How does a saliva drug test work, and the benefits of using them in the workplace

Organisations are looking for easy, cost-effective methods to perform on-site testing in batches or on demand. Regular fluid testing can be problematic with samples being tampered with, or getting results to the lab within a time limit can be difficult. This is why many businesses are turning to oral fluid testing for quick and easy solutions.

Oral testing has been around for over a decade. Still, it has only been in the last several years that significant advancements have made this the obvious solution for on-site testing. Because most testing within the workplace is usually a procedure or precaution, businesses are looking for a test they could keep on-site that is easy to use. According to the Quest Diagnostic Annual Drug Test Index, up to 97% of candidates yield a negative drug result, and no further testing is required.


How are they Performed?


An oral fluid test is almost impossible to tamper with once the cotton has been swabbed. In addition, it is one of the least invasive methods of performing a drug test as no needles or urine samples are required.

The cotton swab or collection stick is brushed gently against the inside of a patient's cheek. That sample is then analysed for substances. Most test results can be determined on-site within a few minutes, but the more complicated ones get done at the lab.


What can it detect?


The substances a saliva drug test can detect depends on the test being used. They can be used to test for any one of these substances individually or in combination when using a multi-panel drug test.


Here are some of the most common substances checked for during a mouth swab drug test and how soon they can be detected in your saliva:

  • Benzodiazepines: Also known as "Benzos", commonly used as a form of tranquilliser. Household names include Valium and Xanax.

  • Marijuana.

  • Opiates: A common type of opiate is heroin.

  • MDMA: Commonly known as ecstasy or molly.

  • Methamphetamine: Commonly known as crystal meth.

Each drug has its specific window and results time.


Benefits of Using a Saliva Drug Test


Saliva drug tests can be accurate up to 98% of the time. But there can be some issues when testing falls out of the specific detection window or on the abilities of the person performing the test. Usually, urine and blood tests are more accurate.

The advantages of doing a saliva drug test, rather than alternatives, are:

  • It is more cost-effective than a urine or blood sample

  • Less chance of the sample being tampered with

  • It can detect substances early

  • The results are usually fast

  • The test is easy to administer


Conclusion


Salvia drug tests must be administered within a small window frame as drugs generally do not stay in the saliva for long periods. But the cost-effectiveness, user-friendly aspect and accuracy typically make it an ideal testing device within the workplace.

If you are considering drug tests in the workplace, contact one of our consultants at Dr. Adams Laboratories for advice on what products would suit your needs.



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