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Saliva and Hair Alcohol and Drug Testing – Alternative Specimen Testing

Oral fluid and hair testing may be used to test for drug abuse and require appropriate training. Oral fluid (saliva) testing provides results showing recent abuse, while hair testing results date back months.

Saliva Testing

Two types of oral fluid testing systems are available for drug and alcohol testing.

  1. On-site collection of oral fluid is shipped to a forensic laboratory for analysis.
  2. On-site collection and immediate testing of oral fluid involves positive samples being shipped to a forensic laboratory for confirmatory testing. It is important that a collector receive the appropriate training on how a particular fluid collection device works, the collection protocols and how to read the results.

Hair Testing

Hair testing is generally performed for the presence of drugs and entails a hair sample being sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis. A minimum amount of body hair is required for testing which should be cut and sent to the laboratory, providing the testing is performed by a trained collector.

Individual training requirements and expectations depend on the type of testing performed and the market served. For example, under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regulations, an individual may be certified as a Screening Test Technician (STT) and perform alcohol screening tests using oral fluids. STT training requires knowledge of 49CFR Part 40 and the performance of five error free mock tests utilizing the particular device. This particular training must be performed by a qualified instructor under DOT regulations but other scenarios may have completely different prerequisites.

Lifeloc’s network of substance abuse professionals conveniently located throughout the United States, can provide guidance as well as training at your location, theirs or via the web. Contact Lifeloc today for more information on Alternative Specimen Collection training.