Saliva drug testing
There is definitely a knack to saliva drug testing, and it can present more problems if you are not familiar with the drug test kits than urine drug testing, which is very easy.
It is very important with a saliva drug test to obtain an adequate oral fluid sample (saliva) to run all the drug test membranes correctly. This is not a issue with urine drug testing, as it is very simple to get an adequate urine sample.
Collecting enough saliva to run the drug test correctly can be a problem, as it is can be much harder to obtain a good saliva sample. Often when people are being drug tested, it is a stressful situation, and one of the most common signs of stress is a dry mouth ie no saliva.
Saliva drug testing kits-commonly encountered problems and how to solve them
This week we talked to our Kathy in our customer support team, to find out what the most commonly encountered problems around saliva drug testing are, and how they can be easily overcome.
Here are Kathy's 6 top tips to get the most accurate and reliable results with saliva drug testing kits
1) It is important to familiarise yourself with how the drug test kit works
We always advise customers to read the instructions through and then experiment with 1 of the saliva drug test kits using water if it is for a company drug testing program, so that they can become familiar with how the drug test kit works, and see how much fluid is required to run the test correctly.
Many people think that they can just simply wipe the drug test around the mouth, and that will be sufficient, but that is not the case at all. This is the most common reason for the drug test not working and not showing any lines or results. How well the oral fluid drug test is performed has a massive bearing on the results.
2) How to familiarise yourself with how to use and read a saliva drug test kit correctly:
- Take 1 test out of the foil pouch and dip the saliva collector sponge into water for 8-10 seconds making sure it is soaked.
- As the sample is just water all 6 control lines and 6 test lines will appear [Negative Result].
3) No control lines-help
If when you are drug testing there are no control lines, this is because you have not got enough saliva on the collection sponge to run the drug test. In this case it can be put back in the mouth to get more saliva on it, and then try again.
Note Saliva will take longer to soak into the sponge than water does, sometimes it can take up to 2 - 3 minutes.
4) How will I know if the drug test has absorbed enough saliva?
If the drug test has not absorbed enough saliva to run the drug test, you will not see control lines. A control line C should be visible for each drug test membrane.
Some of the newer saliva drug test kits like the one shown above now have an inbuilt saliva indicator, to show that the drug test has absorbed enough saliva to run the test.
If you are using a barrel type oral drug test kit as shown at the top of the page, the collection sponge will not screw down tightly into the barrel if there is not enough liquid (saliva) on the sponge. If that happens the sponge needs to be put can be put back into the mouth for longer to collect more saliva or the result will be invalid.
5) Always remember more drugs tested for, mean more saliva will be required to run the drug test
The more drugs that are on the drug test kit, the more saliva it takes to set them all working. So a 13 panel saliva drug test will need more saliva sample to run the tests than a 6 panel saliva drug test kit.
If the amount of saliva is not enough to run all the tests then you may get a partial result.
6) Were here to help you with your drug testing problems
If you have a problem call us or send us an email. Most problems with saliva drug testing come down to inadequate saliva sample, poor drug testing technique or being unfamiliar with how the drug test works. We can help you overcome all of these problems or suggest an alternative drug test kit that may work better for you.
See our full range of saliva drug testing kits