How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test

Many people are unsure about how to pass a mouth swab drug test. A mouth swab drug test is a screening device that collects saliva to determine whether certain drugs are in your system. In addition to being less invasive and more economical than other types of drug testing, such as taking samples of someone’s hair, urine, blood, or sweat, mouth swab drug tests are used in workplaces and rehabilitation centers.

This article will clarify how mouth swab drug tests operate, what substances they detect, and more.

What is a Mouth Swab Drug Test? 

Mouth swabs or oral swab tests are among the most frequently used drug tests. This test method is relatively straightforward. A sample of your saliva is collected via a swab and then screened for drug residues. Since most substances are taken orally, mouth swabs can gather traces of them. For this reason, you can find a variety of substances directly through your mouth or even your nose in your saliva for at least 48 hours. This category includes smoked marijuana, illicit fentanyl lollipops, edible marijuana, vaped marijuana, smoked methamphetamine, snorted cocaine, and other substances.

woman receiving a mouth swab test

How Does it Work? 

A strip or swab containing an antigen dye is put in your mouth, which absorbs saliva through a membrane. When the saliva wets the strip, the dyes can detect drug metabolites. If drug residue is discovered, it will alter the strip color. Drug-free individuals display no color. The swab is scraped along the gums in the lower part of the cheek or placed under the tongue for two minutes to obtain enough saliva.

The initial results are returned in minutes as substance residues stick to antibodies in the swab. If the preliminary report is positive, the substance is further analyzed to determine the drug. The drug’s type is identified through immunoassay. After the initial results are submitted for gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, further analysis is completed.

Do Employers Use Mouth Swab Drug Tests?

Oral testing is the most economical and convenient method of testing for pre-employment or random drug screenings and is among the most popular testing methods. Mouth swab testing is used at every stage of the hiring process, not just at the last step. As well as testing for potential employees, random oral testing can also be performed on current employees. Because oral testing is the most economical and convenient testing method, current employees should also be concerned, as they may be subject to a random oral evaluation.

Which Employers Conduct Mouth Swab Tests?

A large number of organizations, including big retailers like Amazon, utilize mouth swab drug testing. Before applying for any company, you can check their policies to determine which test they use and when. Drug tests are typically administered by companies that are part of union agreements or safety-critical organizations such as transportation, energy generation, and construction. Drug testing is also standard in federal employment. For example, federal employees who handle classified information or national security are subject to more rigorous testing because they handle sensitive information.

Law enforcement agencies have seen an increase in mouth swab testing as their primary objective is to safeguard the health, life, property, and safety of others. People working in this capacity are tested more frequently to guarantee the well-being of others subordinate to them. In general, employers across the United States are becoming more cautious. To maintain the safety, security, and efficiency of their working environment, they are turning to substance testing to prevent substance abuse.

How Accurate are the Results? 

An individual taking a mouth swab drug test has an accuracy of 97.5%, provided the test is administered correctly. A positive result, however, depends on the substance being tested for and the timeframe of the last usage. For example, codeine, a narcotic, can be detected in saliva up to four days after the last dose.

What Do Mouth Swabs Test For? 

A mouth swab drug test can detect a variety of different substances. The test can detect the presence of these substances in the saliva for a period of time after use, which can vary depending on the substance and the individual. Some of the most common substances that are tested for with mouth swab drug tests are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioids 

It is important to note that mouth swab drug tests may not be as accurate as other types of drug tests, such as urine drug tests, hair follicle drug tests, or blood tests. The test may also produce false positives or negatives, particularly if the individual has recently used mouthwash or other products that can affect the results.

woman inserting swab into test tube

What is the Detection Time for Marijuana?

The detection times for saliva drug tests are shorter than those for urine or blood tests, so they can only tell if someone has recently used a substance. Tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, which is present in marijuana, is only present in saliva for a short time. While it may be detected in your urine and blood long after ingestion, its residue from your mouth is flushed away within an hour or two.

What’s the Detection Time for Benzodiazepines?

Some benzos can be detected up to 10 days after use, although Ativan is metabolized more quickly and may only be detectable for around five days. However, benzos are metabolized more slowly than other drugs and are detectable for longer periods of time.

What’s the Detection Time for Opiates?

Heroin and other opiates can be detected through saliva for 24 to 36 hours after they’ve been consumed.

What’s the Detection Time for MDMA? 

An hour after taking MDMA, you can detect it through your saliva; however, these substances quickly pass through the body’s systems and become almost undetectable 24 hours after consumption.

What’s the Detection Time for Methamphetamine? 

An oral swab drug test can detect methamphetamine as soon as ten minutes after it has been consumed. In addition, frequent users of the drug may still be detectable up to four days later.

How Long Does it Take to Get Results? 

The time that the results of a mouth swab drug test are taken will depend on the type of swab used. For example, some drug tests can be analyzed in the lab. Other drug tests can be interpreted on-site. For example, if your mouth swab drug test requires lab analysis, you might receive results within 24 hours. On-site analysis of mouth swab drug tests, on the other hand, might produce results in minutes.

How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test 

As mentioned previously, detection times are relatively short for mouth swab drug tests. Therefore, passing one should be easy unless you have used drugs within the past hour. The following are popular theories on how to pass these tests. However, it is essential to note that the best way is to abstain from drugs altogether. Some of the most common theories include the following: 

  • Using peroxide mouthwash 
  • Drink cranberry juice 
  • Drinking vinegar 
  • Detox drinks 
  • Detox supplements
  • Swish with water 
  • Chew on ice 
  • Eating sour candy
doctor putting swab into tube

Knoxville Recovery Center is Here for You 

At Knoxville Recovery Center, substance use disorder, mental health issues, and other addictions are addressed head-on to promote healing. Each and every patient’s treatment program is tailor-made to dispel the darkness of their illness and assist them in living as productive members of society. In addition to counseling and other holistic therapies, clients receive individual and group therapy. 

You don’t need to continue suffering any longer. We can assist you in leaving your addiction behind forever. With our comprehensive programs and services, you can receive treatment for your addiction and learn to once again be hopeful for your future. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can assist you in recovering once and for all. You are not alone.

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