Oral Fluid Drug Testing has Many Advantages
Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet
Trying to decide which testing technique is best for your company? Today, there are many choices, from urine, oral, and hair testing are the most common. The most widely used testing method is laboratory-based urine drug testing and often leads employers to believe this method is the safest bet for their company. This may not always be true.
At CleanFleet, we are committed to offering a comprehensive selection of workplace drug testing solutions which include oral fluid (saliva) and hair testing to meet the needs of clients from different industries around the nation.
So why should a company think about Oral Fluid Testing?
Oral fluid is emerging as a popular alternative to urine testing. Like urine, oral fluid testing detects recent drug use and may also identify very recent usage that may not be captured by urine testing.
Saliva tests measure the parent compound: the psychoactive element of the drug. Detection of the parent compound in saliva indicates that the drug has entered the blood stream. Higher levels of the parent compound indicate higher levels of the drug contained within the body. This means that saliva levels can be used to measure impairment. In contrast, urine tests do not measure the parent compound, they measure the by-product compounds known as “metabolites”, which do not correspond with impairment levels.
Interestingly, based on recent Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index data, the overall positivity rate is higher for almost all drugs and more than twice the positivity for marijuana.
Today, oral fluid is also being considered for federally-regulated drug testing, such as for the trucking industry. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published proposed Oral Fluid Mandatory Guidelines in the Federal Register, a first step towards permitting the use of oral fluid specimens for Federal drug testing.
So let’s break this down. What are the benefits of Oral Fluid (Saliva) Testing?
- Saliva tests measure the parent compound: the psychoactive element of the drug.
- Oral fluid is regarded as reliable for detecting recent drug use.
- A collection is simple to perform and can be conducted at a place of employment. Most oral fluid collections take less than five minutes.
- Because an oral fluid collection is observed, it helps to reduce the opportunity for a donor to alter or tamper with their drug test specimen.
- Laboratories test for a variety of drugs in oral fluid including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana (THC), methamphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP).
- Testing is performed within a few hours of the specimen arriving at the lab. Negative screening results are typically reporting back to clients the same day.
- Oral fluid testing features unique advantages such as excellent detection of recent drug use, the flexibility of performing observed collections on-site, and fast result turnaround times.
- Oral fluid testing can be performed throughout the country with the exception of a few states.