With many excited about the opportunity to have saliva based COVID testing and not have to use the more invasive nasal swab they are also beginning to realize that they can ditch the urine based drug testing methods in favor of a saliva based method that works very similarly.
What is mouth swab drug testing?
A mouth swab drug test, or saliva fluid drug testing, is best described as a drug test that’s conducted through collecting their respective presence in saliva. All health practitioners and sometimes even the individual himself or herself can collect the samples by swabbing their own mouth. Most people prefer it since it’s cost effective, quick, easy, and doesn’t involve any kind of discomfort.
Thanks to swab test effectiveness, most industries have adopted it. These industries include national security, law enforcement, public health, and most recently, coronavirus testing. What also makes the testing effective, especially the antigen swab test for covid, is that one can carry it out from the comfort of their home.
What makes it more amazing is the fact that people don’t need to gather in any closed locations, such as a hospitals, where they would otherwise increase the chances of the virus spreading. Despite being quite easy to conduct, mouth swabs are virtually impossible to cheat. The sample collection can be carried out with a maximum supervision thanks to its noninvasive nature. That’s one of the few advantages mouth swab testing is preferred over urine samples which require a certain amount of privacy.
How effective is a mouth swab drug test?
According to the experts in the frontlines battling the spread of coronavirus, the mouth swab drug test is quite effective as long as it’s done correctly. The most recent data shows that the covid test from mouth swabs are more than 97% accurate if done correctly.
While mouth swabs can be effective for detecting covid-19 even after a couple of days, it might be difficult for the result to be replicated when it comes to other drugs. Some drugs such as meth can be detected a few days after consumption, others, like alcohol, can dissipate twelve hours after consumption. This makes mouth swab drug testing time sensitive.
If an individual is a repetitive consumer of the drug he or she is being tested for, the chances of the drug being detected in their system are much higher. In other words, a plethora of factors are often taken into play when it comes to the oral drug testing kit, its advantages, as well as disadvantages and with that said, here’s a list of things that are likely to affect the accuracy of a mouth swab drug test:
- Type of drug being tested – As mentioned earlier, some drugs can be detected for a longer time than others. Therefore, it is a good idea to know all the attributes of the drug before pulling out your mouth swab drug test kit as it might save you a lot of time that you’d have otherwise wasted conducting the test in a wrongful way.
- Whether the subject has eaten in between the drug intake and the test most of the time can affect the sample and that being said, you’re most likely to have a more accurate result when you ensure that the subject to be tested hasn’t eaten anything until after the saliva sample has been collected.
- The skill of the one collecting the saliva sample. It is very important for you to get the drug tested by someone who is not only correctly dressed but also has the skill to collect samples. Having someone who doesn’t have an idea of what they are doing will always have a low accuracy of the samples and in the end the test will give an inaccurate result.
- The quantity of the drug in the system. There are chances that the drug might not be detected in your system because the intake was way too small. For instance, someone who was a second-hand smoker of marijuana might end up testing negative because of the little amount of present in his or her system even though the drug left traces of itself.
- Finally, you might also want to check out the testing facility. It goes without saying that the better the facility is, the better are your chances of getting accurate results.
Advantages of mouth swab drug tests
There are quite a handful of advantages associated with taking a mouth swab drug test. For starters, it is quite fast. All you need is a quick swab inside of the subject’s mouth and it is done in a matter of seconds. Just make sure that the person conducting the test is a professional with a few years’ worth of experience. That’s the only way you can determine that he or she is doing a proper job.
Another advantage associated with mouth swab drug tests is that they are cost effective. The test kits are affordable and anyone can do it on their own. The instructions are quite easy to follow and therefore you don’t need to have a professional present.
These tests are also painless. The nose and throat tests have always been disliked by many because of how uncomfortable they are to conduct. Having a long “stick” shoved down one’s nose or throat is no one’s idea of fun because of their invasive nature, plus, it’s almost impossible for anyone to cheat or tamper with the results because mouth swabs are one of the few instant drug test procedures.
Disadvantages of mouth swab drug tests
The number one drawback associated with mouth swab drug tests is the small window for testing positive. In as much as there are drugs that can be detected after a day, most of them can dissipate after five hours, meaning the drug tests ought to be carried out as soon as possible. After two days, most of the drugs tests carried out via the oral way won’t be detected.
Another disadvantage comes when the subject has a dry mouth. Since the swabs rely on saliva, it becomes a bit difficult for the sample to be collected when there is no saliva to be collected. In fact, some drugs cause dryness in the mouth thus making it hard for any results to be reached.
It’s also quite easy to contaminate the sample especially if the person collecting the sample hasn’t received proper training. Thankfully, the training doesn’t take much because the procedure is easy and can be learned in a matter of hours. But that doesn’t mean you it should not be taken seriously.
Finally, the subject is also required not eating anything between the time they took the drugs and the time they are being tested. It might be quite difficult for that to be verified, because there isn’t really a method of seeing if someone ate before taking a drug or not. That’s unless they are in a controlled environment. And, as we already know, certain foods can do a great job in contaminating the sample.