An overview of the use of urine, hair, sweat and saliva to detect drug use.

Dolan, K; Rouen, D; Kimber, J; (2004) An overview of the use of urine, hair, sweat and saliva to detect drug use. Drug and alcohol review, 23 (2). pp. 213-7. ISSN 0959-5236 DOI:

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This paper provides a brief overview of qualitative drug testing procedures using urine, hair, saliva and sweat specimens. Issues related to collection, analysis and interpretation of each specimen as well as their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The biological detection of drug use involves a screening test which, if positive, is followed by a confirmatory test. Urine is the most widely used specimen in the detection of drugs. Urinalysis offers an intermediate window of detection (1-3 days). Hair analysis offers the largest window of detection (7-100+ days). Saliva analysis may be useful in determining very recent drug use (1-36 hours). The analysis of sweat may be useful for continuous monitoring of drug use (1-14 days). Drug testing has become a fast, convenient process with the development of point-of-collection drug testing devices.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 15370028
Web of Science ID: 222267800011


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