Research report summaries 2019–2020

Contractors’ reports are only available in the language in which they are submitted to the CNSC.

RSP-673.2, Oral Fluid Drug Testing Practices

The use of oral fluid as an alternative biological matrix to urine for workplace drug-testing programs is becoming a reality in many domestic and international workplaces. Technological advances and improved methodology for oral fluid drug tests have enabled adoption of this biological matrix as a viable forensic toxicology alternative to urine. Considerations for the use and forensic acceptability of oral fluid as an alternative biological matrix to urine are explored in the context of REGDOC-2.2.4, Fitness for Duty, Volume II: Managing Alcohol and Drug Use, which relies solely on the use of urine as the biological matrix for determining policy violations. In Canada, the United States and other countries, oral fluid drug-testing standards, guidelines and best practices are reviewed to inform the CNSC on the forensic acceptability of using oral fluid in a workplace drug-testing program.

The purpose of this study is to provide the CNSC with the latest research and best international practices on oral fluid drug testing in laboratories and points of collection.

Existing national and international workplace oral fluid drug-testing standards, guidelines and best practices were compared and contrasted with the latest research to provide recommendations to the CNSC on the various drug class cut-offs to be considered within an oral fluid drug-testing program. The advantages and limitations of oral fluid and urine as biological samples for drug testing are compared. Defined processes for oral fluid specimen collection include recommended oral fluid collection devices, collection procedures, training of oral fluid collectors, chain of custody, and packaging and transportation. Additionally, two point-of-collection testing devices for the initial screening of oral fluid for the presence of various drug classes are recommended.

Request the RSP-673.2 final report

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