never be used as the basis for cooperation. The System includes a drug free Pledge (see Pledge) and Consent Form designed to help stimulate discussion and create understanding between the parent and the child about the problems of drug abuse, the parent's responsibility, and the purpose for drug abuse testing. In spite of the growing number of children abusing drugs, substance abuse is listed as the number one fear among American children. If after trying to convince your child that drug testing would help them too and provide a good excuse to not use drugs, in addition to giving you the comfort of knowing, they still resist, then abandon the effort. Fortunately, the informational and educational material, along with the professional referral source contained in the System are viable sources of support. It is important to note that if a person truly does not want to stop using drugs or is unwilling to cooperate with drug testing, then the testing will not be of value as a deterrent or means of early detection.

    1. What is the significance of the F.D.A Approval? | top

      Having F.D.A. clearance means that every component of the System has undergone a very rigorous evaluation to determine its safety and effectiveness for use by the common citizen. The staff's credentials and capability of the laboratory doing the tests, the organization giving the results, the referral organization, the package design and labeling all had to undergo significant evaluation to ensure the highest standards of performance were met. F.D.A. clearance means that the System is subject to ongoing evaluation and accountability to ensure that the safest, most effective technology and services are provided to the general population. The ability to provide service over and above what is apparent is implicit to a problem such as substance abuse. There was an evaluation of experience (via previous research with the home drug testing system) in the field of substance abuse that helped to increase the quality of the F.D.A. application and product and services associated with it. Personal Health & Hygiene's staff, their expertise and commitment to substance abuse, was also an integral part of the product and the clearance process. The System is a very special product because substance abuse is a very special problem. The way the product is packaged, managed, or priced is not business as usual. We are generally concerned about the problem of substance abuse and the general public that is effected by it. We do not look at the manufacturing and selling of the product as just our business. This is an F.D.A. Approved device. If you are a citizen concerned about substance abuse, Dr. Brown's Home Drug Testing System is your business too! That is what the significance of the F.D.A. approval means.

    1. What about False Negatives? | top

      Over and above the outcome of a laboratory test result, the concept of a false negative is important and challenging. The importance of the System's emphasis on including information and parental education about substance abuse and the strengths and limitations of the testing are clear when we talk about false negative test results. In order to properly interpret a test result that is negative requires that you have been communicating, interacting with, and otherwise observing your child's behavior. Your closeness, intuition, or even gut feeling that something is wrong with your child should not be dismissed because a drug test result comes back negative. The test result may be negative for many reasons. It may be that the behavior which gives you considerable concern is not due to drug abuse but a medical or mental health problem. The point is that as a parent or someone close to the donor, you may have good reason to believe that your child has a problem. If the use of the System helps you to explore the problem and assists you in your efforts to determine what is causing this unusual behavior, then the System has helped you. It may also be appropriate to consult with your pharmacist, physician, or health care professional. Further observation or more frequent testing may also be warranted.

    1. How do I use the pledge and consent form? | top

      The drug free Pledge and Consent Form is one of the most important components of the system. It is the first thing you should do after reading the Instructions. The Pledge and Consent Form helps to open up dialogue between parent and child and increases understanding and communication about drug abuse and why the parent wants to start testing at home. A recent study from the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse indicated that 84% of adolescents would take a drug free pledge; however, no one asked them to. The Pledge and Consent Form is signed by both parent and child. This aspect of the System ensures that the participation by the donor is voluntary. If the child will not take the Pledge or sign the Consent Form, it is very unlikely that they would or should participate in the drug testing component. However, because they will not consent to testing does not mean they will not take the Pledge. If the level of cooperation that you can obtain is limited to taking the Pledge, accept it and work with it (i.e. have talks, discussions, disagreements, etc. airing views on substance abuse). The continued discussion about drug abuse may be sufficient to deter your child from the temptations. If suspicions about drug abuse should arise, it may be that the testing will be requested by the child to confirm their non-use. In any event, the Pledge and Consent Form can be a valuable beginning.

    1. How do I make sure the urine sample has not been tampered with? | top

      How the specimen is collected is the most important part of any laboratory testing procedure. The following steps are things that you can do at hand, to minimize that the urine specimen will be tampered with. Keep in mind that persons who truly do not want to stop using drugs represent a real challenge to obtaining a specimen that is not compromised. However, for most children and teenagers, the following general considerations should prove helpful in ensuring the integrity of the urine specimen.


      In collecting a urine specimen the parent or sponsor may use one of several methods to ensure that the specimen is not tampered with. They are as follows:

      1. Accompany the child into the bathroom and observe them directly urinate into the collection cup.
      2. Make sure the faucets in the bathroom basin and shower are turned off tightly and child should be instructed not to turn them on. Place blue coloring into the toilet. This will help to discourage the use of any water sources to dilute the specimen. Tape the medicine cabinet door closed. Check the child's clothing to ensure that they do not have access to or anything in their possession that would be used to tamper with the specimen.
      3. The urine containers and cup may be handed to the child with instructions for them to go to the bathroom unaccompanied. The parent should wait outside of the bathroom to provide any assistance required. Once the child has finished urinating into the cup and transferred the urine into the containers, they should be checked to ensure that they are tightly capped, dried off and checked for natural warmth. The extent to which any of the aforementioned methods of collecting urine specimens are employed depends upon the history of the person being tested (i.e. no history of drug use, suspected history, or confirmed history of use). After the specimen is collected you should follow the guidance in the Instruction Booklet for getting the specimen back to the laboratory. Also be aware that each specimen sent to the laboratory is given certain physical checks before being analyzed to ensure that tampering has not taken place.

  1. Can the System be used in the workplace? | top

    The System provides a therapeutic and cost effective supplement to Drug Free Workplace Testing. The System's advantages and distinctions in workplace testing are as follows:

    1. It is voluntary and can only be employed with the consent of the employee or executive. This greatly increases the chances of success and reduces the cost associated with involuntary, legally imposed testing and treatment.
    2. It is totally anonymous. No names are used and there is no paper documentation other than that created by the person being tested. Thus the threat of damaging the person's professional reputation or placing negative information in their personnel file is eliminated.
    3. Although the integrity of the specimen is protected for clinical purposes, the fact that there is no documentation precludes the test results being used against the person in a legal proceeding.
    4. The same laboratory procedures that are performed in drug free workplace testing are performed for the System. There is a screening test and a confirmation of positive results using GM/MS.
    5. The same medical review officer services are available for employers who use the System for therapeutic purposes except that it is much less expensive and there is a national network of health care provider referrals built into the cost of the System. The System is a unique and cost effective option for businesses interested in helping employees work through their drug abuse problems. This is especially true compared to the expense associated with forensic testing (i.e. chain of custody, laboratory, medical review, treatment, litigation, etc.). For further information regarding the use of the System in the workplace, call customer service at 1-800-729-6913.