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Drug Test Kits NZ: Definition, Types, and Features to Consider

08 August, 2023

Urine test kit with sample

Drug testing in New Zealand has become more common in various settings, such as workplaces, schools, and even at home. It helps detect the presence of illegal drugs in the system, which may pose health and safety risks. The most efficient way to conduct this is through drug test kits in NZ. Many different types are available, and choosing the right one depends on the purpose of the test, the substances to detect, and convenience.

Detecting drug impairment is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries. It is also essential for identifying drug abuse or addiction. Therefore, it is important to choose reliable equipment to get accurate results. The decisions made based on the results can significantly impact an individual. This article aims to guide individuals in choosing suitable test kits by providing information on how they work, the available types, and the features to look for.

What Are Drug Test Kits in NZ?

Drug test kits in NZ are tools for detecting illicit substances in a person. It can also help determine if a person misuses a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Unlike traditional laboratory methods, these kits are portable and can be used in workplaces or homes. Moreover, they do not always require a professional to conduct the test. Nevertheless, the correct use and handling of specimens are critical to getting accurate results.

Test kits use rapid screening technology to give instant results. They typically use immunoassay techniques to detect drugs using antibodies. The results indicate the presence or absence of substances, but it does not give the precise amount of drugs in the system. Therefore, it is convenient for determining recent usage.

These kits are suitable for preliminary screening, making them cost-effective in monitoring impairment. However, it is advisable to undergo confirmatory testing if the initial tests show non-negative results. In most workplaces, employers submit the samples to a certified laboratory for quantitative measurements of the drugs in the system.

Reasons for Using Test Kits

  • To determine if a person is working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Monitor patients who are prescribed controlled substances to prevent misuse or addiction.
  • Monitor individuals in rehabilitation centres to check their progress in recovery and prevent relapse.
  • Testing individuals suspected of consuming illegal drugs after displaying signs of intoxication or impairment.
  • To determine and gain evidence on whether drugs or alcohol caused impairment that led to an accident.
  • Deter substance abuse in workplaces and other settings.
  • Assess applicants for a safety-sensitive position if they have a history of drug abuse or potentially risky behaviours.

Putting hair strand sample in a tube

Available Types of Drug Test Kits in NZ

Drug test kits in NZ are available in several types. A common type is the urine test kit. It comes with a sample container, test strips or cards, and an instruction booklet. It is relatively easy to use and can detect a wide range of drugs or their metabolites.

Another type is the saliva drug test kit. It uses an absorbent stick to collect oral fluid specimens. After collection, put the swab stick in the container to analyse the sample. Like urine tests, it returns the results within minutes. However, it is vital to follow the instructions to get a valid specimen and prevent false positives.

Hair drug test kits are also available for purchase. It includes a pouch for securing the hair strands. This test involves sending the samples to a clinic or laboratory for analysis. Lastly, a breathalyser is a portable device for measuring Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in the breath. Unlike other test kits, a breathalyser is reusable for multiple applications, making them cost-efficient for alcohol testing.

Factors to Consider in Choosing One

Choosing the right test kit depends on several factors. Firstly, determine the specific substance to be tested for. Ensure to use equipment that includes the target substance in their detection panel. Secondly, consider the timeline and cost of the test. For detecting recent use, a urine and saliva test would provide more accurate results.

Thirdly, each test method is suitable for various circumstances. For example, workplaces use urine and hair testing during pre-employment to determine long-term usage patterns. On the other hand, urine or saliva sampling is efficient during random tests, post-incident, or with reasonable suspicion.

SHIELD Express Identity breathalyser with AS/NZ certification

Features to Look For in Drug Test Kits in NZ

There are several important features to consider when choosing drug test kits in NZ. The main aspect is accuracy. It is vital to utilise certified devices to ensure they pass regulatory requirements or standards. Also, check the sensitivity and specificity of the kit. These properties determine if it can detect drugs in low concentrations and correctly report negative results.

Moreover, consider the detection window of the test kits. Different drug types have varying windows or periods during which they are detectable in the system. Additionally, it is recommended to choose a kit with certifications like FDA approval and AS/NZ compliance. This ensures that the results are trustworthy. Likewise, check their shelf life to ensure they are okay to use after a long time.

Lastly, many opt for convenience and ease of use. Look for a kit that provides clear instructions, allowing for efficient testing. In summary, look for accurate and reliable devices and user-friendliness. By evaluating these factors, individuals or organisations can decide which drug test kits best fit their needs.

Compliance With Regulatory Bodies and Standards

It is essential to use drug test kits that comply with regulatory bodies and standards to ensure the validity of the results. Before purchasing one, check if they have certifications, such as FDA and Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS). The latter helps standardise the procedures of specimen collection and detection of drugs.

Companies must use urine test kits with AS/NZS 4308:2008/2023 or saliva test kits with AS/NZS 4760:2019. Furthermore, it is advisable to use a workplace breathalyser with AS3547:2019 compliance. A notable device is the SHIELD Express Identity from Breathalysers NZ. They have undergone rigorous testing and meet the requirements of alcohol breath screening devices.

Conclusion

There are various types of drug test kits in NZ to choose from. They are efficient testing devices that detect the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol in the system. Unlike traditional laboratory methods, they are easy to use, making them convenient for workplaces or homes. These tests use immunoassays to identify specific substances in a few minutes. Therefore, it helps individuals and organisations make informed decisions when it comes to health and safety.

Drug testing is an essential part of maintaining a safe and productive environment. Many companies utilise instant test kits and breathalysers because they are cost-effective in monitoring impairments. Moreover, there are several factors to consider depending on one’s needs. The vital features to look at are accuracy, efficiency, and compliance. These help ensure the accuracy of the results. They are accessible in pharmacies or online to help make testing easier.

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