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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 Dec 11;72(3):265-9.

Is oral fluid analysis as accurate as urinalysis in detecting drug use in a treatment setting?

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Addictions Service, Sedman Unit, Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust, 16-18 Tower Road, Bournemouth BH1 4LP, UK.



Technology for testing oral fluid (OF) for the presence of drugs is available for treatment services and is more attractive than urinalysis: its validity is not well established.


Compare the accuracy of methods of on-site testing of OF and urine.


Comparison of the sensitivity and specificity of on-site testing of samples of OF and urine collected on the same occasion, using subsequent blind laboratory analysis of the same urine samples as the standard.


British addiction treatment service.


157 drug dependent persons, 89% with evidence of opiates, 73% male, and 85% aged between 20 and 35 years.


Assessment of presence of four drugs using SYVA ETS urinalysis and Cozart Rapiscan OF Drug Test systems. Laboratory urinalysis using microplate enzyme-immunoassay technique.


The sensitivity of OF tests and urinalysis were, respectively, for opiates 91 and 91%, methadone 91 and 94%, and benzodiazepines 6 and 72%. The specificity of OF tests and urinalysis were, respectively, for opiates 78 and 67%, methadone 90 and 95%, and benzodiazepines 95 and 96%. Amphetamine usage was rare.


OF testing is as accurate as urinalysis in detecting the presence of opiates and methadone, and the absence of methadone and benzodiazepines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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