Saliva Drug Testing Kits - The Facts

Saliva Drug Testing Kits – The Facts

Drug testing is becoming more prevalent in all areas of our lives, from sport to work. There are various ways in which drug testing can take place. The most common methods are urine and saliva drug testing. Drug testing using samples of hair and blood is also possible, but hose methods are less used in the UK than the other two.

The use of saliva drug testing kits is becoming more and more popular and many organisations are preferring to use this method of drug testing to the more traditional method of urine drug testing.

One of the main reasons that the use of saliva drug testing kits is becoming more common is because saliva drug testing is a less intrusive method of testing an individual for drugs usage and can be easier to monitor to make sure that no attempt to cheat the drug test has taken place. It is also a cleaner a simpler method than urine drug testing. Results can be obtained within minutes, making it an ideal choice for employers who need to test their employees quickly before they begin work.

Another advantage of using saliva drug testing kits is that they can detect recent drug use more accurately than urine drug testing.

Facts about Saliva Drug Testing Kits

A saliva drug test, often known as an oral fluid drug test, can detect trace amounts of drugs in saliva. The time period in which this kind of test can be used to detect drugs is normally 24-36 hours after usage.

There are different types of saliva drug testing kits on the market. Generally, a swab is placed in the mouth of the person being tested and is moistened with saliva for about three minutes. Once the collector swab is soft with saliva it is placed in the specimen collector. The dispensing tip of the specimen collector is opened and 3 drops of fluid are transferred to the specimen well of the drug test device. The results can then be read after nine minutes. Our 4 Drug Saliva Drug Testing Kit and our 7 Drug Saliva Testing Kit both work using this method.

In a twist-type saliva drug testing kit, the swab is inserted into a saliva collector and twisted and, after waiting results can be read. There is no need to transfer the saliva outside of the collection chamber as the test is built into the chamber. The 6 Drug Twist Type Saliva Drug Testing Kit works in this manner.

For how long are drugs detectable in Saliva?

A saliva drug testing kit can detect many types of drugs of abuse. Here’s a list some of the most common ones, showing the generally accepted detection times for each drug

Alcohol – up to 12 hours after usage
Amphetamines – up to 3 days.
Barbiturates – up to 3 days.
Benzodiazepines – not yet known
Cannabis – up to 1 day
Cocaine – up to 1 day
MDMA (Ecstasy) – up to 3 days.
Methamphetamine – up to 3 days
Opiates (Heroin) – up to 3 days
PCP – up to 3 days.

Advantages of Saliva Drug Testing Kits

  • Although more expensive than urine drug test kits, saliva drug testing kits are cheaper than hair or blood testing.
  • Results can be obtained quickly, normally in about 10 minutes.
  • Saliva drug testing kits are donor-friendly, being less intrusive than urine drug tests.
  • These types of tests are easier to monitor to prevent any efforts to cheat the drug tests.
  • These tests can detect multiple drugs at the same time – normally to eight different types of drug.
  • Saliva Drug Testing can be carried out anywhere.

Disadvantages of Saliva Drug Testing Kits

  • Saliva Drug Testing Kits offer short detection times for some of the most commonly abused drugs. Many drugs disappear from saliva in 24 hours meaning that these types of tests are best for monitoring recent drug ingestion only.
  • For the same reason, long-time drug usage cannot be detected by these tests. Most people will show clear for all drugs after just 2 or 3 days of abstinence.
  • Saliva Drug Testing Kits are generally more expensive than Urine Drug Testing Kits.
  • There is some opinion that these test can be cheated by taking certain detox products that work to alter saliva production. It is also claimed that the metabolites required for drug usage determination can be masked by smoking.


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

This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated since.

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