If you get stopped by the police for a random drug or alcohol test, they don’t ask you for a urine sample, so why is it that some workplace testing companies still test using urine?
Integrity Sampling is Australia’s leading drug and alcohol testing companies and only uses oral or saliva-based testing methods. In fact, the company was one of the first to implement workplace saliva drug testing methods. One of the questions that Integrity Sampling gets asked regularly, particularly when it comes to drug testing, is which is best, saliva or urine testing?
Urine testing was used extensively to test for drugs before oral or saliva testing was introduced. There are benefits and negatives for both methods, however, for Integrity Sampling, saliva drug testing is much more effective than urine testing.
Why? There are several reasons, including:
- While it’s true that neither method is infallible or 100% accurate, saliva drug testing is continually improving and the testing equipment used is becoming more accurate. The Drager Drug Test 5000, used by Integrity Sampling and many police forces, has a 99% accuracy rate.
- Drug testing using saliva is fast, with results available in minutes. For workplaces, this means they have less downtime.
- This immediacy of results can make a big difference for safety. By using saliva drug testing, people who may be affected by drugs can be detected and removed from the workplace – where they are a danger to themselves and others – straight away. Urine testing results can take days to get a result, making it difficult to safely and immediately deal with an employee that a workplace believes is under the influence of drugs.
- Saliva drug testing is non-intrusive and can be done in the workplace or practically anywhere. Urine testing requires toilet facilities.
- Urine testing can be intrusive and can make some people feel uncomfortable.
- As mentioned, testing using saliva is extremely accurate.
Many organizations have also given saliva drug testing their tick of approval. This includes Fair Work Australia, which in 2014 upheld a decision to ban urine tests at a NSW Government-owned electricity company, labeling urine testing as unjust.
The Drager Drug Test 5000 unit has also received wide acclaim. This includes from the Department of Forensics at Monash University and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. They put the unit through its paces in detecting a variety of drugs and the Drager Drug Test 5000 passed with flying colors.