Among the various methods used for a home drug test, a saliva drug test is one of the more convenient and non-intrusive ones. Also known as a oral fluid drug test, it is intended to detect the presence of drugs in saliva. Saliva is mostly produced by three glands: the parotid, submaxillary and sublingual glands, together with other smaller glands. The amount of saliva produced can go from zero to several milliliters per minute depending upon several factors among which are hunger and a person’s emotional state. At times, anxiety during the testing procedure may result in a dry mouth syndrome and interfere with the collection of enough saliva with which to do the test.
There have been major developments in the use of saliva to test for drug use. Today, a saliva drug test is used mainly in factories and offices to test for drug use which might have safety implications and as roadside drug tests for drivers suspected of DUI. While the saliva drug test can be used to detect alcohol and antibodies to HIV, its main use is to test for substance abuse with drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, opioids like morphine and heroin, and for marijuana. In the elimination phase, THC demonstrates similar concentrations in saliva compared to blood. A saliva drug test conducted through a home drug test method has become increasingly popular and can give indicative results in a matter of minutes from the time samples are collected.
The time frame in the saliva drug test varies with the substance which the test is supposed to detect. THC and marijuana can be detected by a saliva drug test up to 24 hours from the time of ingestion. For cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines and benzodiazepines, it can be up to 2 – 3 days. Because results can be obtained almost immediately, the saliva drug test works best in detecting recent drug usage.
There are many kits available for a saliva drug test as part of a home drug test. The kit comes with a saliva collector which has a sponge at the end of it. The person being tested should refrain from taking anything through the mouth at least 10 minutes before taking the test. The sponge should be completely filled with saliva, a process that takes about 3 minutes. Once saturated with saliva, the sponge is pushed into the test device which already contains all the chemicals needed to perform the test. The test device contains lines which will indicate whether the saliva tested positive or negative for a certain drug. Within 10 minutes from the time the sponge is placed in it, the test device will display the results of the test.