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How to Read a Saliva Drug Test: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Read a Saliva Drug Test

Are you curious about how to read a saliva drug test? It's critical to be familiar with the measures involved in analyzing these tests, and we're here to lend a hand. From collecting the sample, all the way through interpreting negative results and understanding false positives - it can be difficult but we'll explain everything step-by-step so that you know exactly what needs to be done when trying to read a saliva drug test. We want you feel confident with this process as quickly as possible.

Collecting the Sample

Gathering a saliva sample for drug analysis is an essential step in the procedure. It requires specific materials and must be done correctly in order to get accurate results.

The first step is to gather the necessary supplies, which include: collection swabs, gloves, specimen containers with lids, and labels for each container. Once these items are gathered, it’s time to begin collecting the sample.

The person administering the test should wear gloves while handling any specimens or supplies. The collection swab should then be placed between the lower cheek and gum line on one side of the mouth for at least two minutes before being removed and placed into a labeled specimen container with lid securely fastened shut. 

It is critical that all specimens be handled with extreme care throughout the procedure, as incorrect handling may bring about erroneous outcomes or taint of examples, which can cause untrue positives or negatives in test results.

Once a specimen has been taken, it is critical to guarantee that the findings are properly deciphered in order to make judicious determinations concerning drug use. Interpreting the outcome of a saliva drug test requires comprehension; thus, attaining knowledge on how to read the results is essential for making informed decisions.

Reading the Results

Reading the results of an onsite saliva drug test is a simple process. It requires only a few steps to ensure accuracy and reliability. Perusing the outcome of a salivary assay is an imperative measure in deciding if someone has employed drugs or not. The results of a saliva drug test will provide information about the presence or absence of certain drugs in the sample, as well as any metabolites that may be present. It is important to understand how to read and interpret these results correctly.

After allowing sufficient time for reactions between chemicals within each well, compare each result against those found on control strips located  along side the testing chamber. 

Positive samples should show one line while negative samples should show two lines present near top edge of strippad after allotted time has passed; no lines indicate invalid tests due to inadequate sampling volume or improper mixing prior to application onto devicecollection pad respectively).

Finally, record all findings according to company policy regarding such matters including but not limited too: Date & time taken; name(s) & ID number(s) associated with sample(s); result type (positivenegative)

These records must be kept securely for future reference if needed at later date so always remember importance of proper documentation whenever conducting drug tests regardless whether they take place inside workplace environment or elsewhere outside traditional business setting altogether!

False positives can arise from saliva testing as a result of cross-reactivity with certain OTC meds and vitamins, such as pseudoephedrine or ibuprofen derivatives like naproxen sodium and ibuprofen. In situations where erroneous readings happen, supplemental testing may be necessary through an alternate process, such as a urine analysis, prior to any decisions being made off of the initial findings.

Once you have read the results, it is important to confirm any positive readings to ensure accuracy and validity. Moving forward, we will discuss how to properly confirm a positive result from a saliva drug test.


Key Takeaway

Saliva drug testing can uncover the presence or absence of certain drugs and their metabolites, but false positives may arise from other substances.

Confirming Positive Results

Confirming Positive Results from a saliva drug test is an important step in the process of determining if someone has used drugs. The most reliable way to validate positive results is by dispatching specimens for further assessment in a laboratory setting, with precise labeling and analysis conducted via specialized apparatus. This method involves collecting the sample, labeling it correctly, and sending it off to be tested with specialized equipment.

labs utilize alternate testing procedures such as GC/MS or LC-MS/MS instead of the standard drug screening. These tests are more sensitive than traditional drug screens and can detect even trace amounts of drugs in the sample.

If a lab lacks access to cutting-edge techniques, other approaches such as immunoassay or EMIT may be employed. Immunoassays measure antibodies that bind specifically to certain drugs while EMIT measures enzymes that react when exposed to certain drugs. Both of these tests are less reliable than GC/MS or LC-MS/MS but can still provide useful information about whether someone has used drugs recently.

It is imperative to be aware that a false-positive can manifest in any drug test, thus necessitating the corroboration of positive results prior to taking action based on them. If there is doubt about the accuracy of a result, additional testing should be done using another method such as GC/MS or LC-MS/ MS which will give more reliable results than immunoassays or EMITs alone.

Overall, confirming positive results from a saliva drug test requires careful consideration and attention to detail in order to ensure accurate readings every time. Laboratories must follow strict protocols when conducting tests and take extra steps if necessary in order to verify all results before taking any action based on them.

Upon confirmation of a positive result, it is imperative to comprehend the consequences and properly implement measures for precision. By interpreting negative results, we can gain further insight into the individual's drug use and better assess their situation.

Key Takeaway

Accurate drug testing requires strict protocols and additional steps to confirm positive results, such as using GCMS or LC-MS MS tests, in order to avoid false positives.

Interpreting Negative Results

Gleaning insight from a negative saliva drug test outcome necessitates an understanding of the various testing modalities and their respective interpretations.

