About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cocaine and Heroin Use may be Detected from Fingerprints

by Chrisy Ngilneii on March 23, 2018 at 4:28 PM
Font : A-A+

Cocaine and Heroin Use may be Detected from Fingerprints

Fingerprints may provide a definitive way to prove the difference between those using cocaine and heroin, and those exposed to the drugs due to environmental factors, research at the University of Surrey finds.

In a study published by Clinical Chemistry, researchers from the University tested the fingerprints of fifty drug-free volunteers and fifteen drug users who testified to taking either cocaine or heroin in the previous twenty-four hours.

Advertisement


Researchers tested fingerprints from the unwashed hands of the drug-free volunteers and, despite having no history of drug use, still found traces of class-A drugs. Around 13 percent of fingerprints were found to contain cocaine and one percent contained a metabolite of heroin. By setting a "cut-off" level, researchers were able to distinguish between fingerprints that had environmental contaminants from those produced after genuine drug use - even after people washed their hands.

To test the possibility of transferring drugs through a handshake, drug-free volunteers were asked to shake hands with a drug user. Fingerprints were then collected from the drug-free volunteers after contact. Although cocaine and heroin can be transferred by shaking hands with a drug user, the cut-off level established allowed researchers to distinguish between drug use and secondary transfer.
Advertisement

Dr Melanie Bailey, Lecturer in Forensic Analysis at the University of Surrey, said: "Believe it or not, cocaine is a very common environmental contaminant - it is well known that it is present on many bank notes. Even so, we were surprised that it was detected in so many of our fingerprint samples. By establishing a threshold for significance on a fingerprint test, we can give those tested the piece-of-mind of knowing that whatever the result of the test may be, it was not affected by their everyday activities or shaking hands with someone that had taken drugs."

Mahado Ismail, lead-author of the paper from the University of Surrey, said: "It's clear that fingerprint testing is the future of drug-testing. There are many factors that set fingerprint testing apart - it's non-invasive, easy to collect and you have the ability to identify the donor by using the sample. Our study will help to add another robust layer to fingerprint drug testing."

The study was co-funded by Intelligent Fingerprinting, developers of the world's first commercially-available portable drug test that works by analyzing the sweat from a fingerprint sample. According to Intelligent Fingerprinting's CEO, Dr Jerry Walker: "this important study confirms the University of Surrey's position as one of the world's foremost academic research groups when it comes to fingerprint diagnostics using mass spectrometry. Critically, it also helps to establish a quantifiable high threshold for environmental drug traces - further establishing the validity of our commercial fingerprint-based drug test for cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse Drug Detox 

Recommended Reading
Impact of Drug Abuse on Health and Society
Drug abuse is a negative social trend that pushes youth to drug addiction in the pretext of getting ...
Drugs Banned in India
Several drugs are either banned or withdrawn after introduction in the market....
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or ......
Drug Abuse in Pregnancy
Drug abuse during pregnancy has an adverse effect on the mother as well as the fetus. It is ......
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Drug Detox
Drug detoxification (or drug detox) is a process that helps drug addicts to give up drugs with less ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)