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Saliva Testing

Low-Stress Collections. Reliable Results.

While urine drug testing is the most widespread method, saliva testing (also known as oral fluids testing) certainly has its benefits. Just like hair and urine testing, saliva testing offers lab-based results that are reported with a high degree of accuracy. In addition, donors can collect their own samples on-site which helps to mitigate the following (when compared to urine collection):

  • Sample tampering/adulteration
  • Doner anxiety/discomfort
  • Collection time
  • Collection costs
  • Collector interaction with fluids

Quick, observable collection may also make saliva testing more suitable as an in-house process for employers.

Gloved hand putting saliva test swab into test tube. Saliva drug test concept.

Common Questions

Aside from the differences in the collection process, each sample type experiences variability when it comes to drug detection time frames.

Saliva has the smallest drug detection window (5 to 48 hours after substance use).

Food and drink can impact results if consumed immediately before collection. For this reason, all donors are to refrain from eating or drinking for at least 10 minutes prior to collection.

Peopletrail always utilizes an MRO for DOT and non-DOT saliva samples. The processes for verifying and reporting positive oral fluids drug test results are very similar to the urine drug screening processes.

Most positive results will be reported within 72 business hours.

Yes. However, some organizations still require that instant negative results be verified at the lab

As of now, saliva testing is not observed as a DOT-compliant drug testing collection method (although it is used for alcohol testing). However, the U.S. Department of Transportation is currently proposing an amendment to its transportation industry program procedures regulation to include oral fluids drug testing.


Many would consider saliva testing to be the most convenient and least invasive drug testing collection option. The results can be lab-confirmed, MRO-reviewed, and quickly reported. That said, the drug detectability window is smaller with an oral fluids test than with urine and hair tests. For this reason, saliva tests make for great (non-DOT) post-accident and reasonable suspicion options, especially if samples are collected in-house. However if your pre-employment screening process requires a larger detectability window than 48 hours, your organization may want to consider a urine or a hair test.

For more information about Peopletrail’s saliva drug testing solutions, contact us or visit us online.