Drug Direction

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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High on Flakka

July 14, 2016 Tagged: bath salts, Tagged: alpha PVP, Tagged: flakka, Tagged: a-pvp, Tagged: synthetic drugs Comments (0)

What is Flakka?

Flakka, also called "gravel", is a dangerous synthetic cathinone drug called α-PVP or alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone.  It is similar to other synthetic stimulants which have been popularized as "bath salts". Flakka comes in either a crystal or powder form and can be eaten, snorted, injected, smoked, or vaporized. 

Where are people using it?

Flakka use has been spreading rapidly and is prominent in Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Other parts of the country have also seen a spike in use.  Forensic Fluids Laboratories has detected Flakka in nearly all of the states that we service.

What are the effects?

Symptoms of Flakka use include:

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • high body temperature
  • hallucinations
  • excited delirium
  • psychosis

Can it be detected in a drug test?

Forensic Fluids Laboratories is one of the very few laboratories in the country that offers a test for Flakka.  The drug is relatively new to the United States which means that it is a challenge for most companies to add to their available panels.  It is very important for us to be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date testing available which is why we make it a priority to test for all of the newest compounds.


Tags: bath salts, alpha PVP, flakka, a-pvp, synthetic drugs

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