Oral fluid drug screening has become increasingly popular. Typically employers do their own specimen collections for oral fluid testing. Without advance set up, our nationwide drug test centers do not provide the specimen collections for oral fluid drug testing.
Comparing to urine and hair drug tests, oral fluid is best at detecting recent drug use. Drugs take time to metabolize and pass through the system in a urine test, and the same drugs are incorporated as hair grows and it takes time for the drug to be present in the hair above the scalp. But an oral fluid test will often detect drugs in a donor’s system immediately after use. This makes oral fluid testing ideal for both reasonable suspicion and post-accident testing. The very recent use of drugs will be detected with the oral fluid testing.
The first step with oral fluid drug testing is have a specimen collection device. The picture at the right shows several available collection devices that our laboratories accept as follows:
- Alere Toxicology – Intercept Oral Fluid Collection Device (OraSure Technologies)
- LabCorp – Quantisal Oral Fluid Collection Device (Immunalysis Corporation)
- Clinical Reference Labs – Intercept Oral Fluid Collection Device (OraSure Technologies)
- Quest Diagnostics – Oral-Eze Oral Fluid Collection System
Employers who want to implement oral fluid drug testing will need training on the specific oral fluid test to be utilized and will need to pre-order the oral fluid collection kits. The oral fluid collection kits are typically $4.00 each, the cost of testing is then billed for each test upon completion. Minimum order for the collection devices is quantity 10.
Available Oral Fluid Drug Test Panels:
- 5 Panel Drug Test – Amphetamines – Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana (THC), Opiates, Phencyclidine (PCP)
- 9 Panel Drug Test – Amphetamines – Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana (THC), Opiates, Phencyclidine (PCP), Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Methadone and Propoxyphene
- The oral fluid panels include in the Opiates panel: (Codeine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, 6-MAM – Heroin & Morphine)
- Oxycodone is typically a separate panel
- Cotinine Testing – Nicotine
- Ethanol alcohol or ETOH can be added to any panel or can be a stand-alone panel
Oral Fluid Drug Testing is a Fast and simple process
The donor places the collection pad between their lower cheek and gum for five minutes. The donor puts the collection pad into the vial and seals the vial in the presence of the collector. The collector sends the sample to the laboratory for analysis with a completed Custody and Control Form. Once specimens arrive at the laboratory negative results are typically back in 1 business day, non-negative results will always take several days longer.
There are certain drawbacks to oral fluid testing: non-standardization of collection devices; low sample volume compared to urine; fewer publications than urine; limited information on drug recovery and stability during storage and transportation; and the inability of some subjects to provide a valid sample – or ‘dry-mouth syndrome’. The issue of how much sample is collected tends to be device-dependent.
There are many Oral Fluid Drug Test Panels available but all labs do not necessarily perform all of the available oral fluid drug test panels.
Oral Fluid Drug Testing for Employers
Many employers are finding that implementing an oral fluid drug testing program can save them money on their drug testing program. Many employers in remote areas also find the oral fluid testing to be the best solution. The use of oral fluid drug testing is designed so that an employer representative collects the specimen and ships it out to the laboratory. It is unlikely to find an occupational clinic or laboratory owned collection facility that will collect oral fluid specimens without advance arrangements set up. If your company is interested in setting up an oral fluid testing program, call National Drug Screening at 866-843-4545 for expert assistance.