Saliva Testing and the Ability to Detect Recent Drug Abuse

Saliva drug testing presents several clear advantages over other traditional drug testing methods but also has its disadvantages. Whether or not to use saliva drug tests instead of urine testing depends on the situation and what it is you are looking to find. While urine testing still out performs saliva drug tests in revealing a person’s history of drug abuse, saliva testing is a great way to determine whether or not the drug abuse is recent.

If the purpose of the test is to establish a history of drug use, urine drug tests work well because they detect the metabolites that are released into a person’s system after he or she has taken any given drug. Depending on the frequency of drug use, these metabolites can remain in a person’s system possibly for months, making it possible to some degree, for a urine test to reveal the past history of drug abuse. While able to prove that someone used drugs, urine tests are unable to indicate how recent the drugs were used.
Saliva tests generally detect the parent drug, revealing recent substance abuse while not being able to establish a history. Depending on several factors such as drug potency, quantity consumed, metabolic rate, etc., drugs remain detectable by saliva drug tests for generally one to three days. This becomes especially useful if you want to test an employee who is involved in a workplace incident to determine whether or not drugs and alcohol were possibly involved.

Other benefits of saliva drug testing include convenience as well due to the less intrusive nature of the test. Saliva tests are much easier to perform and are more difficult to tamper with due to the fact that the person undergoing the test is under constant supervision. There is no need to make the employee undergo all of the security precautions that are typical of urine testing when administering a saliva test. Due to the nature of saliva drug testing, it is much better employed as a method to determine whether or not a person is currently under the influence rather than to indicate repeated drug use. While urine testing functions perfectly for screening a potential employee for past drug use, saliva tests are easier and more convenient for use on the job in the event of an accident. Be sure to consider the benefits of saliva drug tests when you evaluate your company’s drug and alcohol testing policy.

To find out more about CMM Technology’s drug testing products, please contact us at +618-9204-2500 or email us at

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