Oral Fluid Screen & Confirmation Drug Test

The oral-fluid lab drug test detects the presence of drugs of abuse in saliva. After ingestion, drugs may be present in saliva for up to 48 hours*. As a result, it is an effective and accredited method of determining recent drug use. This information also provides details on oral-fluid lab test costs.

*Based on single use. This may vary from person to person. See time-frames below.


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How it works

After taking a drug, it enters a person’s blood-stream. Next, the drug gets metabolised within the body. After this, what remains of the drug gets excreted out of the body. One type of excretion is through saliva. As a result, this enables us to analyse the metabolites of drugs in the saliva.

First, we perform a screen of the sample in the lab. The screen is very accurate. As a result, it provides an advantage over the oral-fluid instant Point of Care (POC) Drug Test. The screen takes 1 to 2 working days from the appointment. If the lab detects nothing in the screen, we will issue a negative (Pass) report. But, if the sample screens non-negative, the sample will go on for further testing. As a result, we will issue an ‘Undergoing Further Analysis’ notification.

Confirmation Drug Testing

This will identify the drug or metabolite found in the sample. Also, it will determine the quantity of the drug present. This process can take up to a further 3 working days.

Next, if the presence of the drug is over a specific cut-off level (see below), we will issue a positive lab report. This could provide evidence of abuse.

In this case, the report may specify whether the drug and its quantity are therapeutic. For instance, in line with declared medication. To confirm this, we offer an optional Medical Review Service.

We can analyse the following drug groups for this test:

  • Amphetamines, including Methamphetamine and Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Benzodiazepine (including Diazepam and Temazepam)
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates


Cut-off levels

Saliva drug tests use cut-off levels. This means that a result will only be positive if the amount of the drug is above a certain level. Cut-off levels follow EWDTS guidelines. Having cut-off levels helps prevent false-positive results. Also, they reduce the chance of testing positive after only passive exposure to a drug.

Oral Fluid Lab Drug Test Detection

Many factors affect the length of time that this test can detect a certain drug in the body. These factors include:

  • body mass
  • hydration levels
  • how long ago the person took the drug

Also, other variables could include gender, age and even genetics.

If a person uses a drug often or in large quantities, a saliva drug test could detect it for a longer period.

For example, the detection times for cannabis can depend on how often a person uses it.cannabis detection times

Below is an example of how long drugs can stay in the system for.

Drug detection times

Test Accreditation

Our laboratory is UKAS 17025 accredited. As a result, all test reports can be used for legal and court purposes. Also, all processes follow ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 standards. Furthermore, this is the standard test for Network Rail drug and alcohol testing. We are an accredited provider for these tests.

When to use Oral Fluid Lab Drug Testing?

Do you need an accredited drug test that has a very short detection window? If yes, saliva lab testing is ideal. In particular, this is an excellent solution for drug testing in the workplace. For instance, you can use the laboratory report as evidence in a disciplinary process.

This test is becoming a very popular choice for workplace drug testing. It has many benefits over urine drug testing, these include:

  • Regarded as a fairer test in the workplace due to the very short detection window upto 48 hours.
  • Less invasive than urine testing. Also, secure toilet facilities are not required.
  • Takes less time than urine testing. For example, ‘shy bladder’ issues cause delays when collecting urine samples.
  • Impossible to cheat a saliva drug test. This is because the collection officer will witness the sample collected. As a result, this removes the chance of adulteration or substitution.
  • Urine drug testing is still the preferred option for pre-employment and for-cause testing. But, for the reasons listed above, this test is becoming more popular for random drug testing.

There are situations when other types of drug tests might be more suitable. For longer detection windows for drugs, consider the following alternatives:

Urine Laboratory Drug Testing

Hair Drug Testing

Choosing this test

This test provides the following benefits:

  • UKAS 17025 Accredited drug and alcohol test
  • We can use a breathalyser in conjunction with the test for alcohol screening
  • No extra cost for confirmation testing – included in the screen price
  • Suitable for mass screening of workforce
  • All laboratory reports are in secure PDF format via email and password protected
  • As a result, all processes are GDPR compliant

If you decide to choose oral-fluid lab testing, you must consider the following.

  • A very short detection window. If you need evidence of longer-term drug use, Hair or urine drug testing may be more appropriate for your needs.

Finally, you can discuss all pros and cons with our team. There are other drug testing options that might be more suitable for your needs.

Oral-fluid Lab Drug Test Costs

There are several different factors that influence the Oral-fluid Lab Drug Test cost. These are:

  • Whether you book an appointment at a Clinic or opt for the mobile collection service.
  • How many donors you want to test at the appointment.

The cost of one individual booking this test is from £145. But, depending on the factors listed above, the cost of testing more donors can be as little as £50 per person. Also, the price of a Medical Review is only £95 extra. This would confirm that declared medication is in line with therapeutic use. This service is optional but can be useful for certain situations.


If you are a business, we can cater for both on-site and off-site appointments. We can help you introduce drug testing in your workplace. Or improve your existing programme. Please call 0800 988 7107 to speak to a Clinical Advisor who will outline all the options available to you.

Options include utilising a clinic for off-site tests. Or a sample collection officer attending your facilities to perform on-site testing. Also, you can request a commercial drug and alcohol test quote here.

Our team will guide you through the entire booking. Also, they will answer any technical questions you may have. Finally, our network of locations mean that you can access the service across the UK. As a result, providing you will convenience and flexibility for your appointment options.


Please note:
All advertised prices are exclusive of VAT.

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