According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), around 11.7% of people over the age of 12 have used an illegal substance in the past month. This number increases by 2% if you include the non-medical use of psychotherapeutic substances.
The consequences of drug use in the workplace can range from a reduction in productivity to damage, injury, or death. Many high-risk jobs demand a lot of focus and people’s lives can’t be put on the line due to drug use.
Could a saliva drug test be the solution your business needs? What are the benefits in comparison to other drug test types?
To discover the answers to these questions and more, keep reading, as we explore 8 reasons why oral fluid testing is your business’ next step!
Using a Saliva Drug Test
To understand the benefits of using a saliva drug test kit, we need to know how they work. Also known as a mouth swab drug test, this kit uses an absorbent pad or sponge to collect saliva from a person’s mouth. It’s important they haven’t eaten, drank, or smoked in the past 20 minutes.
The saliva sample is then inserted into the screening device where testing will take place. Colored bands will begin to appear for each drug being tested for. The top band is the control which simply informs you that the test is working, and results will be valid. The appearance of the lower band indicates a positive or negative result.
A saliva drug test can screen for:
- THC (Marijuana)
These tests are designed to detect substances consumed recently. For example, amphetamines will only be detected if consumed in the past 1-2 days, while marijuana can be detected if consumed in the past 5 days, sometimes more.
Got more questions? Our saliva drug test FAQ may have the answers you’re looking for!
1. High Testing Accuracy
One of the most important features of any drug test is accuracy. If a test isn’t accurate, then there’s no point in using it. Luckily, the mouth swab drug test is incredibly accurate for detecting substances that have been used recently.
The level of accuracy does vary slightly, depending on the specific test being used, drugs being tested for, and how well the test is being carried out. But most tests are at least 92% accurate, with many reaching 99% of above!
2. Rapid Testing Speed
If there’s one thing that the different drug test types vary on, it’s the length of waiting time between carrying out the test and receiving the results. Many tests (such as blood, hair, and sometimes urine) involve sending samples to labs for analysis, which can take weeks.
Businesses that wish to regularly test their staff without having to wait any length of time for results will benefit from oral fluid testing.
Results can be as quick as 1-3 minutes. Most oral drug tests recommend checking the results after 10 minutes. It’s important not to view the results too late though (usually after the 20-minute mark) as the results can change and become inaccurate.
As well as being incredibly quick, a mouth swab drug test is the most convenient of all the drug test types. You don’t need a special room or a specific member of staff to perform the test. Supervisors will require some training but it’s incredibly straightforward.
If we use urine testing as a comparison, you need to have the following things in place:
- The person needs to be ready to urinate
- A member of staff must take them to the toilets
- A supervisor must be present to ensure no tampering takes place
- If the control test fails, repeating the test takes time
In comparison, you can use a saliva drug test kit anywhere. It’s common to give the employee some degree of privacy so that their colleagues can’t observe them, such as a manager or supervisor’s office, but realistically, it can be completed anywhere.
The test can even be carried out while other tasks are still underway, such as paperwork. If the test is part of a new employee’s induction procedure, they can continue to watch training videos or fill in personal information while waiting on the results.
4. Difficult to Tamper With
One of the big concerns with any drug test is the ability to tamper with the results. It doesn’t matter how accurate a test is if the individual can create a false negative.
Urine testing has become increasingly complex (and expensive) to combat this problem. Some tests measure temperature to ensure that the individual hasn’t used somebody else’s clean urine. Diluting urine by drinking excess water is another way of reducing the likelihood of a positive result.
Saliva tests are easy to monitor as the individual doesn’t need the same level of privacy required by other testing methods. There are also fewer ways to potentially tamper with the results, most of which are easily avoided through monitoring the individual during the procedure.
When a business wishes to perform frequent drug tests on employees, the last thing they want is to pay hundreds of dollars to send someone to a third-party test site. Even other in-house testing kits can be drastically more expensive.
Each saliva drug test can cost between $2.99 – $4.99 per swab.
Businesses that will be testing employees regularly will likely get larger discounts if buying in bulk, meaning the cost per swab will get lower and lower.
6. Easy to Use
Simplicity is always a selling point, especially when it comes to drug testing. An overly complex and complicated process increases the amount of time and training needed, as well as the risk of errors.
Oral fluid testing couldn’t be much simpler!
The person wiggles a sponge around inside their mouth and places it into a tube, and then the results appear within 10 minutes. It’s as straightforward as that!
There is some additional training that will help supervisors reduce the likelihood of errors or tampering, but this is generally as simple as making sure the person doesn’t eat or drink for 20 minutes before they collect the saliva sample.
The last thing any business wants is a mandatory procedure to make their employees feel uncomfortable. Many jobs are stressful enough without worrying about the type of drug test a company chooses to use.
Collecting a urine sample can be an awkward experience due to the lack of privacy. Blood samples can be painful and uncomfortable. Especially if you have a fear of needles!
A saliva drug test doesn’t involve needles or having to urinate in front of a colleague, supervisor, or manager.
All employees have to do is move a sponge around in their mouth until it has collected enough saliva. Meaning that taking part in drug testing won’t be additional stress or worry for them at work.
Improved hygiene is the final benefit that we’re going to discuss, although there are certainly more than 8 benefits to this test type. During the Covid-19 pandemic, hygiene has been at the front of everyone’s mind. The idea of passing on germs has led to the use of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
But hygiene is something we need to be aware of all the time, whether we’re in a pandemic or not.
Is it hygienic to have a supervisor handle a cup of urine? It isn’t always easy to urinate into a cup without some spillage. And does anyone want to spend more time in a toilet than is absolutely necessary?
One of the major benefits of a saliva test is that it’s hygienic. The person doesn’t have to spit into a tube and then hand it to someone else. They are in complete control of the sample collection and can minimize the risk of bodily fluids coming into contact with anybody else.
The easy-to-use test combined with the rapid results means that there’s no need for any sample transportation, which further reduces the risk of spillage or contamination.
Need a Test?
Now that we’ve covered 8 benefits of using a saliva drug test, you can probably understand why they are such a popular choice. Testing is cheap, fast, simple, comfortable, hygienic, accurate, convenient, and difficult to tamper with.
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