Cut-off levels for saliva and urine drug test kits in Australia

The outcomes of a drug screening test depend on the cut-off levels of drug test kits, as laid out in AS/NZS4760:2019 and AS/NZS4308:2008.

Cut-off levels for saliva and urine drug test kits in Australia

Drug test kits used for workplace, medico-legal, or court-directed drug screening purposes are designed to provide a negative result when the concentration detected is below the cut-off level and a non-negative result when the concentration of a drug group exceeds the cut-off level, using immunoassay methods. The cut-off levels of various drug groups vary depending on the regulation of each country. The ones applicable in Australia are determined jointly by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand, as stipulated in the Standards.

Cut-off levels of drug groups detected in urine

5 major drug groups are screened during an on-site drug screening test using a urine drug test kit based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS4308:2008.

  • Amphetamine type substances - 300µg/L
  • Benzodiazepines - 200µg/L
  • Cannabis metabolites - 50µg/L
  • Cocaine metabolites - 300µg/L
  • Opiates - 300µg/L

Cut-off levels of drug groups detected in saliva

5 major drug groups are screened during an on-site drug screening test using a saliva drug test kit based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS4760:2019. Additional testing for drug compounds such as synthetic cannabinoids, ketamine, LSD, Kava, and Benzodiazepines can be tested based on the regional use of drugs.

  • Amphetamine type substances - 50ng/mL
  • Cannabinoids - 15ng/mL
  • Cocaine metabolites - 50ng/mL
  • Opiates - 50ng/mL
  • Oxycodone - 40ng/mL
Drug groups Urine drug test kits Saliva drug test kits
Amphetamines 300µg/L 50ng/mL
Benzodiazepines 200µg/L N/A
THC 50µg/L 15ng/mL
Cocaines 300µg/L 50ng/mL
Opiates 300µg/L 50ng/mL
Oxycodone N/A 40ng/mL

 

The cut-off levels of drug groups laid out in the Standards ensure that the drug screening procedures through saliva or urine are standardised across all on-site drug screening tests conducted in the country. Even though the drug groups tested using saliva and urine drug test kits are similar, the concentrations of drug compounds found in saliva and urine do not co-relate with one another due to the different drug detection windows of the drug compounds. The type of drug test kits used should be determined based on your company's alcohol and drug testing policy.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.

Jaka Exstrada

Jaka Exstrada

Since 2017, Jaka has been providing consultation for alcohol and drug testing policies to companies in various industries, such as mining, transport, construction, and medical, in Australia. As an accredited Drug and Alcohol Officer for Drug Abuse Testing, he brings valuable insight to companies that want to create and maintain an alcohol and drug-free working environment for the safety of their employees, as well as to ensure the efficiency of on-site operations.