If you're lucky enough to get 24 hours' notice of a saliva drug test, you might be wondering if you can just lay off for the night before. After all, saliva drug tests usually only detect recent drug use, right? It's not quite that simple to determine if you are ready to pass a drug test in less than 24 hours, but here's a quick guide to what to expect and what you can do about it.
So, are you ready to pass a saliva drug test in less than 24 hours?
The simple answer would be maybe, maybe not. For a start, it depends on the type of drug that might be in your system. Weed smokers actually get a fairly easy time, unlike with urine tests where heavy users can test positive for weeks after quitting. The typical detection for weed (and alcohol) is 2-24 hours after last use. This means you may be fine after 24 hours, but you could be taking a risk if it takes your body a little longer. Given that your career could be in jeopardy, you might want to wait a little longer to be safe.
The situation for other drugs is less optimistic. Some drugs-such as codeine, heroin, acid, meth, and amphetamines-have a much greater chance of being detected within 24 hours of use. Coke users may even be caught out as much as 10 days later.
Preparing for a saliva drug test
The main advantage of saliva drug tests is that employers can administer them onsite. This enables them to randomly test their employees, which is generally regarded as the best way to screen the workforce. When you don't know a test is coming, it's clearly going to be harder to prepare for it. Even just smoking a joint the night before may cause problems for an unexpected saliva drug test. Employers can also perform tests if they suspect someone of drug use, or it may be an automatic requirement following any kind of accident in the workplace.
This means you may not always have 24 hours to prepare yourself, so you would be wise to have a contingency plan in place for any unfortunately timed tests. One thing you can do is quickly test yourself first, so at least you'll know if you're in danger of failing.
Fortunately, saliva tests are actually quite easy to throw off with the right product. Some detox manufacturers have formulated various mouthwashes for use before saliva drug tests, such as this one from Ultra Klean and another one from stinger.
The ideal time to use these products is shortly before your test, and it's usually just a case of rinsing your mouth with them for a few minutes. Like with any detox product, it's important to follow the directions closely. For example, you may need to avoid drinking or eating between using the mouthwash and giving a swab, because this will trigger the production of fresh saliva.