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Testing for Drugs in the Workplace

Most workplace drug testing relies on oral fluid (saliva), or alternatively urine samples. More detailed tests using hair analysis can be carried out if initial tests or interviews suggest a wider pattern.

Testing with Oral Fluid
Oral fluid testing is generally favoured in the workplace, simply because it's less invasive and easier to perform. The test involves placing an oral swab (sponge) into the mouth for 3 minutes. This is ually enough time to collect the required 1ml of saliva, which is then dispensed into a vial.

As a next step, 3 drops of the collected saliva are dripped into each of the sections on a testing plate, to produce a reading. This normally appears within 3 – 5 minutes.

If the test shows a positive result, the remainder of the fluid collected is sealed with a chain of custody seal and sent to a laboratory for a full toxicology report.

Testing with urine samples
The sample process needs to be supervised, and care must be taken to stop external water sources from contaminating the sample. For this purpose, the collection cup has a built-in temperature gauge that ensures the validity of the sample by alerting the collector to anomolies.

As with an oral fluid test, the sample goes through an initial on-site assessment. Positive samples are then sent securely to a laboratory.

Oral fluid and urine can test for the following substances:

  • Cocaine                                                         
  • Cannabis (THC)
  • Heroin (Opiates)                                                 
  • Amphetamines (AKA Speed)
  • Methadone                                                              
  • Methamphetamines (AKA Ecstasy)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazapines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Ketamine

How can we help you?

At Atkinson Lewis, we provide an end to end service, from request and sample collection through to lab analysis and interpretation.

Our expert team is here to give you total peace of mind. You'll know that protocols have been observed and all evidence gained is legally admissible. More importantly, you'll know that the right conclusions have been reached, so you can make decisions in the best interests of your people and you organisation.

Our experts are here to lighten the load. Here are some ways we can help:

Grounds for

When do you have a right to test for drugs and alcohol in the workplace?



Hair, Blood and Oral Fluid, collected by fully trained phlebotomists


Testing for

A quick and simple measurement, for minimum disruption at work



Using test results to understand patterns and behavioural triggers


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