The Difference Between Urine and Saliva Drug Testing


The Difference Between Urine and Saliva Drug Testing

While there are multiple methods of testing people’s drug usage, the two most popular are urine and saliva drug testing. These methods rank high in popular usage because while they are not very invasive, they are accurate, and they test for a range of different drugs. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the best drug testing method for your purposes. Check out this guide to learn the difference between urine and saliva drug testing so you can better choose what’s best for your drug testing needs.

They each have different result times

Saliva-based drug testing yields results in about 24 hours, while urine drug testing can take up to a few days to yield results. Saliva drug testing is conducted in a lab, which is the best way to drug test with the most accuracy, and these tests take only about 24 hours to show results. This is a quick manner of testing that makes it ideal for post-accident drug testing and reasonable suspicion drug testing, both of which are common reasons for drug testing in the workplace. Urine tests are typically one of the most accurate reads and still have relatively quick turnaround times. These are best for random drug testing and routine employment entry drug testing.

They test for different reasons

Urine drug testing can detect most drug usage in the last four weeks. Saliva testing detects most drugs for up to only 10 days after their usage. Because of this difference in timing, these tests are often used in different contexts. Saliva drug testing can detect usage done that day, while urine drug testing is not known to be the most reliable source of testing for drug use at that moment. For this reason, many companies choose to invest in both saliva drug test kits and urine drug testing kits. Urine drug testing kits are best used for routine drug testing, while saliva drug testing kits are best used for drug testing due to suspicion of current or recent drug usage.

The method of obtaining samples is very different

Saliva drug testing is best conducted in a lab. This type of test doesn’t require a lot of privacy. It can typically be completed very easily and requires the least amount of invasion for the testee. Urine drug tests are a bit more invasive and require careful measures to ensure accurate results. Performing a urine drug test correctly requires a bit of invasion of privacy for the testee, otherwise it can be easy to “cheat” the test without supervision. Both tests are an effective means of testing, yet the main difference between urine and saliva drug testing is the facilities and supervision necessary for each type of test.


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