Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs normally prescribed for anxiety, panic, short-term insomnia (the inability to sleep), or as an anticonvulsant, alcohol withdrawal, or muscle relaxing treatment.
These can include Ativan, Xanax, Valium, Serax, Restoril, Versed, Librium, Klonopin, Rohypnol, Halcion, Diazepam, and Dalmane.
Although these drugs may be prescribed by a physician, they may not be permitted in certain workplace environments, so one of the common ways that employers screen for these drugs is by a mouth swab.
It’s important to know that some of these drugs are short-acting, meaning they pass out of your system more quickly, while some of these drugs are longer-acting, and as such take longer to pass out of your system.
The ingredients needed vary by home remedy but can include mouthwash, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a high-fat meal, Altoid Mints, and a cup of ice, which can all be obtained for less than five dollars or are potentially already in your kitchen.
The methodologies vary, but can include rinsing your mouth with mouthwash (any type normally found in a drugstore), brushing your teeth vigorously three times in a row, eating a high-fat meal one hour before the test, eating Altoid Mints up until the time of the test, or chewing on ice up until the time of the test.
Side Effects/Potential Interactions:
There are few side effects from these types of remedies, aside from the potential for mouth irritation from excessive brushing and eating mints with peppermint oil repeatedly.
Anything that leaves a residue in your mouth or dilutes saliva could potentially render a mouth swab useless. Anything that leaves particles in your mouth, such as a food product, could also render a mouth swab useless, although the laboratory may be equipped with centrifuge equipment that can separate saliva from foreign particles, so that method is far from full-proof. Anything that leaves your mouth dry can also render you unable to submit a saliva sample.
Please note that you should not eat poppy seeds or anything containing poppy seeds before testing, as this has been found to cause false positive results on mouth swab screenings for benzodiazepines.
Rinsing, diluting, brushing, and rinsing may have some impact on the results of a mouth swab, but the effects would be extremely fleeting as saliva can replenish itself in your mouth within minutes. Anything that attempts to mask the saliva could potentially cause the sample to be useless, but that could either be seen as an attempt to sabotage the test or could put you at immediate risk for another type of testing.
Although the home remedies discussed in this article are relatively harmless, they are not likely to help you pass a mouth swab test.
Regarding diluting saliva, this works for such a short time that your saliva would be likely to replenish itself before you could give the sample. Anything that masks the saliva can either be seen as an attempt to sabotage the mouth swab or could simply be removed from the sample by running it through a centrifuge.
The inability to give a saliva sample due to dry mouth only puts you at immediate risk for another form of testing.