Make drug tests go to drug tests
Saliva - ideal for drug tests?
What are the differences between saliva and urine tests? Which test makes sense in which circumstances? We will shed light on these questions in this and our next newsletter.
Saliva: what is it?
Humans produce half a liter to one and a half liters of saliva every day. It consists of 99.5% water. The rest are dissolved components such as proteins and enzymes. The saliva keeps the oral cavity moist, making it possible to swallow, speak and taste. Some of the enzymes it contains protect the oral mucosa and teeth from being attacked by pathogens.
The flow of saliva can be stimulated in many ways: by moving the tongue or jaw, by sour food or the sight of a tasty dish. In contrast to resting saliva, one speaks of stimulated saliva.
How do drugs get into saliva?
The largest salivary glands are the parotid glands, the mandibular salivary gland, and the sublingual salivary gland. These release the saliva in the upper jaw behind the molars or under the tongue on the frenulum of the tongue. Salivary glands are only separated from the surrounding blood vessels by a thin skin. Many substances, including active substances such as drugs and medication, penetrate this membrane and pass from the blood into the saliva. The detection windows of their active substances therefore correspond very well in blood and saliva.
The transfer from blood to saliva works particularly well with types of drugs such as cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines. The active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, on the other hand, only reaches a small extent from the blood into the saliva.1 Nevertheless, it can be safely and reliably detected with saliva tests, because THC is deposited over the entire area of the oral cavity during smoking.
The right sampling
The basis for a correct result with the DrugWipe is the correct sampling. In preparation, it is important to move the tongue 3 times in a circular motion in the mouth. In this way, traces of drugs are evenly distributed and the mucous membranes are moistened. The wiper of the DrugWipe is now pulled over the tongue in several long strokes with light pressure. Alternatively, the sample can also be taken under the tongue on the frenulum of the tongue. The color change of the wiping fleece from red to yellow indicates that enough saliva has been absorbed.
Saliva tests in traffic
When used at road traffic controls, the sampling can be carried out directly by the police officer. In contrast to urine tests, manipulation of saliva samples is almost impossible. The intrusion into the privacy of the vehicle driver is very low, and therefore the willingness to cooperate is correspondingly high. At the same time, the inhibition threshold for working with saliva tests is lower for the user, because one does not come into contact with the sample medium. The results can almost always be confirmed in the blood, since the time windows of the active substance in saliva and blood correspond very well. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the blood sample is taken promptly. Then there are almost no so-called false positive results in the confirmatory diagnostics in the laboratory (pre-test positive, confirmation negative). This leads to a higher detection rate of drug trips and thus increases the safety on our roads. In addition, the good match with the blood has a reducing effect on the costs for laboratory analysis, which is an important aspect in times of tight budgets.
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