When it comes to interpreting negative results, there are two main categories: qualitative and quantitative testing. Qualitative testing examines whether or not drugs are present in a sample, while quantitative assessment gauges the concentration of substances within it.

Qualitative evaluations commonly necessitate utilizing an immunoassay to identify particular drugs. If no drug is discovered, the outcome is deemed to be negative; still, if any hint of drugs are detected, further verificatory exams may need to be conducted in order to reject false positives and confirm non-negatives. 

GC/MS and LC/MS techniques enable exact assessment of components like alcohol or marijuana metabolites, through quantification. Negative results indicate that no detectable level was found within the cutoff range specified by the laboratory performing the test. This means that if any traces were present at all, they were below what could be accurately measured with this type of analysis.

False positives can occur in certain cases, such as when someone has been exposed to secondhand smoke containing THC or other illegal substances due to cross-reactivity between similar compounds like hemp oil products and prescription medications containing codeine derivatives like Tylenol 3s. Consequently, it is essential to bear in mind that more validation should invariably be sought prior to any determinations about drug utilization being made dependent on initial testing results alone.

Negative results suggest that no drugs were found, though it is critical to be conscious of false positives and the likelihood for inconclusive outcomes. Moving on to understanding false positives in the next section.

Key Takeaway

Negative results from a saliva drug test can be difficult to interpret, as they may require additional testing or confirmation due to the potential for false positives.

Understanding False Positives

False positives on saliva drug tests can be a frustrating and embarrassing experience for those being tested. A false positive result is generated when the testing procedure produces a signal indicating drug use even though no such substance has been ingested. False positives can be caused by a range of factors, including:


Cross-reactivity is when substances other than drugs interact with the testing chemicals and produce a false positive result. This could include things like certain foods or medications that contain compounds similar to those found in illicit drugs.

Incorrect Test Procedure:

Improper collection or storage of samples can lead to inaccurate results as well. If samples aren’t collected correctly, stored at the right temperature, or handled properly during transport then it may cause incorrect readings on the test itself.


Contamination from outside sources such as environmental pollutants or secondhand smoke can also affect test results and lead to false positives. In some cases, these contaminants may have similar chemical structures as certain drugs which will trigger a positive reading on the test even if no actual drug was present in the sample initially.

To avoid false positives, it is essential to ensure that all testing procedures are followed correctly and any potential cross-reactive substances are avoided prior to taking a saliva drug test. Testers should be mindful of their surroundings and take steps to reduce the chance of outside contamination when collecting specimens for testing.

FAQs in Relation to How to Read a Saliva Drug Test

How do you read an oral drug test?

Oral drug testing is a method of ascertaining the presence of drugs in an individual's system by obtaining and examining a saliva sample. The individual's saliva is gathered and examined for certain drugs or their metabolites to conduct an oral drug test. To read an oral drug test, the sample is first tested using immunoassay technology which detects any traces of drugs present in the saliva. If necessary, further confirmation can be done through gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis which provides more accurate results. Oral drug tests provide quick results and are relatively non-invasive compared to other methods such as urine or blood tests, making them ideal for workplace screening programs.

What does it mean when an oral drug test turns blue?

When an oral drug test turns blue, it typically indicates that the person tested has recently used a certain type of drug. A reaction between the sample and a reagent in the testing kit results in a visible change, usually to blue, which can be seen with the naked eye or using specific equipment. This reaction produces a blue-colored dye which can be detected visually or with specialized equipment. Different tests may bring about disparate hues upon exposure to a sample containing certain drugs. Note that the emergence of a blue hue does not necessarily imply the existence of drugs, since other elements like pH levels and contamination may also affect test results.

What color is a positive oral drug test?

A positive oral drug test will show no line in the result window. This indicates that the sample tested has returned a positive result for the presence of drugs or other substances. The intensity of the line may differ. It is essential to be aware that, on occasion, erroneous positives may occur owing to external elements and must be considered when deciphering outcomes. A faint line in the results window is indicative of a negative test result. The 7-panel saliva drug test is a reliable method for detecting drug use. With its ability to identify multiple substances, it offers comprehensive screening capabilities. A positive result in the test is indicated by the absence of a line in the result window, signaling the presence of drugs or other substances in the sample.


Reading a saliva drug test is an important part of any company's drug testing program. A saliva drug test can offer precise results in a quick span of time, and it is effortless to execute. Collecting the sample, reading the results, confirming positive results, interpreting negative results and understanding false positives are all steps that should be taken when conducting a saliva drug test. By following these steps correctly, companies can ensure they get reliable information from their tests and make informed decisions about their employees' health and safety.

If you are looking for reliable and accurate drug testing supplies, Halux Diagnostic is here to provide the solution. Our saliva drug test kits offer a simple yet effective way of detecting drugs in your system with quick results. We have developed our products to ensure accuracy and convenience when it comes to conducting drug tests. With Halux Diagnostic, you can trust that you will get reliable results quickly so that you can make informed decisions about health or other matters related to potential substance use. Get started today and take control of your future by investing in an easy-to-use saliva drug test kit from Halux Diagnostic!

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