Friday 15 December 2017



Drug Of Abuse

Using drugs of abuse can have devastating effects on the user and their family and friends.  Addiction to drugs of abuse can damage personal relationships, trust amongst family and friends, and careers. Addicts commonly hide their habbit from those nearest to them.

Testing individuals suspected of using drugs of abuse is easily performed on a sample of urine or saliva but it is important that the correct technology is used. The state of the art method for measuring drugs of abuse uses a laboratory technique called mass spectrometry. This technique identifies drugs of abuse by their molecular fingerprint and is the only technique accepted by courts of law.

At LLS, mass spectrometry is used to measure 26 drugs in saliva or urine. These include opiates, opioids, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine and ‘street highs’. Cannabinoids are measured using a different but validated test. Testing saliva samples is the preferred method because the sample collection can be witnessed whereas witnessing urine sample collection might be more difficult. Saliva samples must be analysed within 48 hours but urine samples will remain positive for 7 days.