TECHNICAL INFORMATION

 

Drug testing kits screen the sample for the presence of a parent drug or its metabolites. When Drug Tesing the level of drug or its metabolites is not predictive of when the drug was taken or how much the patient used. Rather, it is simply a confirmatory report indicating the presence of the parent drug or its metabolites. Urine Drug Testing is generally considered the best medium to measure in terms of detecting drugs and drug metabolites. Compared to blood, urine offers a longer window of detection that may be one to three days for some drugs and up to 30 days for others. Urine drug testing is by far the most extensively studied and validated process for drug testing. Saliva Drug Testing is an up and coming method to determine the recent use of a drug, this method is cost effective, safe and easy to perform. 

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of Methamphetamine are greater. Methamphetamine is made in illegal laboratories and has a high potential for abuse and dependence.

 

The drug can be taken orally, injected, or inhaled. Acute higher doses lead to enhanced stimulation of the central nervous system and induce euphoria, alertness, reduced appetite, and a sense of increased energy and power. Cardiovascular responses to Methamphetamine include increased blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias. More acute responses produce anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and eventually, depression and exhaustion.

 

The effects of Methamphetamine generally last 2-4 hours and the drug has a half-life of 9-24 hours in the body. Methamphetamine is excreted in the urine primarily as amphetamine and oxidized and deaminated derivatives. However, 10-20% of Methamphetamine is excreted unchanged. Thus, the presence of the parent compound in the urine indicates Methamphetamine use. Methamphetamine is generally detectable in the urine for 3-5 days, depending on urine pH level.

 

Cannabis (THC)

THC (Delta9--tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary active ingredient in cannabinoids (marijuana). When smoked or orally administered, it produces euphoric effects. Users have impaired short term memory and slowed learning.

 

They may also experience transient episodes of confusion and anxiety. Long term relatively heavy use may be associated with behavioral disorders. The peak effect of smoking marijuana occurs in 20-30 minutes and the duration is 90-120 minutes after one cigarette. Elevated levels of urinary metabolites are found within hours of exposure and remain detectable for 3-10 days after smoking.

 

The main metabolite excreted in the urine is 11-nor-Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (Delta9-THC-COOH).

The One Step Drug Screen Test Dipcard yields a positive result when the concentration of marijuana in urine exceeds 50 ng/mL.

 

This is the suggested screening cut-off for positive specimens set by the Australian Standard.

Methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine
(MDMA)

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) is a designer drug first synthesized in 1914 by a German drug company for the treatment of obesity.8 Those who take the drug frequently report adverse effects, such as increased muscle tension and sweating. MDMA is not clearly a stimulant, although it has, in common with amphetamine drugs, a capacity to increase blood pressure and heart rate.

 

 

MDMA does produce some perceptual changes in the form of increased sensitivity to light, difficulty in focusing, and blurred vision in some users. Its mechanism of action is thought to be via release of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

 

MDMA may also release dopamine, although the general opinion is that this is a secondary effect of the drug (Nichols and Oberlender, 1990). The most pervasive effect of MDMA, occurring in virtually all people who took a reasonable dose of the drug, was to produce a clenching of the jaws. The One Step Drug Screen Test Dipcard yields a positive result when the the concentration of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine in urine exceeds 500 ng/mL.

Opiates (OPI)

Opiates belong to the large biosynthetic group of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, and are so named because they are naturally occurring alkaloids found in the opium poppy. The major psychoactive opiatesare morphine,codeine, and thebaine. Papaverine, noscapine, and approximately 24 other alkaloids are also present in opium but have little to no effect on the human central nervous system, and as such are not considered to be opiates.

 

Very small quantities of hydrocodone and hydromorphone

 are detected in assays of opium on rare occasions; it appears to be produced by the plant under circumstances and by processes which are not understood at this time and may include the action of bacteria. Dihydrocodeine, oxymorphol, oxycodone, oxymorphone, metopon and possibly other derivatives of morphine and/or hydromorphone also are found in trace amounts in opium.

 

Despite morphine's being the most medically significant alkaloid, larger quantities of the milder codeine — most of it manufactured from morphine — are consumed medically, as codeine has a greater and more predictable oral bioavailability than morphine, making it easier to titrate the dose.

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