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Saliva drug test facts

Saliva drug test 


Saliva drug test is a technical analysis of saliva to determine the presence or absence of specified drugs or their metabolites. It is most commonly used to determine the presence of steroids in sports or to determine the presence of law-prohibited drugs like cannabis, cocaine, heroin and many others.

Common types of drug tests

Drug tests are today widely performed by the request of employers and in many fields of sport. Drug tests are conducted from many biological specimens like urine, oral fluids (saliva), blood, and sweat. However, saliva blood tests are the simplest and the most comfortable solutions that can give fast and trustworthy results.

Saliva drug tests

Saliva is produced in and secreted from one of the three salivary glands. It is a refined modification of plasma, which may contain traces of drugs and their metabolites. Traces of drugs may be present in saliva for as long as 24 to 36 hours, enabling the possibility to carry out a saliva drug test.
Saliva test kits are usually placed in the mouth of individual being tested so that the kit draws the saliva through a membrane. Oral fluid wets the strips with media of antigen dyes that act as an indicator. If the color shows on the strip, the result is positive. Color depends on the type of drug in question. Saliva drug test is effective in determining presence of following drugs:

  • Alcohol – test is effective from time of intake to 12 hours;
  • PCP – from a couple of minutes after intake to the next three days;
  • Methamphetamine and ecstasy – from half an hour after ingestion to the next three days;
  • Amphetamines – from a couple of minutes from time of intake to the next three days;
  • Barbiturates – less than an hour after intake up to the next three days;
  • Opiates – from an hour after intake to the next three days;
  • Cocaine – after a couple of minutes after intake up to one day;
  • Cannabis – a couple of minutes after intake up to one day;
  • Benzodiazepines
Pros and Cons

A saliva drug test is very cheap and gives results in a short period (usually 5-15 minutes). The test is user friendly and can detect eight different drugs.

The test can be performed at any location and it does not require clinical supervision.

On the other hand, saliva is an oral fluid and may even feature some pathogenic microorganisms. The major disadvantage is the fact of a short drug-detection time limitation. Because of this, it makes it difficult to find out about past or long-term drug use. Hair drug test is much more superior in this manner because it may reveal the historical information on drugs abuse. Moreover, one can easily beat a drug test by masking the metabolites with certain foods or tobacco.

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