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Saliva Drug Test

This page was last updated on 17th of September 2017

Saliva Drug Testing

If you’re wondering what the deal is on Saliva Testing, read on down the page.  You’ll learn about the background a little bit and why it’s being used more now in place of a urine screening. 

If you continue down the page, you’ll also find a big Saliva Test Tip and a recommendation on how to pass a saliva test.

The Gipper, the Old Man, Dutch, Ollie North’s Boss …

Saliva Drug Test: Mouth SwabOver the past 25 years, Mandatory drug testing has become very commonplace in the workforce.

President Reagan can take credit for that, for a law he rammed through in 1986 for federal workers regulating workplace drug tests.  

If the truth could be known, it was probably the industry lobbyists who forced the law through Congress.  That’s the way it’s done.

In doing so he strengthened a fledgling industry that has soared to dizzying heights since 1986.

Urine Screening -Not Difficult to Manipulate

There are different methods of testing –some more expensive and less common and some more commonplace.  Urine testing is the most widely used in the workplace and is rather expensive to do.

The technology offered today allows for better test results and it also helps to reduce the possibility that a person being tested has tampered with the sample in order to sidestep detection.  Home page

In the past, urine testing was very common and still is, actually. However, it is widely seen as invasive and expensive to administer since those being tested had to be supervised. 

It was also easily manipulated, although that has gotten more difficult.  Active supervision cut down on some activities like substitution of your urine for someone else’s and the use of artificial urine.  Also, the testing labs became better at detecting when manipulation occurred.  

The forte of the saliva drug testing is not just that it is it more effective, but it can be done in a comfortable setting. It involves a cotton swab being placed inside of the cheek for a few seconds and then sealed in a plastic container until it reaches the testing center. 

In order for the test to be accurate, the individual can’t use alcohol based products including mouthwash, for example, for at least 20 minutes before the test is administered. No food, drink, or tobacco can be in the mouth at the time of the testing or it can prevent the results from being accurately processed. When that occurs, another test will have to be administered as the lab will return results that are inconclusive.

The saliva test is not that difficult to manipulate -to affect the outcome.  More on that below.  See “Speaking of Which … (below).

Big Tip Here –Pay Attention to This One

According to NORML, THC is difficult to detect in oral fluids due to the minute amount excreted into the saliva, in this case.  Consequently, most saliva testing technologies used today can only detect the presence of marijuana for two to three hours after use.

As a result, many authorities having jurisdiction put forth the notion that detection by way of a saliva test indicates impairment.  In a sense, it does.  However, no method has been devised to accurately measure degree of impairment, since it varies so much between individuals.

Fit for Duty

For use in determining if someone has recently used marijuana and is fit for duty, or not, the mouth swab (saliva) test works well.

The DOT Dilemma with Professional Drivers

It is unknown, so far, what level of marijuana use constitutes impairment.  Someday, scientists hope to see a saliva test that will measure impairment in real time –say, during a traffic stop.  That test is years away. 

In the interim, the police often impose a 10 or 12 point checklist at a traffic stop to make a reasonable determination if someone is stoned –which includes some of what have been called ‘stupid people tricks.’ The process is said to be fairly reliable.

As might be expected, authorities are somewhat challenged in light of the legalization, in some states, of the use of medicinal pot.  A person may be impaired for 3 -5 hours after use but the metabolites are detectable in the urine and blood for a week -or in some, up to a month or more after.


The saliva test began about 10 years ago but it was more complicated and expensive at that time. Today, it is very simple and it is more cost effective which is why more employers are switching to this method of testing. They also find that saliva testing can be more accurate than a urinalysis. It can be more expensive per test but the savings of time, people involved, and other factors make it a good option for a volume of testing to be done.

Blood testing can be done for alcohol use but many organizations don’t like this type of testing. Plus, it has to be collected by a medical professional which is more expensive. Saliva drug testing is very accurate for detecting alcohol, cannabis, and many other forms of substances that simply can’t be allowed when someone is working.

Various medications that could be prescribed can also show up including codeine and morphine. If they show up, the individual will need to show proof that they have been prescribed such substances rather than buying them on the street. Such medications are high on the list of addictive substances.

The Focus is on Current Use

Saliva drug testing focuses on current use only. If a business really wants to find out if someone has used drugs in the recent past, then a hair sample would be the test to go with.  That test yields a record of all substances over the past few months. 

The use of saliva testing is non-invasive and can be done at the work site rather than sending the person to an external location. This type of testing isn’t foolproof though as there are already well known products out there that could prevent an accurate test result from being reported.

Speaking of Which …

How to Pass a Saliva Drug Test

There is a company that advertises a procedure that has been found to be reliable when faced with the mouth swab test.  It is called ‘Oral Detox Friend.’  The instructions include the use of some common products, readily available, that if used in the right order and timing will skew the test in your favor.

To learn more about beating a Saliva Test, visit this site:

and then click on the ‘Oral Detox Friend’ link in the upper right region of the page to be directed to that program. 

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