Can Home Drug Testing Kits Detect Meth?

Written by Melissa Carmona

& Medically Reviewed by Nanci Stockwell, LCSW, MBA

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Last Updated - 07/12/2023

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Updated 07/12/2023

Can Home Drug Testing Kits Detect Meth?

At-home drugs testing kits can help provide people with quick results when meth use is suspected.

There are several reasons why drug tests are administered. Perhaps top-tier athletes need to be tested due to league policies, or maybe people who have been recently released from prison and are on parole need to prove continual sobriety. Perhaps a school wants to make sure students remain drug-free.

The reasons for drug testing are plentiful, which is why effective, accurate and reliable drug tests are needed.

While tests can detect several drugs, crystal meth is one of the more common ones for which people test for. Though the presence of drugs can be detected at professional laboratories, home drug testing kits may also produce similar reliable results and may be the first step taken to detect drugs.

The question is, can home drug testing kits detect the presence of meth? If so, how? Why are home kits used over labs in some cases?

How Are Home Drug Testing Kits Used?

If a quick result is required, a home drug test may be the fastest and most accessible way to find out if a person is using meth. For example, a parent may want to know if their child has taken drugs, or maybe employers want to make sure their workplaces are free of drug use. Whatever the reason may be for needing a quick result, an at-home drug test may help. As soon as four to six hours after a person has taken meth, a home drug test can detect its presence. A positive result can occur for as long as two or four days after meth was ingested.

In a recent study by The Recovery Village, over 44% of respondents claimed to take meth at least daily, while another 22.9% claimed to take meth several times per week. Considering how often meth users tend to take meth, an at-home test could be reliable in detecting the presence of meth in the user’s system.

The most common type of at-home drug test involves a urine sample. From the sample obtained, test strips are then dipped into the urine for a couple of seconds, then taken out. After about 10 to 15 seconds, the test results will be revealed.

If the test suggests that there may be meth present in the urine sample, additional testing is recommended from an official lab. However, as a preliminary measure, home testing kits may be good enough to do the job of getting an idea of whether or not a person has taken meth over the recent past.

The Accuracy of Using Home Drug Testing Kits to Detect Meth

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns about at-home drug tests for meth is how accurate they are. In fact, these DIY tests are very sensitive to the presence of meth and they are relatively accurate and reliable. If there are drugs present in a person’s system, a positive test result will likely be obtained.

It should be noted that no at-home drug testing kit will provide results that are completely accurate. The level of accuracy of such tests is dependent on how the test or sample is stored, how soon the test was taken after drug consumption, whether any food or beverages were consumed before the test and whether the test subject has been taking any prescription medication.

A positive test does not always mean that substance misuse is certain. That is why it is important to have the positive result verified by a lab to ensure that the results of the at-home test are accurate. At the same time, a negative test result does not always mean that the person has not used meth.

Get Help For Addiction to Meth

If you suspect that someone you know may have developed an addiction to meth, it is best to try to get them to seek help right away. At The Recovery Village, our intake coordinators can provide you with guidance to a meth addiction treatment facility that suits your needs.

Contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake today to discuss admissions and treatment options.


NCBI. “Appendix B. Urine Collection and Testing[…]Monitoring Drug Use.” Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment, 2006. Accessed July 1, 2021.

Richards JR, Laurin EG. “Methamphetamine Toxicity.” StatPearls, November 20, 2020. Accessed July 1, 2021.

FDA. “Drugs of Abuse Home Use Test.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, September 27, 2018. Accessed July 1, 2021.


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