Oral Fluids (Saliva) Drug Tests are on the Increase
Oral fluids (saliva) testing provides similar levels of accuracy to urine testing with greater ease of use and convenience, and additional potential information about the person’s drug use if they test positive. For these reasons, and because they can detect drug use sooner, many employers, third party providers, and other drug testing agencies are choosing saliva over urine testing
- Quicker results are available.
- Urine tests can only determine whether the metabolite for a drug is present in the person’s urine, but saliva testing can also reveal impairment.
- Saliva tests are more convenient to administer than urine tests. They also have less potential mess and greater portability and ease of use.
- It is very difficult to cheat a saliva test.
Post-Accident or Suspected Impairment Testing
Oral fluid (saliva) is ideal for emergency situations that that require immediate detection — such as accidents with vehicles and equipment drivers because it can detect drug or alcohol use within the last 24-48 hours. While urine tests can take up to 4 hours to detect the presence of drugs in the person’s system, saliva testing can detect use within an hour or less.
It can also help estimate and determine levels of impairment. Urine testing cannot. Saliva tests measure the presence of the drug’s psychoactive ingredient, called the parent compound. If the parent compound is detected in the saliva, it is also present in that person’s bloodstream. Measuring and estimating impairment is possible through looking at the amount of the parent compound in the body because higher levels of the parent compound in saliva corresponds to higher levels in the body. Urine tests measure the by-product compounds known as “metabolites” instead of the parent compound. Metabolites are either present or not, and don’t correspond reliably with a determination of impairment.
Better Test Integrity and Better Collection Process
Saliva or oral fluids testing is difficult to cheat. The privacy usually associated with giving a urine sample creates the chance for those inclined to attempt to beat the test. Oral fluids drug tests don’t require privacy and are fully supervised, so tampering with the test is practically impossible.
The test is easier to administer because there is no need for bathrooms or private stalls. Samples can be collected almost immediately and nearly anywhere. The sensitive and uncomfortable issues around gender, observation, and privacy that go with urine collection are simply not an issue and there is no need for third-party labs, additional scheduling, or special facilities. The results are as accurate as a blood test, but without clinics, pain or needles. Since oral fluids are not considered a bio-hazard, disposal after the test is also simpler.
Oral Fluid Drug Testing Procedure
The testing device, an absorbent pad attached to the end of an applicator handle (much like a toothbrush handle), is placed inside the lower part of person’s mouth, between their teeth and gums on one side. The person holds it in their mouth for 2 to 5 minutes until it is saturated with saliva. The pad is tested immediately on-site in some cases. In others, it can be documented, packaged, sealed, and sent to the lab for testing. If an initial test shows positive, a secondary confirming test by a different procedure is done to make sure the first result was accurate.
Contact ARCpoint Labs of Austin, TX North for Your Own Independent Test. The results are accurate and totally confidential, but they will give you the information you need to make decisions about the timing of job applications or other proactive strategies. If you know you are likely to be tested soon and are concerned that you may have an unwanted positive drug test, the best way to know for sure without risk is to choose to undergo your own test first.
Contact ARCpoint Labs of Austin, TX North for oral fluids alcohol testing. No appointment necessary.
Accurate. Reliable. Confidential Testing.