Pot Topics: 3 Oral Fluid Adulteration Methods

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23 April 2021 >> , , ,

Pot Topics: 3 Oral Fluid Adulteration Methods

Pot Topics: 3 Oral Fluid Adulteration Methods

We’ve all likely heard of the many adulteration methods for urine drug specimens but we seldom consider the possibilities when it comes to oral fluid adulteration methods.

In drug testing, the term adulterate refers to an action taken to alter a test specimen. An individual may attempt sample adulteration before submitting it for analysis to prevent the detection of his or her drug use. There are several different methods that may be used in an attempt to alter a test sample. The methods chosen will depend on the type of drug test being performed and the drug use that the individual is attempting to hide.


There are 3 popular methods of adulterating oral fluid drug tests.

  1. Mouthwash
  2. Detox Drinks
  3. Mints, Citric Acid Candy, or Chewing Gum

Mouthwash is the most popular choice among the perspective “cheaters” as there are multiple options available, including Listerine which is also very cost effective. It has been proven that mouthwash will eliminate drug metabolites from the saliva temporarily. Manufacturers recommend rinsing your mouth multiple times in the days preceding your test as well as immediately before testing.

This mouth wash formula begins to work instantly when it comes into contact with your saliva and glands. Avoid ingesting all toxins at least three days prior to your lab test. Remember anything you smoke or ingest will enter your blood stream and will be released in your body including through the process of saliva.

Although the claim of immediate removal of toxins is not accurate, this mouthwash may still interfere with the detection of drugs if the proper procedures are not followed.

Detox Drinks: When used immediately before an oral fluid test

Detox Drink

Detox drinks are most commonly used for urine drug testing but marketing for these products also state that they will eliminate all traces of drug use from saliva. In most cases this is not correct, however, if the participant drinks it immediately before the test, it may lower the concentration of some drug metabolites in the saliva temporarily.

Mints, Citric Acid Candy, or Chewing Gum: Changing pH

Mints, candies with citric acid, and chewing gum have been proven to stimulate the production of oral fluid and will inevitably change the pH and concentration of certain drugs in the saliva. Depending on the amount of drug(s) in the participant’s system, it may reduce enough to be below the cut off level for detection. The effects of this type of adulterant are also temporary.


Although adulterants for oral fluid drug testing do exist and may interfere with the detection of drugs in the saliva, the concentration of drug metabolites will regenerate with the reproduction of saliva. SureHire follows the procedures listed below during the collection process to ensure accurate test results despite adulteration attempts.

1. Mouth Rinse. Participants are asked to rinse their mouth with water prior to performing an oral fluid collection. This ensures that any substance they may have in their mouth is removed.

2. Pre-Test Inspection. Participant’s are asked to open their mouth wide and lift their tongue so that the administrator can see if there are any signs of attempted adulteration. Such as, mints, candy, gum, colored saliva, or anything unusual.

3. 10-Minute Wait. After a rinse and inspection, participants are asked to wait 10 minutes to allow adequate time for saliva regeneration (rendering adulterants ineffective).

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