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Saliva drug testing is a method of drug detection that has grown in popularity in the last years due to its ease…

Saliva drug testing is a method of drug detection that has grown in popularity in the last years due to its ease of use, tamper resistance, and the speed and accuracy of its results. Saliva drug tests, also known as mouth swab or oral fluid drug tests, collect saliva inside a person’s mouth and analyze the results to detect drug use.
Like most drug screens, saliva tests don’t detect the drugs themselves. Instead, they look for drug metabolites – that is, chemicals produced when drugs interact with the human body. These metabolites can only be detected in saliva over short periods of time: from a few hours to a few days depending on the drug. Therefore, mouth swab drug tests are better suited for detecting recent drug usage.

Substances that can be detected in a saliva drug test

The drugs that appear in a mouth swab drug test depend on the configuration that the test offers. Some drug tests screen only for one substance, while others can detect 5, 7 and up to 12 different types of drugs.
Some of the most common drugs of abuse that show up in saliva drug tests are:
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Oxycodone
  • Phencyclidine
  • Buprenorphine


Saliva drug tests are known for how easy they are to apply and read results. They are also preferred by testers and tested people because they are non-invasive and can be easily taken in front of the collector.

Since oral fluid drug tests can only detect recent drug usage (a few hours to a few days depending on the drug), they are commonly administered with a short notice. If it’s a workplace checkup, you will usually be notified up to 24 hours before the test. Read more about mouth swab drug testing in the workplace here.

Before the test, you will be asked to keep your mouth empty for 10 minutes to prevent any substance from tampering with the results. This includes food, chewing gum, mints and even water.

When the time of the drug test comes, the tester will give you a device with a cotton swab in one end and a panel in the other. You will have to sweep the insides of your mouths, such as your gums, cheeks and tongue, until you collect a sufficient sample. This can take between two or five minutes.

Once you remove the swab from your mouth, nothing else will be required of you. If the screen is an instant test, the collector will place the swab in a panel and results will appear


in 5-7 minutes. If it’s a lab test, they will put the swab in a container and then send it to the lab for evaluation. Results can take 24-48 hours.

Where can I find quality saliva drug tests?

If you want high-quality, accurate saliva drug tests, Halux Diagnostic has an array of options that can satisfy varied drug testing needs. Our tests are easy to use and have from 5 panels to 12 panels arranged in different configurations to detect the substances you need to test for.h