While urine testing is the most common method of drug testing, oral fluid testing is an alternative way to test for the presence of certain drugs.

Several companies manufacture and distribute oral fluid drug testing devices. The device is placed in the donor’s mouth for a specified amount of time and then placed into a test tube that contains preservatives. The test tube is then sealed and sent to a lab for processing.

The oral fluid test is non-invasive, easy to administer and difficult to adulterate because the person administering the test can observe the collection of the specimen from start to finish. Oral fluid devices can detect drugs one to two hours after use.

Oral fluid testing may not be as effective as urine testing in detecting the presence of marijuana.

As of February 2010, oral fluid testing has not been accepted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, so this method cannot be used to administer workplace drug testing in the federally regulated transportation industry.

Oral fluid testing is becoming a commonly used method of drug testing in the workplace.