New Zealand has recently had an oral fluid (saliva) drug testing standard released, AS/NZS 4760:2019. This outlines the procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantification of drugs in oral fluid.
At present NZQA are developing unit standards for this and laboratories will be getting themselves set up and accredited. The drug testing device manufacturers will develop saliva testing devices that meet the cut-off levels below, and certified to the standard.
The cut-off levels for oral drug screening are:
- Amphetamines: 50 ng/mL
- Cannabinoids: 15 ng/mL
- Cocaine: 50 ng/mL
- Opiates: 50 ng/mL
- Oxycodone: 40ng/mL
Oxycodone has been added and benzodiazepines have been removed, when compared to the urine testing standard. The oral fluid standard measures are in nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL), where the urine standard tests are in milligrams per litre (μg/L). This means the cut-off levels between urine and oral fluid are not directly comparable.
We look forward to training our nurses and offering this testing to the new standards when certified courses and products become available.
Our current urine drug testing is conducted to AS/NZ 4308:2008 by nurses holding NZQA Unit Standards 25458 and 25511. The instant drug screen kit tests for Cannabis, Opiates, Benzodiazepine, Cocaine, Amphetamines and Methamphetamines. An instant Synthetic Cannabinoids test is also available.