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Oral Fluid Drug Testing

What Is Oral Fluid Drug Testing?

Oral fluid drug testing is an innovative testing method that is quick, and reliable. Oral fluid testing has the advantage of being less intrusive than urine testing methods. Cheating techniques common in urine testing are eliminated with this kind of test because the collections are observed. Dilution tactics and adulteration products are ineffective. Consequently, this type of testing is one of the most popular testing services that Butterfield Testing Solutions offers.

Man Given An Onsite Oral Fluid Drug Test by a female technician.

How Does It Differ From Urine Testing?


Oral fluid tests provide a blood-equivalent accurate result. This is because it measures molecules similar to those found in blood plasma. This drug testing method detects the parent drug itself and not just a metabolite of that drug. Consequently, it is possible to detect recent drug use more accurately than urine testing, which detects only metabolites.  

Oral fluid testing is an excellent method to use for post-accident, post-incident, and reasonable suspicion testing. This test gives a snapshot of what substances are currently in the system. Therefore, this method helps to determine if impairment played a part in the accident. With urine, the drug detection window is much longer, thus making it difficult to prove impairment is a factor.

Onsite drug testing for pre-employment for drugs and alcohol is a great method to maintain a drug-free workplace. This type of testing feels less awkward for a subject. It requires no preparation making it a quick way to do a drug test.

Stopwatch representing how long it takes to do a drug test.

How long does it take to do a oral fluid drug test?


About 5-10 Min.

Verified results for how long it takes to receive results for a drug test.

How long does it take to get results for an oral fluid drug test?




Negative results are usually reported within 24-36 hours.  Positive results can take 3-5 days.

Calendar representing how long a drug test's detection window is.

Detection Window Period


24-48 Hrs.

How An Oral Fluid Drug Test Is Done

Step 1

First, the subject presents identification to the collector who records that information on a Chain of Custody Form (CCF).

Step 2


Then, the collector gives instructions for the oral fluid test to the subject. They watch as the subject swabs their mouth thoroughly resting the swab rest between their cheek and gum for about 5 minutes. 

Step 3


Next, the subject places the swab into the vial containing a liquid transport medium. After the collector places a seal over the vial, the subject then dates and initials the vial.  When the subject signs the CCF, the collector then packages the sample and paperwork.  The sample is then shipped to the lab overnight via FedEx or UPS. 

Step 4


Once received, the sample enters the testing process immediately.  If negative, the employer is usually informed the same day the sample arrives at the lab. If the sample screens are positive, it then enters a confirmation process which can take an extra 3-5 days.

Step 5

Lastly, once the results have been reported to a Medical Review Officer (MRO), the subject is contacted for an interview. Results are discussed and the subject is allowed to provide documentation of a valid prescription if applicable.

Things To Know About Oral Fluid Drug Testing


What Drugs Can Be Detected In Oral Fluid Testing?


  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine (including Ecstasy)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Phencyclidine
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone

Benefits Of Oral Fluid Testing


  • Collections are always observed therefore eliminating any chance to tamper with the specimen
  • Dilution and adulteration tactics prove ineffective, making it dependable to detect drugs.
  • Simple 5-minute collection, just swab, snap, and seal. No extra collection devices are needed.
  • Under these circumstances there is no embarrassment for the donor or collector, making it great for customer service.