Drug Detection Times for Benzos in Saliva

Drug Detection Times for Benzos in Saliva

What is a Saliva Drug Test?

A saliva drug test, sometimes also known as an oral fluid test, is a method used to detect the presence of drugs in a person’s body by analysing a small sample of their saliva. It offers a quick, non-invasive way to screen for drug use. In the UK, saliva tests are commonly used by employers, schools, drug treatment programs and in the criminal justice system.

How Does A Saliva Drug Test Work?

A saliva drug test typically involves collecting a sample of saliva from inside a person’s mouth, often by having them spit into a collection tube or swab the inside of their cheeks. The sample is then analysed in a laboratory for the presence of drugs or their metabolites.

Saliva tests can detect a wide range of illicit and prescription drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and benzodiazepines. The tests work by identifying tiny traces of drugs that make their way into a person’s saliva after ingesting them. Most drugs or their metabolites appear in saliva within minutes of use and can be detected in saliva for 12-24 hours or longer after use, depending on the drug.

Compared to other specimen types like urine and hair, saliva provides a much shorter window for detecting drug use. A saliva test is best at detecting very recent drug use, usually within the last few hours up to two or three days. This makes saliva tests ideal for detecting drug impairment and current intoxication, but less suitable for monitoring long-term abstinence.

Advantages of Saliva Drug Testing

There are several advantages that make saliva drug testing an appealing option:

  • It’s non-invasive – Collecting saliva simply requires spitting into a tube, which is far less invasive than drawing blood or providing a urine sample. This helps reduce anxiety and privacy concerns.
  • It’s hard to adulterate – Saliva is difficult to falsify or substitute with a clean sample, unlike urine which can be manipulated. This makes saliva test results more reliable.
  • It’s fast – Saliva tests can provide results within minutes, unlike laboratory testing of urine which requires sending samples away. This enables quick on-site screening.
  • It detects recent use – Saliva reflects very recent drug use, making it ideal for determining current impairment and intoxication levels. A saliva test can detect drug use within the past few hours.
  • It has a wide detection window – Though not as lengthy as hair testing, saliva provides a larger detection window for most drugs compared to urine and blood testing. Different drugs can be found in saliva for 12 hours to 2-3 days after use.

Limitations of Saliva Testing

While saliva testing has its advantages, there are also some limitations to consider:

  • Short detection times – The detection window in saliva is relatively short. While it’s useful for detecting recent use, saliva is not as effective as hair or urine testing for monitoring abstinence over weeks or months.
  • Susceptibility to contamination – Food particles, smoking and other contaminants can potentially interfere with saliva test results. Proper sample collection techniques are required.
  • Limited sample volume – Saliva samples tend to be small in volume, which restricts the number of different drugs that can be tested for in one sample. Not all substances can be accurately identified or quantified.
  • Fast metabolism affects results – Drugs tend to clear quickly from saliva. People who metabolize drugs rapidly may have a very short window of detection.

How Accurate Are Saliva Drug Tests?

When performed correctly, saliva drug tests are highly accurate at detecting recent drug use. Overall accuracy is comparable to urine testing. However, the very short detection window makes it less useful for monitoring long-term abstinence.

Like any drug test, saliva testing is subject to error. Specificity and sensitivity can vary depending on the type of test used and the drug itself. False positives are rare with saliva testing, but false negatives are possible if testing is conducted too long after last use and drug levels have naturally declined.

Proper sample collection, handling and laboratory analysis protocols must be followed to ensure maximum accuracy. Confirmation testing is sometimes done using an alternate specimen like blood or urine to validate any non-negative saliva test results.

In summary, saliva drug testing serves as a fast, convenient way to conduct drug testing and screen for recent drug use. While not suitable for all situations, it offers distinct advantages in certain drug testing applications. When performed correctly, saliva testing can provide relatively quick and accurate results.

Drug Detection Times for Benzodiazepines in Saliva

Benzodiazepines are a type of drug that is used to help with anxiety and other mental health issues like insomnia. These drugs work by reducing the activity in certain parts of the brain, which can lead to feelings of relaxation.

Benzodiazepines are used for medical purposes and therefore legal in many countries. However, they have been abused as street drugs for their euphoric and calming effects.They are a controlled, Class C drug in the UK.

A common form of benzodiazepine is diazepam (also called Valium). It is a white crystalline powder that can be dissolved in water or alcohol. Street names for benzodiazepines include: benzos, blue valiums, red devils, yellow jackets, green monsters

Drug detection times interval the time interval between drug use and the detection of that drug in a person’s body. For Benzodiazepines, the typical detection time for the drug is 2-3 days after the drug has been used. As ever, accurate drug detection times depend on the type of drug being used, how much you use it, how often you use it, and your metabolism rate.

Drug Detection Times for Drugs in Saliva

The table below shows the general detection times for all drugs when using a saliva drug test kit.

Name of Drug Code Detection Period Cut off:
Alcohol ALC Real time 0.02%BAC
Amphetamines AMP 2-3 Days 50ng/mL
Benzodiazepines BZO 2-3 Days 50ng/mL
Buprenorphine BUP 2-3 Days 10ng/mL
Cannabis THC 8-12 Hours 12ng/mL
Cocaine COC 1-2 Days 20ng/mL
Cotinine COT 1-2 Days 20g/mL
Ecstasy MDMA 2-3 Days 50ng/mL
Methadone MEP 8-12 Hours 30ng/mL
Methamphetamine mAMP 2-3 Days 50ng/mL
Opiates OPI 7-21 Hours 40ng/mL
Oxycodone OXY 2-3 Days 50ng/mL
Phencyclidine PCP 12-24 Hours 10ng/mL
Spice (Synthetic Cannabis) K2/Spice Up to 48 Hours 25ng/mL

Detecting Benzos with a 12 Panel Saliva Drug Test

The innovative 12 Panel T-Square Oral Fluid Saliva Drug Test Kit from Zoom Testing allows you to accurately detect the presence of benzodiazepines (benzos) and a comprehensive range of 11 other commonly abused substances.

In addition to benzos, this cutting-edge test can identify opioids like oxycodone and heroin, stimulants such as methamphetamines, cocaine, and amphetamines, as well as cannabis and PCP. With over 99% accuracy, this FDA-approved and CLIA-waived test provides confidential, reliable results in just 5 minutes from a simple oral fluid sample.

As UK drug testing experts, Zoom Testing offers this exceptional all-in-one solution for personal use, workplace programs, treatment facilities, and more, enabling swift and discreet identification of potential substance abuse issues across a broad spectrum of drugs. Trust the convenience and precision of this state-of-the-art saliva drug test kit to meet your comprehensive screening needs.

Photo: “BZD” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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