The human saliva is known to have the capability of containing adequate amount of metabolites within a short span of time. An oral drug test is generally performed in two ways – either through placing of strips or the use of swabs. The procedure followed in conducting a saliva test is quite simple and painless. In this test a small amount of saliva is taken from your mouth as sample. This is done by placing a swab (a small plastic like stick with wadding at the posterior part) between the lower cheeks and the gum for a couple of minutes or until a sufficient amount of saliva sample has been collected. Most of the test kits make use of immunoassays to detect the drug level. The modern day drug testing kits are developed to interpret the results of such test immediately rather than sending it to the laboratory. The test results can be obtained within a short span of 10 minutes from the sample collected.
The testing mechanism
Every individual collects food, air and other contaminates from the environment within his body which is metabolized by the body and converted into metabolites which is either used by the body or stored as fat or as fast growing cells. After the sample for a mouth swab drug test has been collected the same is sent for testing. When the drug level is below the cut-off level the binding sites of the particular antibody remains unsaturated. This leads to the occurrence of a reaction between the protein-drug conjugate resulting in an occurrence of a visible coloured line in the kit. In case the drug level is above the cut-off level then the antibodies in the kit gets saturated and no coloured line is visible. This shows that the occurrence of a coloured line in the kit indicates that no drug abuse instance has been identified and the absence of a coloured line indicates the occurrence of drug abuse. Such test results can easily be read by the individual being tested and requires no expertise.
Focusing on present results
The introduction of the saliva test began about a decade ago and at that time the entire procedure was quite complicated and time consuming. The cost involved in conducting such test was also quite high. Due to the cost-effectiveness of this drug detection technique over the years inspired many employers to switch over to this method of testing. This method of drug detection provides more accurate results than a urinalysis. This procedure is generally followed to detect the present use of drug by an individual. For a company to find out if an employee has been doing drugs in the recent past it uses the saliva testing method. The mouth swab drug test is non-invasive and can be conducted in the work site itself rather than sending the individual to an external testing location. The accuracy of such test result is not cent percent appropriate as there are several products in the market which prevents the detection of the appropriate result.