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Non-DOT Saliva Drug Screen

Saliva tests are being used more often as an alternative to urine drug tests because they’re easier to administer.

Saliva drug test or oral fluids drug test are used for everything from pre-employment screening and random or period testing to post-accident testing. Some police forces also use saliva drug tests for roadside drug testing when they suspect someone’s driving under the influence of marijuana or other substances.


The mouth swab drug test is the least invasive method of drug testing. No needle pokes or peeing in a cup required.

All mouth swab drug tests are completed using the same basic steps:

A collection stick with a sponge or absorbent pad on one end is used to swab the inside of the cheek.
The sample is analyzed for traces of substances, either on-site or in a lab.
They don’t require much preparation either, though you’ll usually be told not to eat or drink anything for 10 minutes before the test.


What can it detect?

The substances a saliva drug test can detect depend on the test being used. They can be used to test for any one of these substances individually or in a combination when using a multi-panel drug test:

  • amphetamines
  • methamphetamine
  • barbiturates
  • benzodiazepines
  • opioids
  • cannabis (THC)
  • phencyclidine (PCP)
  • alcohol

How far back can it detect things?

It depends on a few factors, including the sensitivity of the test being used, the type of substance being tested, and how much has been used.

Some devices are more sensitive than others. Some substances are detectable for longer periods than others.

How long a person’s been using the substance can also affect detection time. Research shows that substances are detectable for longer periods in people who frequently use a substance.

Substances are typically detectable in oral fluid within about 30 minutes of ingestion. This is much faster than other tests. The short time frame makes them especially effective for screening after an accident or in reasonable suspicion situations.

The general detection window in oral fluids is 5 to 48 hours, but again, that window can be longer for people who use a substance often or for a long period of time.