Saliva the best workplace drug testing method


The debate over whether saliva drug testing is a more accurate and reliable method of detecting drugs than urine drug testing has raged for years. And, despite plenty of evidence that shows that saliva drug testing is the better method, it seems the debate will continue.

A recent media release from one of our competitors has added further fuel to the fire. The media release preaches the virtues of urine drug testing while attempting to discredit the use of saliva drug testing in the workplace. It even goes so far as labeling oral fluid drug testing practices as “a dangerous risk”.

What’s Integrity Sampling’s opinion? Clearly, we believe saliva drug testing is better, and here’s why:

  • Collecting urine samples can be invasive and uncomfortable for many people.
  • Employee privacy versus testing integrity during the collection of urine samples is always an issue. That’s because if supervision levels are high, privacy can be impacted; if supervision levels are low, people can potentially tamper with samples and cheat the process.
  • The detection period for urine is significantly more than it is for saliva. This could mean, for example, that a person could pass a saliva drug test if they took cannabis or ecstasy the day before, but fail a urine test. This brings into question a person’s ability to be ‘fit for work’ and whether a person who took a drug 1 or 2 days before work is able to perform their job safely.
  • Collection of saliva is extremely easy and non-invasive. An employee simply rubs a collection device around the inside of their mouth.
  • Analysis is also easy and, when done correctly (see below), is auditable, quick and extremely accurate.
  • Tampering or cheating the process is virtually impossible.

For the sake of transparency, it is worth pointing out that at Integrity Sampling we do specialise in saliva drug testing. However, we are a more than happy to offer urine drug testing over saliva drug testing if a company prefers. It’s simply that we recommend saliva drug testing because of the reasons mentioned above.

As for the company behind the recent media release? Not surprisingly, they’re background is in urine drug testing.

One thing that we do agree with in our competitor’s media release is for workplaces to only use qualified professionals to conduct drug testing – whether it’s saliva drug testing or urine drug testing – and to never rely on saliva testing kits. Failure to do so can lead to substandard testing and subsequently inaccuracy of testing results.

All Integrity Sampling’s consultants have relevant Australian Quality Training Framework qualifications. In addition, many of our branches, including our head office, have ISO accreditation for onsite testing and are NATA accredited. Plus, we use the world-renowned Drager Drug Test 5000 – which boasts an accuracy of more than 99% – to analyse our saliva samples. It’s the same unit that’s used by many police forces around the world to conduct roadside drug testing.

For further information on the benefits of choosing saliva drug testing over urine drug testing, talk to Integrity Sampling today by phoning 1300 752 482.

The debate over whether saliva drug testing is a more accurate and reliable method of detecting drugs than urine drug testing continues to rage.

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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