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How Does A Saliva Drug Test Work?

The saliva drug test, also called oral fluid drug test or mouth swab drug test, is becoming a more popular choice in the workplace. They are also used more often by law enforcement agencies when immediate impairment detection is necessary. Available with standard drug panels in place, they are customizable to meet a specific request.

They detect any drug. There are several standard drug panels for use, such as the 5, 9, 10, or 12 panel test.

For example, the most common drug test administered is the 5 panel drug test. This drug screen looks for five of the most commonly abused drugs. They are amphetamines and methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana (THC), PCP (phencyclidine), and opiates. Ecstasy and heroin are included in the drugs detected. However, the synthetic opioids oxycodone, oxymorphone, oxycontin, and oxymorphone may not be. They can, however, be added by request.

How is the test administered?

Part of the reason that this test is so convenient is that it’s a very simple process. The technician places a mouth swab in the test subject’s mouth between the cheek and lower gum. The technician instructs the test subject to keep the swab in place. It becomes saturated with saliva in about three minutes. Some cases may take longer, say if the test subject is nervous and suffers from dry mouth.

After removing the swab from the mouth, the technician places it in a sterile container for transport to the lab. Results return to you in a few days.

Some saliva drug tests produce results in a matter of minutes. However, we recommend using a lab if you want to be assured of accurate results.

Advantages and disadvantages

Currently, the urine drug test is used in 90% of the millions of drug tests performed each year. However, as mentioned above, new technology is making the mouth swab test a worthy opponent. You may want to consider giving it a try.

It is easy to administer, does not require the privacy of a restroom, and is over in minutes. This test is extremely accurate and nonintrusive. In addition, the test subject is never out of sight. This makes it impossible to substitute one sample with another. It is also impossible to adulterate the sample to manipulate the results. Your body is constantly producing saliva. Drug metabolites scatter throughout your body. The saliva is one place you can detect them.

The only disadvantage is in the detection window. A 72-hour detection window identifies drugs used. The length of detection depends on the drug used. Some drugs are only traceable for a few short hours after use.

On the other hand, the shorter detection window makes the saliva drug test a popular choice for random tests. They are also beneficial for use after an injury or accident. Another instance where this type of test is useful is in determining reasonable suspicion.

Creating a safe work environment is the reason many employers drug test. The saliva drug test is a valuable resource when promoting a drug free workplace.