Saliva Drug Test FAQ

drug test saliva

Frequently asked questions regarding saliva drug testing

Here are the most frequently asked questions that UK Drug Testing are asked about saliva drug testing and the answers

What are the detection windows for the drugs in saliva?

Detection times for oral fluid saliva drug testing depends on the type and brand of saliva drug test kit used and the drug that is being tested for, but as a general rule, drugs are usually only detectable on a saliva drug test, for up to 48 hours after last use.

Cannabis and methadone have a very short detection period in the saliva of about 12-14 hours.
Information on drug test detection times for urine and saliva here

Is there is there any specific time that I should carry out the saliva drug test?

An oral saliva drug testing kit can be performed at any time of day but must be at least 20 minutes after the individual last ate, drank or smoked or put anything in their mouth.

How do you perform a saliva drug test with a mouth swab drug test kit?

The saliva drug test is performed using a mouth swab drug test kit that is then either inserted into a container with an inbuilt drug screen, or the mouth swab is actually built into the drug test kit as shown below . This is called a direct saliva drug test kit.

Saliva drug test

These newer direct saliva drug testing kits are even easier to perform as the drug test is incorporated directly into the mouth swab as shown above, and some of them also have a saliva indicator to show when enough saliva has been absorbed by the mouth swab. The direct saliva drug test kits are currently only available for 7 drug groups or less.

When you drug test saliva you will then get an individual result for each drug group tested. It is a screening saliva drug test, and you would need to send a laboratory confirmation chain of custody urine or saliva drug test (this has to be sent away) to confirm any positive results if you are performing the saliva drug test in a workplace setting.

How long do the results take with a saliva drug testing kit?

A saliva drug test kit is an instant near patient test which means you get the results within minutes of performing the drug test. If the result is negative you do not need to do anything else. If you are performing the saliva drug test in a workplace setting you should then confirm all positive results using a laboratory confirmation chain of custody urine drug test (this has to be sent away)

I see you have a saliva drug test that shows if someone has had Cannabis within the last 12 hours, do you have these for other drugs such as Cocaine?

drug testing saliva

We also have single saliva drug test kits for Cocaine

and saliva drug test kits for Cotinine (Nicotine and smoking detection)

All the saliva drug testing kits have a shorter window of detection than the urine drug tests are ideal for workplace drug testing where you wish to know if someone is under the influence of drugs while at work or if you need to establish if someone has appropriate levels to return to work if they have taken a drug.

The window of detection for most drugs in saliva including Cannabis and Cocaine is up to 12-14 hours.

How far back does a mouth swab drug screen go?

Most mouth swab drug tests detect for a maximum of 12-14 hours, and sometimes considerably less. There is a very much shorter detection time on a mouth swab drug test than with urine drug testing.

Are there any mouth swab or saliva drug test kits that detect drugs for longer periods?

The simple answer is no. The detection times for drugs in saliva is very short when compared with urine drug testing kits or hair drug testing.

How accurate is a mouth swab drug test?

An oral mouth swab drug test is 97-98% accurate when compared to  a laboratory GCMS saliva drug test, for the same drug on the same sample. To get the best from a mouth swab drug test, the way the sample is collected is very important. You may find our saliva drug testing tips helpful.

Which oral drug and alcohol testing kits are best for the workplace?

The 12 in 1 oral fluid mouth swab saliva drug & alcohol testing kit is a very  comprehensive oral drug & alcohol test kit and is an excellent choice for workplace saliva drug testing.

It tests for 11 drugs plus alcohol on one drug test kit and is an ideal choice for a workplace saliva drug test.

We also have a 13 panel oral fluid saliva drug test kit that is ideal for workplace drug testing

saliva drug tests workplace

What action do we need to take if one of these saliva drug tests should prove positive?

The saliva drug test kits are drug screening tests. If the saliva drug test results are negative, ie no drugs detected, you do not need to do anything further. If the saliva drug test result is not negative, what you do depends on your drug and alcohol policy.

If you intend to take any disciplinary action on the basis of the onsite saliva drug test results, then you would need to do a GCMS lab confirmation drug test with a full chain of custody.  This can either be done on a saliva sample or a urine sample. 

We recommend that most UK companies keep at least one lab drug test pack available, for when they get a non-negative drug screening result, as this avoids any delays in getting a confirmation drug test done. 

What should we do if we get a positive result on the onsite workplace saliva drug test kit and we do not have a laboratory confirmation drug test pack on site?

First thing to say is don't panic.

Contact our UK Drug Testing customer support team for advice and we will usually be able to get a lab drug test pack with full chain of custody instructions and paperwork, out to you on a next day UK express delivery, or offer alternative suggestions. UKAS accredited GCMS laboratory drug test packs are now available to drug test saliva as well as urine.

There is so much choice how do I choose the best saliva drug tests for our company drug testing?

If you are unsure which saliva drug tests are the best choice for your workplace drug testing requirements, then contact our customer support team either by e-mail or telephone during office hours for assistance and they will be happy to help. 

Contact UK Drug Testing about saliva drug tests for workplace drug testing

Telephone 01263 731 168 Monday to Friday 8.30 to 4.30pm


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 Saliva drug test FAQ page last reviewed and updated 19/10/21