Oral Fluid Drug Testing (Saliva)


Saliva drug tests, also knows as a swab test, work by testing for small traces of drugs in your saliva. Your saliva is a refined version of plasma. It can contain small amounts of drugs and metabolites for up to 36 hours.


Saliva drug test kits come in a variety of shapes and forms. Most kits work by placing test strips inside your mouth to collect a sample of saliva. These tests are typicall used for pre-employment drug screenings and at schools when recent drug use is suspected.Saliva drug tests are designed to check for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, phencyclidine drugs, and methamphetamine. If the presence of any of these drugs is detected, the corresponding band will change color. If no drugs are detected, there would be no color shown at all. Non-negative tests are typically sent out for confirmation.


Saliva drug test kits are convenient and the results are rapid. The kits are usually less expensive than other types of drug tests and the tests are easy to administer. Employers and schools may prefer this type of method for drug testing since saliva drug tests can be performed in any location and professional collectors and lab technicians aren't need to conduct the tests or read results. Also, testing for saliva for those administering the test is much safer than testing urine or blood.


Traces of drugs can be detected in saliva for about 10 to 24 hours after use. This makes the test a less practical alternative for ensuring subjects are completely drug free. This type of test is also difficult to circumvent. 

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