Which product is best for my work place?
Urine versus Saliva Testing
There are a number of important questions that must be addressed before you choose the right product. Here are a few:
What detection window to you want to cover – Impairment only or as far back as possible?
While a traffic police officer is interested to find out if a driver is under the influence of a drug while driving - a work place, prison or sports club may have a zero vision at all times, meaning they want a long detection window.
The figure below is a general description of the Window of detection in different specimens.
As one can see, drugs typically appears in Oral Fluid first, which is not very surprising; if you smoke cannabis or orally take a drug, it will immediately appear in the saliva. Once the trace in the oral cavity disappears there will be additional extraction from the saliva glands. The detection window in oral fluid is hours, up to a day.
The detection window in urine is longer than oral fluid; it appears later but will stay longer. For THC it can be up to weeks. A few factors determines the exact detection windows e.g. how much and how regularly is the drug taken, sex and metabolism.
If you are interested, the table below, provides more details about the detection window.
Collection of Urine versus Oral Fluid?
Urine collections require access to a bath room. In addition the collector has to satisfy her/himself that the urine specimen derives from the donor and no one else. This means that the client may want to use same sex collectors as the donor. Access to urine is typically not an issue, it may take time to wait for the specimen, but sooner or later there will be a sufficient amount to trigger the urine screening device.
Oral fluid collections can be carried out almost anywhere. The risk that the donor will tamper with oral fluid is lower compared with urine collection. Different oral screening devices require various amount of saliva, anything from a couple of microliters to millilitres. This can be an issue for donors with dry mouth, either because they are drug users or - they simply do not have sufficient saliva to trigger the test. This can be overcome by offering the donor a gulp of water and wait for a few minutes, but it can take long time.
Which drugs do you want test?
In general, urine screening devices can offer detection for a whole array of drugs. As an example the APAC cup can be equipped to detect up to 15 drugs from a list of more than 20 drugs.
Oral fluid screening devices are typically limited to 5-6 drugs, maybe with a few additions.
Typically urine testing cups are cheaper than Oral Fluid devices mainly due to lower production costs for urine cups.
Why oral fluid testing would be appropriate in your workplace
As discussed above, oral fluid testing will suit clients, requiring:
- Short detection window - Impairment
- No access for testing facilities like toilets
- Detection of 5-6 drugs is sufficient
- Will allow for longer testing time
In order to shorten testing time, some Oral Fluid Devices contains a buffer solution that is added after sampling. This is particular helpful while testing donors with dry mouths
The ABBOTT Toxwipe 6 requires less saliva as it includes a small container with a buffer solution. After sampling, the collector inserts the sample pad into the liquid container, which will help the device to provide for a faster testing result. The Toxwipe 6 tests for six drugs.
The ABBOTT Alere SoToxa Mobile Test System is a digital comprehensive testing, storage and printing of test data. The hand held system can be operated in a wide range of environments and can detect up to six drugs from a single oral fluid sample in a matter of minutes. Results can be stored, printed and downloaded to a PC. As for the Toxwipe 6, it includes a liquid container for faster analysis.
Why urine testing would be appropriate in your workplace
The detection window for urine testing is approximately 1-3 days and up to 30 days for Cannabis. If your workplace has a zero tolerance at all times policy, understanding that the ramifications for drug use can have ill effects long after the immediate affect has worn off, then urine testing may be more appropriate.
- Urine testing need access to a bathroom.
- Urine testing cups are configured to test for up 15 drugs from one specimen.
- Detection time is less than five minutes, which makes it suitable for high volume screening.
- Urine screening cups are typically cheaper than Oral Fluid Devices.
The APAC Multipanel cup can detect up to 15 drugs, offers a test result within five minutes and has a wide opening, which is suitable for sampling. Current configuration comes in 6 Drug Panel Cup, 9 Drug Panel Cup, and a 13 Drug Panel Cup. The APAC cup is accredited to the AS/NZS 4308:2008 standard.
The ABBOTT Surestep cup is a six panel cup, where analysis does not commence before the collector pushes a key. This is suitable if the client for some reason would like to delay reading of the testing result. The ABBOTT Surestep cup is accredited to the AS/NZS 4308:2008 standard
The APAC EtG Ethanol Urine Screening Dip Stick. This device can detect consumption of alcohol with a detection window of 2-4 days. While a breathalyser detects impairment i.e. whether the donor is under the influence at the time of breath testing, the EtG urine screening device can detect consumption up to 2-4 days ago. It uses the detection of EtG, which is a metabolite of Ethanol. If you are interested to detect alcohol usage beyond impairment, the EtG screening Dip Stick is useful.
The APAC Fentanyl Urine Screening Dip Stick is a single drug detection kit for Fentanyl, which belongs to the group of Synthetic Opiods. Fentanyl detection will also be available in the APAC 13-panel cup.
You have a positive test with any of our urine or saliva testing devices, what do you do now?
A. You need to have additional samples tested by a NATA accredited Toxicology Laboratory before you can take any legal action.
It's important to have confirmation kits on hand as you need to send confirmation samples to the laboratory as soon as possible.