An article from WebMD……….
Roadside Breath Test for Drugs Could Be on Horizon
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) — A roadside breathalyzer test for marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs could be a step closer to reality, thanks to new research.
a commercially available breath sampler, Swedish scientists were able
to identify 12 substances in the breath of at least 40 patients who had
taken drugs in the previous 24 hours and were recovering at a drug-addiction emergency clinic.
The findings appear in the April 26 issue of the Journal of Breath Research.
The study is the first to detect alprazolam (the active ingredient in Xanax and other anti-anxiety drugs) and benzoylecgonine (a cocaine byproduct) in exhaled breath, according to a journal news release.
The study also confirmed previous findings that methadone, amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana), buprenorphine (a synthetic narcotic), diazepam (Valium is one brand) and oxazepam (a sedative) can be detected in a person’s breath.
the samples were taken 24 hours after the intake of drugs, we were
surprised to find that there was still high detectability for most
drugs,” study author Olof Beck, a professor at the Karolinska Institute
in Stockholm, said in the news release.
“In cases of suspected
driving under the influence of drugs, blood samples could be taken in
parallel with breath when back at a police station,” Beck said. “Future
studies should therefore test the correlation between blood
concentration of drugs of abuse and the concentrations in exhaled
Currently, analysis of blood, urine and saliva
samples is the most common method for detecting illegal drug use and is
used by police in many countries. However, a breathalyzer test for
drugs would be simpler, less invasive and easier to use in many
locations, including roadside checks.
Exhaled breath contains
micro-particles that carry certain substances picked up from the fluid
lining the airway, according to the news release. Any compound that has
been inhaled or is present in the body can contaminate this fluid and
pass into the breath, where it can be detected.
In this study, the
researchers used a Swedish-made device called SensAbues, which consists
of a mouthpiece and a micro-particle filter. When a person breathes
into the mouthpiece, saliva and large particles are separated from the
micro-particles that need to be measured.
The micro-particles are
deposited on a filter, which can then be sealed and stored until
analysis is conducted using lab tests known as liquid chromatography and