More employers than ever are starting to use drug testing equipment to make random checks on their employees – and for a variety of reasons. Whether you work in a sensitive environment or need to guarantee to your employer that you are keeping yourself healthy, there is every chance that you might experience a mouth swab test. To ensure you always pass a testing program, it’s important to understand how long a saliva drug test might go back in terms of time, and also ask a few other questions. How accurate are mouth swab drug tests when it comes to alcohol, how do they work, and how can you make sure you pass?

How does a saliva drug test work?

Saliva drug tests are used by many different employers, as well as the general authorities such as law enforcement officers. There are a few different methods that testers can use to check on the use of alcohol and drugs. The first is in a medical setting when a simple swab will be used to remove saliva from a subject’s mouth. The swab will then be sent to a lab for further testing, and researchers will identify whether a particular drug – alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and much more – has been taken by the subject. There are standalone testing kits available, too,  which give instant results in a similar way to the pregnancy kits you see in your local pharmacy. Electronic tools are also on the market, which gives a straightforward reading on a display – again, these are instant results.

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How far back do saliva drug tests go?

You’re probably wondering how far back does a saliva drug test go in terms of time after your last drink, and how long is THC in your saliva for after you have been smoking marijuana. Well, the truth is that it can vary wildly. You can ask yourself the question of how accurate are saliva drug tests all you like, but, ultimately, it all boils down to time, your body, and the frequency of your use. However, there are a few standards that can give you a rough guide of what to expect. In short, both alcohol and marijuana can be detected by a mouth swab drug test after an hour. But, alcohol can often be undetectable for anything between 6-12 hours, while marijuana can be present in mouth swabs between 12-24 hours. So, are saliva drug tests accurate? Yes, but time is also a critical factor.

How accurate is a saliva drug test?

As we mentioned above, when you ask yourself how accurate are swab drug tests in detecting alcohol in your system, it’s important to understand that if you don’t drink for 24 hours before your test, you will likely pass. However, if you have had a drink or two, and get a test request within that critical period, the swab tests can be incredibly accurate. In fact, according to researchers, saliva tests can be just as accurate as invasive blood tests, which is one of the primary reasons why they are so popular with employers – and the authorities.