Drugs in the workplace
Drugs can affect the brain and the body in a number of ways and this can affect the employee’s performance at work even if the misuse takes place outside the place of work.
As an employer you have a duty to ensure as far as is reasonably possible that your employees are not a danger to other employees or the general public by consuming drugs of abuse.
If you are an employer wanting to test staff for drugs of abuse it is important that you have a policy in place, warning staff that they may be subject to random drug tests and that the use of drugs in the workplace or being under the influence of drugs in the workplace is a dismissible offence. It is also important that you keep up to date on the latest government legislation. If one of your employees has a drug problem you should make every effort to help them, and encourage them to seek professional help. If drug abuse is a common problem in your work place it may be in your interest to begin a drug awareness program for staff and managers.
Benefits of Oral Fluids Testing vs. Other Drug Testing methods
- No more urine collections
- Observed collections without privacy issues
- Can be performed on-site anytime and anywhere with immediate results
- Eliminates need for same-gender sample collections
- Testing integrity (difficult to adulterate)
- Results available in 10 minutes
- No additional equipment
- No operator training required
- Complete testing kit includes all components for testing
Principle of the Test
The Multi Saliva Drug Test (Oral Fluid) is an immunoassay based on the principle of competitive binding. Drugs that may be present in the oral fluid specimen compete against their respective drug conjugate for binding sites on their specific antibody.
During testing, a portion of the oral fluid specimen migrates upward by capillary action. A drug, if present in the oral fluid specimen below its cut-off concentration, will not saturate the binding sites of its specific antibody. The antibody will then react with the drug-protein conjugate and a visible coloured line will show up in the test line region of the specific drug strip. The presence of drug above the cut-off concentration in the oral fluid specimen will saturate all the binding sites of the antibody. Therefore, the coloured line will not form in the test line region.
A drug-positive oral fluid specimen will not generate a coloured line in the specific test line region of the strip because of drug competition, while a drug-negative oral fluid specimen will generate a line in the test line region because of the absence of drug competition.
To serve as a procedural control, a coloured line will always appear at the control line region, indicating that proper volume of specimen has been added and membrane wicking has occurred.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
1. Q: How is the sample collected?
A. The donor actively swabs the inside of the mouth and the top of the tongue. As soon as the sponge softens slightly, gently press the sponge between the tongue and teeth to ensure complete saturation (about 3 minutes). If not enough sample is obtained the first time then you can re-swab for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
1. Q: What drugs does the device detect and at what cut-offs?
A: A combination of Amphetamine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Methadone, Opiates, Marijuana, and Phencyclidine.
|Abbreviated name on test||Proper name||Other name||Approximate detectable time it remains in the Saliva after use.|
|AMP||Amphetamines||Speed, amph or whizz.||10 MIN – 72 HOURS|
|BZO||Benzodiazepines||Valium||10 MIN – 72 HOURS|
|COC||Cocaine||Coke, crack or charlie.||10 MIN – 24 HOURS|
|MET||Methamphetamines||Glass, ice or meth.||UP TO 14 HOURS|
|MTD||Methadone||Dolly, Red Rock||10 MIN – 72 HOURS|
|OPI||Opiates||Heroin, smack or gear.||UP TO 2 DAYS|
|THC||Marijuana||Cannabis, puff, spliff or hash.||1 HOUR – SEVERAL DAYS|
2. Q: What is the detection window compared to other drug testing methods?
A: Saliva and blood have similar detection windows. Testing saliva/blood will detect drug use faster than testing urine. Saliva/blood may detect drug ingestion immediately while drug detection in urine may take 6-8 hours post ingestion.
3. Q: What is a lateral flow device?
A: The oral fluids test is based on competitive binding. Drugs that may be present in the oral fluid specimen compete against their respective drug conjugate for binding sites on their specific antibody. During testing, a portion of the oral fluid sample migrates across the membrane. If no drug is present above the cut-off, the sample will not saturate the binding sites of its specific antibody. The antibody will then react with the drug-protein conjugate and a visible colored line will show up in the test line region. The presence of a drug above the cut-off concentration will saturate all the binding sites of the antibody and a line will not form in the test region. The lateral flow is the migration and competition across the membrane.
4. Q: Does the test quantify the concentration of drugs present in the oral fluids sample?
A: A positive test result does not indicate the concentration of drug in the sample. All positive results are presumptive and should be confirmed by an alternate method (e.g. GC/MS or GC/MS/MS). Negative results may not necessarily indicate a drug-free sample. Drug may be present in the sample below the cutoff level of the assay.
Methadone Saliva Drug Test procedure:
Due to the sensitive nature of these drug tests, you must be careful when carrying out the test to avoid contamination and thus inaccurate test results.
What should I do with the results?
If you obtain a negative result then the person tested has none of the tested drugs of abuse in their body at this time. You may want to re-test again in a month’s time. If you obtain a positive result then a drug of abuse has been detected in the saliva. You may want to do another test later, or at a further date to confirm the result.
The amount of time drugs stay in your body depends on many factors such as, the amount of the drug taken, its strength, purity, your body weight and rate of metabolism and whether you are a casual user or a long term user.