Monday, March 31, 2014

Saliva Test Definition

Saliva Test Definition

Saliva testing is a process whereby drug testing is accomplished by searching for traces of certain drugs, or their metabolic byproducts, in a person's saliva. This testing is gaining in popularity due to the level of convenience and fast results in comparison to other drug testing methods. Hair follicle testing, which can show historical drug use, requires extensive lab time and is expensive. Urine testing is often faked, and blood testing is invasive. Saliva testing, on the other hand, is fast, inexpensive, non-invasive and difficult to fake.


Saliva tests currently on the market include a small test strip. The test subject places the test strip in her mouth, so that it becomes wet with saliva. Chemicals within the strip process the saliva, and interact in the presence of traces of certain drugs. If a drug is detected, a line of color corresponding to that drug shows on the test strip. A person with no traces of drugs in her saliva would show no lines.

Drug Groups

The majority of saliva drug tests only screen for the five drug groups required by federal mandating for employment. The drugs that saliva testing detects are marijuana, opiates, cocaine, phencyclidines and methamphetamine.


Currently, saliva tests are primarily used for pre-employment drug tests. Employers prefer saliva testing due to its non-invasive nature, as well as the convenience of being able to test immediately, without waiting for lab results.


Saliva tests can be read by anyone and do not need to be performed in a laboratory. Employers can do saliva testing in the office, with virtually instantaneous results, instead of sending potential employees to a lab. This saves time and money. Saliva tests are much more difficult to fake, as well, due to the fact that the test occurs right in front of the employer.


Saliva does not hold traces of ingested drugs for more than 10 to 24 hours. This can result in a false negative for a drug user who has abstained from drugs for a short period before testing. Also, smoking a cigarette can affect the saliva, as can eating certain foods. These activities can prevent the test from showing an accurate result.

Related posts

    If a person's possible use of drugs comes into question, you would need to look no further than the hair on her head for answers. Even though drugs may leave a person's bloodstream, the evidence o...
    The 10-panel drug screen can detect illicit drugs in a urine sample.A 10-panel drug screen is a test that measures the presence, if any, of an illicit substance in the body, most commonly through...
    Drug & alcohol tests are done in many industries.Workers that fall under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations must be given a specific type of drug test required for employment drug s...
    The 5-panel drug screen tests for illicit drugs.The five-panel drug test, also referred to as NIDA-5, is a standard drug test established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administ...
    Getting a false positive on a drug test is more common than you might think. The likelihood of getting a positive result on a drug test depends on numerous circumstances. You must handle your situ...