• Mark Kenny-Beveridge
    Good morning all,
    does anyone have any credible current information on saliva testing vs urine for random drug testing?
    I am looking for information relating to the pros and cons of each, and the commonality of each if possible.
    1. Do you conduct drug testing on your site? (15 votes)
        Do you offer saliva testing as the primary choice?
        Do you offer urine testing as the primary choice?
  • Stephen Small
    I am assuming that you are talking about the initial screening test only?
    (i.e.saliva samples for screening, but urine samples for confirmatory testing)
  • Mark Kenny-Beveridge
    Hi Stephen,
    Thinking for Random but yes as you described initially screening for saliva only.
  • Sarah Becker
    Look at drug wise as they do saliva testing that can also be sent to lab without the need for urine as well. We currently do urine only and are moving to saliva for random.
  • Stephen Small
    Thanks @Sarah Becker
    We are reviewing our providers, so perfect timing.
  • Gail Swanepoel

    Interesting article if anyone hasn't already seen this from the drug foundation. As an impairment test using saliva testing has shown the potential to not be reliable and is discredited as imperfect.
  • Andrew
    Oh how I wish we would focus on impairment.

    And not what people do in their private lives.
  • Mandy Gudgeon

    Gail I believe this is the main reason the the Road Side Drug testing has been held up.
    When I was a NZDDA (TDDA now) tester, it was well known in our industry that saliva testing was the least reliable and only identified recent use.
  • MattD2
    When I was a NZDDA (TDDA now) tester, it was well known in our industry that saliva testing was the least reliable and only identified recent use.Mandy Gudgeon
    Shouldn't we only want to identify recent use? I.e. detect impairment?

    From some quick reading a article referring to a University of Sydney study reported that impairment from THC was generally around 4 hours after use (or 6-7 hours if high doses or complex tasks are being done), and another source stated that oral THC test can detect use up to 12 hours prior (or longer for heavy / long-time users). Other drugs such as amphetamines or MDMA were detected for around 2 days after use. Seems like the decently matched situation to use oral testing to check for the potentail for impairment, without overstepping into a workers home life. After all we should really be focusing on managing workplace health and safety risks - rather than morally judging our workers private lives.
  • Amy Richards
    I personally don’t like urine testing for random drug testing because it’s not inclusive and only causes unnecessary stress. Especially when there is a product on the market that is better suited to this task.

    Peeing in a cup is not a simple task for some people. It’s compounded when you consider menstruation, gynaecological health and pelvic floor health, such as infections and incontinence. ‘Stage fright’ is a form of anxiety. How do you ask someone who has a catheter to pee in a cup?

    All of these can be dealt with in a sensitive manner by a health professional. But I have never seen random testing in the workplace be anything more than ableist and sexist.

    In saying all this, I do know that some neurodivergent people with tactile aversion would not do well with the saliva testing, so I would suggest to open it up for what method works best for the person involved.
  • Matt Sadgrove
    Sounds like you need to have a conversation with @CK Rahi from Advance Diagnostics. She is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable on this topic
  • Mark Kenny-Beveridge
    Thank you all for your feedback and links to articles. It is most helpful. I too agree that our focus should be on impairment, and I find it interesting that when we often talk about impairment, how do we test for somebody impaired by factors such as lack of sleep, illness (headaches etc) that could impact on work performance etc.
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