Drug Direction

What is Adderall?

December 08, 2016 Tagged: Adderall, Tagged: ADHD, Tagged: amphetamine Comments (0)

What is Adderall?

Adderall is commonly prescribed to patients to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall is a mixture of amphetamine salts. It acts as a central nervous system stimulant for chemicals in the brain. While Adderall helps many patients overcome their illnesses, improper use of this drug has been increasing in young people.

Adderall misuse

Adderall has grown in popularity in recent years with young adults and students who do not have a prescription. Prescriptions for Adderall have not increased, meaning the people are getting this drug from friends and family members who have a prescription. One study found 60 percent of Adderall nonmedical use was among 18-to-25-year-old individuals.

Students across the country are using Adderall to help increase focus and study all night long because of the stimulant effects that come from using amphetamine. Another study showed an estimated 30 percent of students had used Adderall as a study drug. Young people crush, snort, dissolve in water or even inject Adderall into their systems. Injection being among the most dangerous uses because portions of the tablets can block small blood vessels.

What are the side effects?

Side effects of Adderall use include:

  • Exaggerated confidence
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping and staying asleep
  • Anxiety

Fatal overdose from Adderall abuse can occur because of heart attack, stroke, and/or liver failure. Mixing Adderall with other substances, such as alcohol, can dramatically increase the risk of fatal overdose. Forensic Fluids Laboratories can test for Adderall by detecting amphetamines.

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Tags: Adderall, ADHD, amphetamine

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Heroin on the Rise

October 06, 2016 Tagged: 6-MAM, Tagged: 6MAM, Tagged: opiates, Tagged: heroin, Tagged: morphine Comments (0)

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.

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Tags: 6-MAM, 6MAM, opiates, heroin, morphine

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Could second hand marijuana smoke make you fail a drug test?

July 15, 2016 Tagged: second hand smoke, Tagged: fibs, Tagged: marijuana, Tagged: false positives Comments (0)

“I was just in the room where pot was being smoked”

One common myth relating to oral fluid drug testing is that exposure to second hand marijuana smoke can cause a positive test result for THC. Many people believe that the recent rise in cannabis potency makes it more likely for false positives to occur. That is not the case. 

Passive exposure

Second hand smoke, or “passive exposure” to marijuana produces THC levels that are much different than those produced under active exposure. When a smoker exhales, very low levels of THC are released back into the air. This makes it extremely unlikely under normal circumstances for a non-smoker to inhale enough THC for an oral fluid test to turn positive.  

Extreme cases

In extreme cases, positive oral fluid test results from passive exposure are possible, but still unlikely. One study concluded that with an extreme lack of ventilation it is possible to test positive for THC from exposure to second hand smoke immediately after exposure and “only under environmental circumstances where exposure is obvious.”  A second study placed both smokers and non-smokers together in a smaller environment: a vehicle. The results showed that when collected properly with a waiting period before collection, the risk of a false positive THC test was “virtually eliminated”.

Clear results

THC levels caused by passive exposure are about 100 times less than levels caused by active exposure to marijuana.  When administered properly, oral fluid tests leave no possibility for false positives due to passive exposure to THC. 

Tags: second hand smoke, fibs, marijuana, false positives

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