Laboratory Testing v. Instant Testing

Richmond, Va. – When testing clients in a criminal justice setting, it is critical to know whether they are using drugs, and what drugs they are using. Averhealth’s laboratory testing gives you the confidence and intelligence you need to ensure clients are staying on the path to sobriety. While instant cup tests may appear to cost less, they ultimately cannot provide you the data you need to ensure treatment compliance, and more confirmations lead to higher total costs.

 Laboratory testing enhances treatment and public safety by avoiding false negatives common with instant cup tests. In addition, laboratory testing reduces the need for expensive confirmation testing, ultimately saving you money. For every 1,000 laboratory screens that Averhealth does, just two require confirmation. This is compared to an average of 19 per 100 confirmations needed for on-site screens.

Definitive laboratory test results provide a significantly higher degree of certainty relative to the subjectivity of instant test results. 

Laboratory Testing v. Instant Testing Accuracy Chart

Moreover, instant testing requires a subjective reading from a collector. This can lead to cross-reactivity “noise” in the reading, introducing variability in on-site testing results. What one technician reads as positive, another may read as negative. Laboratory testing screens do not introduce this same noise to the test, giving you more reliable results.

Laboratory Testing v. Instant Testing Test ResultsAnother benefit of laboratory testing is rotating panels. While an instant test provides results within minutes, it can only test for certain drugs, which are the same every single time. With laboratory testing through Averhealth, you can rotate which drugs are screened for, allowing you a more comprehensive picture of a client’s use pattern. Furthermore, the drugs are not listed on the side of the test cup, which means a client cannot determine which drugs they are being tested for in order to change their use behaviors. In all, this leaves you with better data and keeps clients on the path to recovery.

Evidence-based drug testing, as laid out by the National Association for Drug Court Professionals, requires daily engagement; random selection; same-gender, directly observed collections; rotating panels; and scientifically valid technology. Averhealth has seamlessly integrated every element of this process into our service and is committed to helping clients achieve and maintain sobriety.

Want more information on instant testing? Check out our other blog: Pros and Cons of Instant Testing