Oral Fluid (Saliva) Drug Testing

For an up to date snapshot of drug use

Saliva or Oral Fluid Testing is a rapid method for proving recent use of drugs. Any substance will leave an immediate trace in the mouth that lasts between 6-24 hours – providing random insights that could suggest longer-term problems.

How does it work?

Oral Fluid Saliva Drug TestingAn Oral Fluid Test could start with immunoassay screening, a simple process that can be carried out in the field.

The laboratory will then test any positive samples using Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry – a reliable method that produces fast and sensitive results.

As Oral Fluid Testing only gives us a limited window of detection, it’s most commonly used as an initial or supporting test – for example:

  • Random drug screening
  • Day to day testing of subjects under intense supervision
  • Complementary evidence for Hair Tests, as proof of short and long-term consumption

For any of these tasks, we favour Oral Fluid Testing over random Urine Tests, as collection is easily supervised and there’s less potential for contaminating or tampering with samples.

Why use a laboratory over drug testing kits?


There are saliva drug test kits on the market, many of which will produce the same results as laboratory testing. However, these kits are far less sensitive than industry standard equipment, so there’s always a risk of false readings – especially if you’re testing for cannabis.

Admissibility in court hearings

Moreover, your drug test results will only be admissible in a court hearing or tribunal if the sample has been managed according to chain of custody protocols.

By working with the laboratory, you’ll be able to counter claims of inaccuracies or non-compliance, and have our full support in making sense of test results.

Why combine Oral Fluid Tests with Hair Tests?

Traces of all drugs will remain in saliva for the first 6 hours, and some will last for a full 24 hours after use. This gives us an immediate record of consumption in the lead-up to testing.

Hair analysis shows us a different timeframe that can span 7 days to 12 months, depending on the length of hair.

By combining Hair and Oral Fluid Tests, we can demonstrate recent and sustained use, adding considerable weight to a court hearing or tribunal.

Who uses Oral Fluid Testing – and why?

Oral Fluid Tests are used by a range of groups and professionals, including:

Read these drug and alcohol testing FAQs to help you get started with the drug testing process.

Next Steps

Please fill in the enquiry form on this page or call now on +44 (0)29 2054 0567