Oral Fluid Drug Testing FAQ

Below you will find frequently asked questions regarding oral fluid drug testing.

Why should I use oral fluid drug testing?

Oral fluid drug testing detects recent drug use from a saliva sample and is simple and easy to administer. Sampling with our oral fluid testing kits will provide an instant result and the testing can either be observed by trained company representatives or by AlphaBiolabs’ trained collectors. We can also provide a rapid confirmation service for samples which are non-negative on site.

Oral fluid testing is suitable for all testing reasons – from pre-employment to random to for-cause and post-incident.

Companies use pre-employment oral fluid drug testing and random testing for employees to protect the business from the risks of workforce drug use. Oral fluid testing is easy to administer, difficult to adulterate and requires no special facilities for collection.

How long can a drug be detected in oral fluid?

For most drugs the window of detection is 24 – 48 hours.

What drugs are detected with a urine test?

The oral fluid kits can detect a variety of substances such as amphetamine, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates, methadone and ketamine.

What are cut off levels?

Cut off levels refer to the minimum concentration of drug in a sample which can be deemed positive. Our drug and alcohol testing service follows the guidelines and cut off values set out by the European Workplace Drug Testing Society.

Is drug testing reliable?

We work to the highest standard in the industry and hold accreditation to ISO17025.

Our DNA, drug and alcohol testing service has been carrying out DNA, drug and alcohol testing for the legal profession for many years. All our legal tests follow a strict chain of custody and are legally admissible in courts.

What happens when an employee is tested?

At the collection site, the donor provides the sample and the collector observes the procedure. If the sample is non-negative, it will be placed in a tamper evident bag.

The necessary documentation will be completed and the sample transported to the laboratory for confirmation of any drugs which are non-negative on site.

What if an employee declines to be tested?

This should be addressed in your drug and alcohol testing policy. Some companies will commence disciplinary procedures but this varies according to individual policies.

Some policies outline that if an employee declines a drug or alcohol test, their test result will be an automatic fail.

What facilities should be provided for urine collection?

No special facilities are required.

Is introducing workplace drug testing expensive?

Introducing a drug and alcohol testing policy in the workplace is not expensive and the company will actually gain greater productivity, less accidents and subsequent litigation.

Is there any preparation required for the test?

No, the employee should continue eating and drinking normally and keep taking any prescribed medication.

Can an employee challenge the result?

Yes, an employee has the right to challenge a positive oral fluid drug test result and ask for a retest. They will not be permitted to give another sample but the retest will be carried out on the remaining portion of the original sample, which the laboratory still holds. Depending on the company policy, the employee may have to cover the cost of the retest.

How soon after use can a drug be detected in oral fluid?

Oral fluid testing can detect drugs in saliva approximately 30 – 60 minutes after ingestion which is very useful in post-incident testing.

Can oral fluid testing be affected by over-the- counter medications?

Potentially yes, they can cause a false positive when using the screening device but all non-negative results are confirmed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) to eliminate this possibility.

Can an oral fluid test be beaten?

It is possible that donors may try to introduce something into the collection device. However, this risk is highly unlikely since every collection is directly and easily observed.

Who collects the sample?

The donor collects their own sample under the direct visual supervision of a trained collector. This process takes approximately five minutes and is very difficult to challenge as the donor has performed the collection whilst under observation.

To arrange any of our business services or workplace drug and alcohol testing services please contact our friendly customer service team on 01 402 9466 or

Feel free to get in touch with any workplace testing enquiries at all that you may have. We also have Toxicology specialists at hand to provide expert advice and interpretation of results if your situation is particularly complex.

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Gail Evans AlphaBiolabs

Gail Evans

Technical Trainer at AlphaBiolabs

A professionally-trained forensic scientist, Gail joined AlphaBiolabs in 2012 and holds the role of Technical Trainer.

Her day-to-day responsibilities include delivering in-depth training sessions both internally and externally, covering DNA, drug, and alcohol testing.

Throughout her career at AlphaBiolabs, Gail has held a variety of roles, including within the Legal and Workplace sectors of the business.

Before joining the company, Gail was a practicing forensic scientist with 25 years’ experience working for the Forensic Science Service, attending scenes of crime, and analysing physical and biological material with potential evidential value.

Gail also holds qualifications in chemistry and is a Lead Auditor for the ISO 9001 standard, the international standard for quality management.

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