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Developments in Drug Testing: Saliva as an Alternate to Urine and Blood

NCJ Number
Corrections Today
Date Published
2 pages

This report describes the research regarding the use of saliva for drug testing.


The two main methods of testing individuals for the use of illegal drugs involve the extraction of blood or the collection of urine, both of which are unattractive propositions for different reasons. However, researchers are currently working on finding ways to use saliva to test for the presence of illegal drugs. The benefits of using saliva as opposed to urine or blood are recounted and include the advantages of being non-intrusive and less embarrassing for both the individual undergoing testing and the individual administering the test. Despite its promise in laboratory testing, there are still several challenges to using saliva for drug testing that require further research efforts. Some challenges include identifying or developing an effective saliva collection method and developing a mechanism for identifying parent drugs in saliva, rather than the metabolites typically tested for in urine and blood samples. Despite the current challenges, research on the use of saliva holds promise for the future of drug testing.

Date Published: January 1, 2003