Heroin on the Rise
Healthcare professionals prescribe opiates for acute or chronic pain relief post-surgery or after an accident. People who become addicted to opiates cannot keep up with the cost of their addiction over time and turn to lower cost drugs like heroin. As more people seek heroin to feed their addiction, deaths from overdoses are surging. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the mortality rate due to heroin overdose more than quintupled, from 1,842 deaths in 2000 to 10,574 deaths in 2014.
What does a heroin positive look like?
When heroin is used by a person, it is converted into the active metabolite 6-acetylmorphine or 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM). In a short time after using heroin, 6-MAM is metabolized into morphine and excreted from the body. A positive test for 6-MAM can only mean the person has used heroin.
Testing for 6-MAM
6-MAM can be difficult to detect in urine because of higher cutoff levels and how quickly it metabolizes to morphine. In urine, a positive morphine result cannot differentiate between an individual’s prescribed morphine use and heroin use.
Forensic Fluids Laboratories oral fluid drug testing uses a quantitative method, specifically testing each opiate separately with lower cutoff levels. Unlike urine testing, Forensic Fluids Laboratories oral fluid drug testing provides an in-depth look at the levels for each opiate an individual is using, including heroin. Forensic Fluids Laboratories can detect 6-MAM with cutoff levels down to 1 ng/mL.
Forensic Fluids Laboratories oral fluid drug testing offers meaningful insight on what a person is ingesting. In cases of heroin addiction, individuals can be encouraged to seek lifesaving treatment.