Long gone are the days when people could forge drug tests by switching urine or blood samples, because there is a new test that can detect if a person has used cocaine by assessing their fingerprint. And you cannot get more personal than that. The fingerprint cocaine test will constitute a more accessible and much more hygienic alternative to previous tests.
The new method was developed by researchers from Britain and the Netherlands and described in a study that was published in the scientific journal Analyst.
The technique that constitutes the basis of the fingerprint cocaine test is mass spectrometry, that is applied to identify the certain chemical compounds that the body produces after a person has taken the drug.
A natural assumption regarding this test is that it would render a positive result if a person only touches cocaine without it actually getting into his system. But the researchers behind this method explain that it perfectly capable of telling the difference between these two situations and that it will not constitute a problem.
“When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolize the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue” extensively explained Dr. Melanie Bailey of the University of Surrey, the head author of this project.
In order to evaluate its accuracy, the results rendered by the fingerprint method have been tested against those of classic methods that use saliva, urine and blood. Evidently, this has demonstrated that the fingerprint method is reliable.
The main advantages of this method are its accessibility and the fact that it is impossible to be forged. Taking into account that cocaine tests are widely performed in prisons, police stations, courts and several law-enforcement facilities, the fact that the methodology is simple will represent a great improvement.
Furthermore, the fact it does not require any type of bodily fluid will be a significant benefit for the non-medical personnel that will have to perform the test, because it will not put them in any kind of danger.
The fact that this test uses fingerprints, makes it unique and basically impossible to falsify. Moreover, it does not require that the patient be offered privacy, like the one that uses urine. And also, it is 100 percent non invasive, as opposed to the blood test that requires a medical professional perform the blood draw.
It remains to be seen when this innovative method will be approved for mass use and when it start being utilized in facilities all around the world. The fingerprint cocaine test will be an important step forward in both the medical world, that would greatly benefit from such a rapid drug test, but also for the authorities battling drug use, whose work involving cocaine could be significantly facilitated.
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