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SAMSHA Is Supporting An Alternative To Urine Testing

Written By: aINSIGHT

New guidelines issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) now permit oral fluid drug testing in federally regulated workplaces. Previously under SAMHSA guidelines only urine testing was an option for drug screening. The new guidelines allow lab based oral fluids testing, meaning federally regulated employers can take advantage of the benefits oral fluids testing has provided to non-regulated employers for almost 20 years. Employers welcome the move as testing positive hit a 14 year high in 2018, linked to the opioid epidemic and legalization of marijuana in some states. Positive testing rates used in the general workforce are 10.2% for oral fluid, compared to only 5.1% for urine. It is important to note the new oral fluids guidelines do not include the use of instant or rapid oral drug testing products.

What are the benefits of oral drug testing?

Easy sample collection: Performed by placing an absorbent pad in the mouth to collect an adequate quantity of saliva for testing. Sample is placed into a tamper proof vial containing a preservative, and sealed under chain of custody protocol.

Less productivity interruptions: Sample taken at the workplace, then sent to a laboratory for screening and confirmation testing of any presumptive non-negative samples.

Better recent use detection: Elimination of dilution and prolonged time frames help with reducing on the job risks and concerns related to marijuana use.

Navigates legal issues: Eliminates navigating matters of privacy or gender with results that are legal and defensible.

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