How Much Does a Drug Test Cost?

Written by: Staff

A drug test, commonly used for pre-employment purposes, can test either your blood, hair, saliva and/or urine to detect traces of drug use.

Popular drugs tests can often detect marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, methamphetamines, ecstasy and phencyclidine.

Empty Drug Test by micahb37, on Flickr
Empty Drug Test” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by micahb37

How much does a drug test cost?

The cost of a drug test will depend on the type of test, the number of drugs that need to be screened and where you plan on taking the test.  If you were to take the test at home, for example, then the costs could be as little as $7 to $15 for a urine or saliva test.  Granted, these tests should only be used for preliminary testing and won’t be accepted as an official test by an employer.

At Walgreens and CVS, for instance, at-home drug tests range from as little as $7 for an instant marijuana test to $60+ for a hair confirm multi-drug test that tests for seven common drugs.

The very popular First Check home drug test retails for less than $15 per test.

If the test were done at a local laboratory, then the costs could be anywhere from $50 to $100 for a similar urine or saliva test.

A popular laboratory, LabCorp, for example, offers private drug testing for about $125, according to those who have used their services in the past.

A hair or blood test, which tends to be the most expensive option, can cost anywhere from as little as $100 to $250 to test multiple drugs to as much as $500 if you were to need a hair test that checked for a history of alcohol abuse in the past six months.

According to the Connecticut Clearinghouse, the cost of a drug test will vary depending on the type of test and drugs being involved.  Generally, they say most tests will cost $10 to $30 per test.

In the end, based on these factors, you could pay as little as $10 to more than $150+ on average, but most of the time, plan on budgeting less than $100.  Be sure to refer to our table below to see what most common drug tests may cost you.

Type of TestAverage Price Reported
10 panel urine instant test (at home use)$30 to $60
5 panel urine at a local/online lab$40 to $75
10 panel urine/online at a local lab$50 to $100
Hair follicle test$90 to $150

NOTE:  These were just the averages collected from local labs and online.  Your results will vary.

Drug test overview

Depending on the type of test, you either need to provide a sample of your urine, saliva, blood or hair, with urine often being the most common method.  These samples are then tested for a presence of the drug or its metabolites, which are the substances that change as it’s processed in the liver.  If the results do come back positive, then another test will be required to confirm the results.

These tests, in general, will determine if a person has used illegal drugs, either recently or over a longer period.  Each test, depending on the method will use different applications to test specific drug usage.

If you have a drug test either done online or at a local lab, it can take up to three days to receive your results.

The most commonly ordered drug test will either be a five or 10-panel test.  The number refers to the number of drugs the test can test for, and screening panels can test for the following:

Drug PanelWhat It Tests For
AmphetaminesAmphetamine / Amphetamine Salts / Adderall / Vyvanse, MDA / Adam, Phentermine / Adipex
BenzodiazepinesAlprazolam/Xanax, Clonazepam / Klonopin, Diazepam / Valium, Lorazepam / Ativan, Oxazepam / Serax, Temazepam / Restoril
BuprenorphineBuprenorphine / Suboxone / Subutex
CocaineCocaine, Benzoylecgonine, Ecgonine Methyl Ester, Cocaethylene
MethadoneMethadone, EDDP
MethamphetaminesMethamphetamine, MDMA/Ecstasy, PMMA, Ephedrine
Opiates6MAM/Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, Hydrocodone / Vicodin / Norco / Lorcet / Lortab
OxycodoneOxycodone / Percocet / Endocet / Oxycontin, Oxymorphone / Opana
THCΔ-9 THC, Marijuana
TramadolTramadol / Ultram / Ultracet

Tips to know:

If the drug test were ordered by your employer, the 99 percent of the time, they will cover the expenses unless notified ahead of time.  In these scenarios, you will need to visit the lab of their choice and often provide a urine sample on site, along with paperwork.

With urine testing being the most common option, most labs will require at least 45 milliliters.

How can I save money?

Some labs online often hold periodic specials or sales.

Some drug tests may be covered by insurance, but in order to be eligible, the test will need to be provided by a local medical facility.  It doesn’t hurt to talk with your health insurance provider before taking a test to discuss your options.

Your state may have a federally funded substance abuse referral program that’s able to help refer you to a free drug facility that’s able to offer free testing.  Also, some facilities across the United States also offer services on a sliding scale, helping you pay only what you can afford.  To start looking for help, you can call the National Drug Abuse Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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Average Reported Cost: $1580

0 %
100 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Wayne Michaels (West Bend,  Wisconsin) paid $1580 and said:

    test is not needed I take pain pills,for a destroyed spine is why I get upset when a other clinic urine test was $480.00. I CAN NOT PAY THIS ANY TIME SOON OR PROBABLY AT ALL, SINCE I HAVE NOT WORKED SINCE APRIL 2012.

    Was it worth it? No

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