What is a Saliva Drug Test?
A saliva drug test, also often called a mouth swab drug test, is an alcohol and drug testing method that involves collecting a saliva specimen along the mucous membrane inside the cheek to detect alcohol or specific drug metabolites in the system. Employers may administer saliva drug testing as a cost-effective and easy-to-use modality with customizable drug panels that can target alcohol and illicit substances including amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, marijuana, methamphetamine, and opioids.
Drug abuse remains a burden on the bottom line of many companies due to increased absenteeism, higher turnover rates, and frequent accidents/injuries, which can in turn compound workers’ compensation claims. Saliva drug tests are appealing to many employers because they are customizable, and able to accommodate the employer’s guidelines to conduct the drug testing protocol to determine the candidacy or reinstatement parameters surrounding applicants and employees in the workplace. Employers can easily utilize saliva drug tests for pre-employment testing, random drug testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and post-accident/injury testing, with oral fluid testing providing an ample window of detection coinciding with the type of drug(s) in question.
The presence of a comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol testing policy can be the key factor in advancing a drug-free work environment. As the cultural landscape continues to evolve with the legalization of marijuana along with lax measures to restrain the opioid epidemic, employers are hard-pressed in moderating the cumulative impact drug abuse plays on the workforce. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, employers are liable to safeguard the welfare of their employees from perceived hazards in tandem with applicants and employees consenting to all drug testing relating to distinctive job titles.
Saliva drug tests are virtually tamper-proof, as the on-site specialist or laboratory technician collects the specimen directly from the test subject following negative or positive test result(s) depending on the mode of testing.