When it comes to drug testing, two of the most popular options are urine drug screens and saliva drug screens. The reason why these two are the most used drug test in the market it’s because they are easy to collect and fairly inexpensive. Furthermore, they provide rapid results, and can be done instantly outside of the lab.
As they take testing samples from separate bodily fluids, urine and saliva drug screening have many differences.
Are the types of drugs these tests can detect “one of the main differences” between them? The short answer is: No.
Urine drug tests and saliva drug tests can detect the same types of drugs in the body. The difference between them lies not in the drugs they can find, but for how long they can detect them.
These are some of the drugs that can be screened for in both a urine and a saliva drug test:
For a list of the most commonly tested drugs, see our resource Drugs of Abuse General Information.
A drug usage “detection window” is the period between the earliest and the latest time that a drug can be detected in the body after consumption. These times depend on the types of drugs, the amount consumed, the frequency of consumption and the test used to detect them.
Both saliva and urine drug tests are great options to detect substance abuse in a simple, practical way. They are both easy to perform, cheaper than other types of drug test, and instant urine and saliva drug screens can give results in less than 10 minutes.
The decision on whether to use saliva or urine drug tests depends on your testing needs. If you’re looking for recent usage, saliva drug tests can detect most drugs within 24 hours of consumption. Urine drug testing works better if you want to find recurring usage, as it can detect most substances up to a week after consumption, but rarely before 24 hours.
Another important consideration when selecting a type of drug test is adulteration. It is important to keep in mind that some people will try to pass the drug screen by tampering with the sample. Urine testing is especially vulnerable to this practice, since users can take substances before the test, add them in if the urine collection is not supervised, or even use another person’s urine. If you want to avoid adulteration, you can use a saliva drug test or a urine drug test with adulterants.
Finally, invasiveness is another consideration that may influence your decision to use urine or saliva drug tests. Saliva drug screening is non-invasive, while urine drug testing would require an invasion of privacy if it were to be directly supervised by the sample collector. On the other hand, not having a collector supervise directly can lead to adulteration, as described above.
Helix Diagnostic has high-quality saliva drug tests and urine drug tests with 99% accuracy. If you’re wondering whether to choose saliva or urine drug testing, contact us and we’ll be glad to help you determine the best type of test for your needs!