Compared to last year, the number of roadside positives post festival has declined. It is our mission at BMF to further reduce these statistics with our Drager 3000 technology paired with the guidelines and suggestions our result readers provide onsite. Although the statistics show improved awareness related to substance use and driving, we still get asked a lot of questions about how long particular substances are present in saliva. In this article we will explain the basic guidelines and some of the variables that slow down the metabolism of the illicit substances which are tested on the roads.
Currently, THC (Cannabis), Methamphetamine, Amphetamine and MDMA are tested roadside in all states, with NSW also testing for Cocaine. Every individual processes drugs at different base rates, which varies based on genetics, height, weight, sex and health. While this base rate is more or less set, it can be extended if proper selfcare isn’t maintained. The metabolism works best when the body’s basic needs are satisfied, not meeting these needs often results in longer detection times. The BMF guideline is to have a full 24 hours of rest starting from the time you went to bed, on the night of consuming any illicit substance. This guideline assumes a certain level of selfcare which is vital to effectively metabolize the substances which are tested on the roads.
When at a festival, creating a basic selfcare plan will maximize the body’s ability to process substances.
- Rest: Sleep plays an important role in drug metabolism. Ideally getting 2 nights of adequate restful sleep before driving. Taking benzodiazepines can affect the quality of sleep and may slow down drug metabolism.
- Eating and drinking water: Processing drugs for excretion occurs in the liver and requires a considerable amount of energy. Consuming regular nutritious meals and staying hydrated throughout a festival plays an important role with drug metabolism.
- Going to the toilet: While drugs are processed by the liver, they are excreted mainly by the kidneys via urine and fecal matter. Not going to the toilet regularly can affect the length of time substances can be detected in the saliva.
- Sun exposure: Limiting the amount of time spent in direct sun will prevent dehydration and heatstroke which both have a negative impacts on drug metabolism.
- The day before you drive: Avoid taking any tested drugs on the day before you plan to drive. Give your body 24 hours of “rest” to reduce the risk of testing positive.
Additional things to remember.
- Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, MDMA and THC generally stay present in the saliva for a full day after consumption and may be present longer in some cases.
- The body processes these substances more efficiently with rest and appropriate self-care (sleep, eat, stay hydrated, rest and go to the toilet)
- Alcohol can extend the time it takes to metabolize other substances, limiting alcohol intake on your rest day is important for efficient metabolism.
- Substances that aren’t tested roadside (Ketamine, Cocaine ect) are commonly cut with substances that are tested. Reagent testing can be helpful for identifying these adulterants.
- Polypharmacy (taking two or more substances) puts the liver under more pressure and can result in a longer detectable window.
- Don’t leave anything to chance, perform a Dager 3000 drug test which accurately determines the substances still present in saliva.