Oral Fluid Drug Testing In The Workplace

The Growing Trend In Workplace Drug Testing

More and more organizations are moving to on-site oral fluid testing for their pre-employment, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and randomized drug testing. While oral fluid testing has been around for over a decade, in the last several years there have been significant advancements in the testing technology and methodology. Oral fluid testing offers many practical and financial benefits, making it an ideal solution for retail, manufacturing and construction companies, staffing firms, etc.

Quest Diagnostics publishes the Annual Drug Testing Index, which reports pre-employment positivity rates across the country to be between 3-4%. These statistics are based on laboratory based urine tests. This means that 96-97% of candidates yield a negative drug test and there is no need for confirmation or additional testing. Rapid oral fluid based testing allows candidates to begin work immediately and can save organizations significant time and money. Only inconclusive results (non-negatives) require further testing.


Advantages of Rapid Oral Fluid Testing vs.Laboratory/Collection Site Screening

Oral fluid based testing provides many advantages compared to traditional urine based testing. Unlike urine testing, which is susceptible to adulteration (cheating the test), oral fluid based testing is 100% observed and makes it nearly impossible for donors to cheat the test result. Oral fluid testing is less invasive, and eliminates the need for controlled off-site collection. Sending candidates to a collection site increases error percentages in candidates failing to arrive for testing within the allowed time frame. Candidates may also not have transportation, time, or run into other obstacles preventing them from reporting for collection when requested.

Oral fluid testing provides immediate results that expedite the hiring process, compared to waiting days for laboratory results.

Learn How Oral Fluid Testing Can Alleviate The Risk of Adulteration

Oral fluid collections can be conducted onsite, eliminating collection fees and reducing lost productivity.

Save Time And Reduce Errors

With lab based oral fluid testing, collectors are doing 90% of the work in collection, plus spending additional time filling out chain of custody forms, with none of the benefits of immediate results. Rapid oral fluid testing removes the need for chain of custody forms for any negative screen results. Only the small percentage of inconclusive (non-negative) results will require additional paperwork to be completed by the collector. Additionally, there is potential for error in completing chain of custody forms. If forms are not completed 100% accurately, affidavits are required and further action from both the lab and collector are required to rectify information and proceed with testing. Errors create re-work for your employees, adding additional time and expense.

Pre-Hire And Post-Hire

Making key hiring decisions and/or ensuring a drug free workplace is pivotal. Rapid oral fluid testing allows your new hires and staff to begin/return to work immediately following a negative result.

Post-Accident And Suspected Impairment

Oral fluid testing can detect drugs and alcohol shortly after use when your company requires immediate action. Employees can be tested on-site following accidents or if under the suspicion of impairment.

How The Opioid Epidemic Is Impacting The Workplace

The Prevalence of Opioids, and the abuse of other dangerous drugs inside the walls of Corporate America are not only costly but a dangerous liability. Chances are that if asked, the majority of employers would confirm that they screen their employees for drug use. The problem however, despite their attempts to properly screen is they overlook prescription drugs. As the opioid epidemic rages on, many companies are still utilizing the standard 5 panel urine test that is not detecting the most common drugs being abused today. It is estimated that approximately 20.8 million Americans are affected by substance use disorders according to the NSC. This equates to nearly 8 percent of the adult and adolescent population.

According to The National Safety Council, aproximately 23% of the U.S. workforce has used prescription drugs non-medically.
Abuse from opioids and other dangerous drugs reaches beyond the stereotypes of “typical addicts”. Most drug addictions today don’t begin on the street; they begin in a doctor or licensed providers office. The prescription painkiller epidemic poses unique challenges to employers in the form of absenteeism, decreased job performance, injuries, or employees even selling prescription drugs at work. According to the (NSC), employees who abuse prescription drugs are 2-5 times more likely to take unexcused absences, show up late for work, file workers’ compensation claims, quit or be fired within one year of employment. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) reports that opioid abuse costs employers approximately $10 billion dollars from absenteeism and presenteeism alone.

70% of Employers Are Affected By The Misuse of Prescription Drugs

The following are results from a survey released by the National Safety Council. The data summarizes responses from 501 interviews with persons that oversee their organizations drug/alcohol program. Organizations that participated were companies with 50 or more employees, located throughout the United States.

  • Absenteeism or missed work 39% 39%
  • Employee use of prescription pain relievers at work 39% 39%
  • Positive drug test 32% 32%
  • Impaired or decreased job performance 29% 29%
  • Family member of employee affected 29% 29%
  • Complaints to HR/Negative impact on employee morale 22% 22%
  • Near miss or injury 15% 15%
  • Borrowing or selling prescription drugs at work 14% 14%
  • Arrest (on/off job) 10% 10%
  • Overdose 10% 10%
  • None of the above 29% 29%

Additional Findings


of employers lack a drug-free workplace policy


of employers do not offer training to identify drug abuse


of employers do not drug test for synthetic opioids

The Rapid Oral Fluid Drug Test That No Employer Should Be Without

From safety to cost savings, moving to oral fluid can decrease insurance costs, prevent absenteeism and boost productivity. Premier Biotech’s OralTox delivers a solution that allows employers to test for multiple drugs simultaneously, immediate results to expedite the hiring process, and significant cost savings compared to traditional laboratory collection sites. OralTox is a preliminary screen that can be sent to a laboratory for confirmation testing and MRO review if required. Faster testing, quicker hiring decisions, and industry leading detection. 

Oral Fluid Testing Benefits

  • Easy, non-invasive observed collection
  • Eliminates the risk of adulteration
  • Proven reliability and accuracy
  • Test anytime/anywhere
  • Gender neutral collection
  • No private restroom needed
  • Shy bladder concerns eliminated
  • Detects recent use

Contact Us To Learn More About Our Innovative Urine And Oral Fluid Testing Products And Laboratory Solutions.